Freelancer’s Guide to Finding Clients – Review

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Being a successful freelancer of any type means that you have to have clients. Makes sense, right? Then why do so many of us have a hard time getting work? The problem might be that we don’t know how to find clients. Or we need a little shove to get out there and do it.

Martha Retallick, a freelance graphic designer and photographer, has written a wonderful e-book that tackles the subject of how freelancers can find clients. She does a great job of making it relevant, by including examples from her own career (blunders and successes alike). She writes like she’s talking with you, so it’s an easy, comfortable read. And the tips and techniques are solid. Some of them I already use, and some I learned while reading.

As an added bonus (for me, especially), Martha includes a reference to an article I wrote a few years ago about how to use cold emailing as a marketing technique. It’s nice seeing my name in print.

In her own words:

The Freelancer’s Guide to Finding Clients is about being proactive. It’s about finding clients instead of waiting for them to come to you.

In addition to offering a detailed how-to guide to making cold calls, it covers:

  1. Warm calling and e-mails to people with whom you’ve had some previous connection.
  2. Follow-up calls and e-mails to people you’ve just contacted.
  3. Keep-in-touch calling and e-mails to people you contacted a while ago.
  4. Market research calls and e-mails.
  5. Outreach via cold, warm, follow-up, and keep-in-touch e-mails.

Head over to Envato Tuts+ Marketplace to get your very own copy of the book. It’s definitely worth it! And be sure to tell Martha where you heard about her new book.

How do you find new clients for your freelancing business? When you get Martha’s book, tell us what your favorite parts are!

29 Responses to “Freelancer’s Guide to Finding Clients – Review”

  1. Mia says:

    Building a good reputation may help clients find you. I agree that a warm communication can have a very positive effect on the way people perceive you.

  2. Sounds useful, although it seems like it’s concentrated more on client management than lead generation.

    Still, it’ll be well worth a look!
    Andy @ FirstFound´s last blog post ..Are You Falling Victim to Stealth Plugins

  3. Jim says:

    You can remind old customers. But do it carefully! For example, “Hi, missed you, how are you?” That’s it!

    The client will think you are crazy or just a good man! But remember!

  4. In today’s highly competitive world, I think it’s crucially important to distinguish yourself from the rest and to offer a unique USP in order to get and keep new clients
    Mark @ 11 Forgotten Laws´s last blog post ..The 11 Forgotten Laws – What You Need To Know To Make Them Work!

  5. duncan says:

    the hardest thing about being a freelancer is that every single thing depends on the effort you put.For example,i started a graphic design business.i am the designer,sales person,i clean my own office,i am the hr manager,i do everything.
    Thanks for the tips.they are of great help

  6. Building a strong reputation can help clients in finding you. I definitely agree with the comment that a warm and friendly communication can make positive effect on the way people perceive you.

  7. Dean Saliba says:

    I don’t think you need to buy a book to be told where to find clients. Digital Point Forums is a great place to start. :)
    Dean Saliba´s last blog post ..Adding Your Own Logo To The WordPress Login Page

  8. Chris says:

    being self employed myself I agree with most of the above. repeat customers are so important.

  9. I find that a personal connection brings in a lot of business. They don’t want to feel like they are dealing with a large company sometimes.

  10. Being pro active about finding clients is something I’ve never been good at. I alway feel like people aren’t intrested in what I have to say, you know. Thanks for the tips, hopefully I can use them in the future…

    Greetings,
    M. Vergelijken

  11. Cold and warm follow ups are great because of the power of suggestion. Sometimes people don’t know they need something until you offer to do it for them.
    Margaret @ Cloth Diapers´s last blog post ..On the 4th- 5th- and 6th Sales of Christmas my Sweetheart gave to me…

  12. I recently bought a book on freelancing with the title: “The Wealthy Freelancer: 12 Secrets to a Great Income and an Enviable Lifestyle” – there is actually some quite good information in it.
    Bob @ Numerology Calculation Chart´s last blog post ..How To Use A Numerology Calculation Chart

  13. Great! I’ll check it out. Too many people are too concerned about making contact… just remember how busy you are and how it sometimes takes a few reminders to get you do to something – as long as you’re not peddling junk you’re OK.
    Fred @ Internet Business´s last blog post ..How to Use Social Media to Grow a Brick and Mortar Business

  14. Word of mouth has to be the single most important factor, but then how do you start the “voices” if you don’t have that many clients. Starting cheap seems to work but you soon lose the voices when your prices increase. Would be good to read up and see what other ideas there are out there. Thanks.

  15. Who Am I says:

    In all your networking efforts, remember these two rules: 1. Human beings are very sensitive. 2. Human beings enjoy feeling acknowledged.

  16. An says:

    Build strong reputation and word of mouth is the best way to find clients.
    An´s last blog post ..What is Enterprise Shipping

  17. I’ve always found that over delivering with a response to a potential client can help massively with them choosing you for a job. I can’t stand it when I place a bid on Elance or oDesk and freelancers come back to me with a stock response, very annoying!

  18. Really a nice post to go through. Its quite important for us to find clients on our own rather than waiting for them to come to us. Thanks

  19. John Spices says:

    Sounds like a great book. In my experience, some freelancers find it tough to get clients as the sales part of the job is not their first love. So, any help they can get in this area is very useful.

  20. Rocky Guzon says:

    I agree with this. If you just wait for clients to come to you, you will find yourself doing nothing. great post!
    Rocky Guzon´s last blog post ..Review – Kymco Super 8 Scooter

  21. Hep Tasarim says:

    @ duncan
    me too, I started a web services business and also I do everything. I think the main problem is to find customers and then to serve cheaply. Nevertheless I can’t still create my own portfolio :) Hard!

  22. n today’s highly competitive world, I think it’s crucially important to distinguish yourself from the rest and to offer a unique USP in order to get and keep new clients

  23. I think those are the main points to follow, to find and mantain new clients:
    Create repeatable processes and systems to gain new qualified leads and customers.
    Develop a positioning and effective marketing message that effectively captures the attention of your potential customers.
    Develop a communication system sequentially
    Create your presence on the web site, making the company an active tool in the process of converting contacts into customers.
    Articulate effective and productive marketing materials

  24. You make some great points. It is always a good idea to hit up people you know and network, they can sometimes, throw you some work when they are overloaded or recommend you to others.

  25. Kirill says:

    Off course you should be proactive to get a clients as a freelancer, it should be one of the main part in your plan to get an epic win with freelance career. For example you made some addon for wordpress for somebody, find out other sites powered by wordpress who’s owners will be interested in that addon and propose it and make extra profit easily.

  26. Congrats on being quoted. Anyways, having a great communication with previous and current clients will help you a lot. Referral marketing is becoming very popular already too. Being in a good relationship with clients will definitely help you out when you venture to something ne.

  27. sabs says:

    Looks I’m a little late for this one. I was looking for a book on lead generating. It’s not sure whether this covers that more or taking care of things client side.

  28. Another idea i have done is pick up business cards from stores and look for the ones that have yahoo, gmail, or hotmail email addresses. This will give you a good idea they need web design/development services. Then either mail then a flyer of what you do or go visit them personally.