When it comes to freelancing, finding and keeping clients is very important to success. Every freelancer needs to know how to go about finding work and how to take care of customers, so they can keep adding to their client base. There is a delicate balance involved when you work from home, as you work to maintain client satisfaction and a smoothly run home.
Finding Your Client Base
The resources you used to find your client base will vary, based on the nature of your at home business. There are many different freelance websites designed for people who work at home in a variety of fields. These websites list projects or jobs, and freelancers can sign up for an account to bid on the jobs. Some freelance bidding sites require a fee to register. Those that elect not to charge a registration fee generally take a percentage of the winning bid amount to cover their fees. Depending on the site, freelancers may get paid at the completion of the project or periodically throughout the month,and all funds are handled through escrow accounts to protect both the project owner and the freelancer.
Some freelance bidding sites available to choose from include:
- Rent a Coder
Projects are available for web developers, writers, transcribers, and Internet marketers.
Other places to look include classified ads and message boards, though freelancers should always proceed with caution when dealing with private clients outside a scenario moderated by others (such as the freelance bidding sites).
Look for job websites in your particular niche. For instance, freelance writers and bloggers can find job listings at FreelanceWritingGigs.com or ProBlogger.
Advertise Your Services
Advertise your services locally. Consider running an ad in the paper or approaching your local chamber of commerce. Post flyers anywhere you legally can. Contact people you know and ask them if they are either interested in the services you offer, or if they can refer you to someone who is.
Develop a Website
Develop and market your own website. The web is full of free places to advertise, so if you develop a website where potential clients can go to learn more about you, the services you offer, and your pricing and availability, you may find a job or two waiting for you in your email box.
Utilize Social Marketing
Use social marketing websites to get in touch with others in your field. Network with each other so you can share leads and work. Sometimes you may stumble across something you can't do, but you know someone who can. Sharing the information will help you in the end, because someone will return the favor.
Keeping Your Client Base
Keeping your client base means you won't have to spend as much time finding work, provided your clients can keep it coming. You should always search for more work to avoid having all of your eggs in one basket (so you can have income if something falls through). The key to keeping your client base is simple: Do what you say you will, when you say you will. Follow the directions provided by the client, asking questions for clarification if need be. Always meet your deadlines and follow through with your promises.
Always be polite, and stay in touch throughout the course of a project, and even after. If something goes wrong, work through it with the client to resolve it (before moving on).
As long as you follow this advice, and continuously make an effort to find more clients (and keep your current client base pleased), you'll have success with freelancing. Remember, you won't get every job you apply for, but keep moving forward. Work will come, but you have to constantly look for it.