Are you new to freelancing? How do you land your first client as a freelancer without experience? 

Let’s be honest, it’s not easy to get your first client as a freelancer but with some of the steps in this post, you’ll be closer to signing your first client as a freelancer even without experience.

I’ll also share how I started as a freelance journey, hopefully, that would help you on your journey.

Welcome to the savvy freelancer journey where I share my freelance journey and also freelance tips that would help you in your journey. 

Let’s go ahead with the topic.

How to get your first client as a freelancer 

1. Identify your service as a freelancer

The first step to getting your first client as a freelancer is to understand the service(s) that you want to offer. 

You’re definitely not going to be offering every skill you have as a service hence you need to decide on how you want to do for your clients. 

Getting clear on what you want to do will help you 

  • Set your packages and price
  • Know your client
  • Show up as an expert

So, take time to analyze your skills. If you need help identifying your services, try answering the following questions

  • What is your expertise?

You can start with what you have expertise and experience in? Have you interned for a position before? You can identify that and take that as a service.

There’s definitely something you’ve learned whether through school or on the job, look for that and you can start from there.

  • What are you knowledgeable in?

Getting your first client as a freelancer requires you to have knowledge of whatever services you want to offer.

Of course, you can’t know it all but you need to know what you’re doing. No one wants to hire a novice but you don’t have to be an expert to get a job.

That’s where the third question comes in.

  • Is there something you’re interested in becoming an expert at?

Maybe you think you don’t have any knowledge but you still want to become a freelancer. Here’s what you can do.

Think of something that you are interested in and take time to learn about it. After you have a reasonable knowledge of it, you’ll be on your way to getting landing your first client.

Here are some high paying freelance jobs that you can start with 

2. Define your ideal client 

You now know what services you want to offer, it is time to become clear on who you want to serve.

This step is important because knowing who your service is made for will help you build a marketing strategy tailored towards them.

You will be able to market to them directly. 

Know who they are, what problems they have, and how you can help them solve them.

You have to understand your ideal client in order to attract them to yourself.

3. Start building your packages and set prices 

I learned recently that you shouldn’t have just one package as a freelancer.

If you want to become financially free as a freelancer, you should have more than one package. What does this mean?

For instance, if you are a freelance social media manager, know your duty as a social media manager. 

Take those duties and divide them into batches.

For example, as a freelance social media manager, you will need to create content, engage other accounts, and post on stories. That can be a package, assign price to that. 

Your client might also need you to create Facebook or Instagram ads, that’s another package, a totally different one that you can charge for.

The point is don’t put all your services in one package, put them in several packages and price them accordingly.

4. Work on your portfolio 

A portfolio is like your resumé. It contains information on who you are, what you do, who you do it for, and how someone can book your service.

You can also include your experience and the people you’ve worked with. All of these things are put together to make you appear professional to your client.

Your portfolio can either be in the form of a website or just organized in pdf. Canva is a tool that can be used to build your portfolio.

5. Market yourself like crazy

It’s time to get out there. Your client is waiting for you and the only way for them to meet you is by marketing yourself.

Marketing is a long-term game. You don’t start and expect results immediately especially if you’re using content marketing.

You might need to learn some marketing skills in order to market yourself properly. 

Here are some ways to market yourself.

  • Website

One of the biggest content marketing that you can do for yourself and your brand is having a website. It even helps more if the website has a blog where you can educate your audience.

Using a website for marketing is a form of content marketing and that requires time to effectively give you a return.

  • Social media

This is where I started my career. Social media today is filled with people who want to learn and people who are ready to share what they learn.

You can use social media to connect with your clients.

I used Instagram to land my first client. There are many techniques but one I used was to share results I know my ideal client need. More like teaching them how to get the result.

  • Talk to people around

You need to let people around you know what you are doing. If no one knows, they won’t patronize you.

Look around you, is your ideal client around? Pitch to them and sell yourself like crazy.

  • LinkedIn 

Just like every other social media platform, you need to create content. Although LinkedIn is more professional than other platforms.

You need to understand how LinkedIn works and create awesome content that will draw the attention of your ideal client.

6 Analyze what’s working

Make sure to stick to your strategy but keep tweaking it. Take time to analyze what’s working for you and what’s not.

As a new freelancer, there are some lessons I’d like to share with you. I learned these in three months as a freelancer.

Five lessons I learned as a new freelancer 

  • Have a contract signed before work

I know you are excited to jump to work. You really want to get started on this journey but relax. Taking your time to write out a contract is important.

Never start a job without first creating your contract and make sure it is signed by the client.

If you do not do this in the beginning, it might become difficult to introduce a contract later.

Don’t forget that freelancing is just like any other job, you won’t work with someone if they do not sign legal contracts

Your contract as a freelancer should include the service you would offer the client, the price of that service, when payment is due, and how payment will be made.

It is also important to include how you work and the number of hours you work.

Here’s a video of things you need to do when onboarding a new client.

  • Never charge your client based on your bank account balance

It is understandable that it is your first job but don’t just charge anyhow. Most importantly, don’t charge based on your bank account.

I made the mistake of charging something lower than reasonable because I needed money. Don’t be like that.

Your clients do not know your bank account balance so charge them what your service is worth. Look at other people in your niche and set your price. But, keep in mind that you are still new so stay reasonable.

  • Set work boundaries early in your career

It is easy to get soaked in work especially if you are building your own business whether as a freelancer or not. Work can quickly slip into your normal life and you find yourself working 24 hours.

Doing that sets you up for failure because you won’t be productive. You need to take your health seriously. Rest is important.

Set work hours and be religious to it. Let clients know when you work and when you don’t work so they won’t call you for work when it is not working hours.

  • Be willing to learn and invest as much 

Freelancers never stop learning. You need to keep learning new things and upgrading your skills in order to become a highly paid freelancer.

Also, you need to invest in yourself through things like courses that would help you become better and tools to ease your work.

  • You won’t get it right at the beginning and that’s fine

Like entrepreneurship or any other business, freelancing can also be tough. You would fail but will succeed if you do not give up.

You won’t get it right now, keep going and it will become clearer with time.

Most importantly, be patient. Enjoy the process of becoming a successful freelancer.

How to get your first client as a freelancer

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