A common frustration in the world of freelancing is low paying gigs on job boards. While I’m not anti-job board (I’ll explain why in a bit), I do understand the frustration that comes with them. Having freelanced for years, I’ve had my fair share of prospects who don’t have a clue about what writers actually make.
However, over time I’ve learned a few ways to find high-quality freelance clients. It’s been a combination of having these clients come to me and doing some searching on my part. In this article, I’m going to lay out all the ways I’ve been able to find high-quality freelance clients.
Have patience with job boards.
I’m convinced that most people are frustrated with job boards because they have zero patience. Since I have a background in recruiting, I totally understand that sales is a numbers game. You have to sift through a lot of crap before you find good candidates and sometimes it’s the same with freelance gigs. I get that not everyone has that work experience, and as a result, they may have some unrealistic expectations about sales.
That being said, there are diamonds in the rough on these job boards. I have found freelance writing clients that turned into good paying video projects on job boards. You also always have the option to negotiate – especially if they don’t say what they are willing to pay. I’ve had prospects from job boards come back and offer me more money simply because I unapologetically said wanted more. The key to finding high-quality freelance clients on these boards is to always be open to a conversation and be willing to negotiate.
Create your own recognizable brand.
I’m beating a dead horse again. If you want to find high-quality freelance clients you must build a recognizable brand. That’s why the clients I mentioned in the previous section offered me more money when I said I wanted it – because I have that kind of leverage in part due to the brand I’ve built.
I also once had a major financial media company hire me on the spot because they already knew who I was prior to me actually meeting them at a conference. In fact, the person at the conference told me that her boss had explicitly told her to find me.
Use keywords everywhere online.
I’m going to be honest – some of my best paying clients have come to me as a result of some really good keyword skills on my website and on my LinkedIn profile. While this method takes a while (I’d done some keyword work a year before I started to see it a pay off), it’s well worth the effort. Big time companies aren’t typically going to go to job boards, instead, they’re going to have recruiters or third party marketing firms looking for people online via LinkedIn and Google.
Network your buns off.
I’ve been able to find high-quality freelance clients by networking both online and off. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I’m always at some local event or conference. It’s mostly because I actually like going to this stuff (I’m like a sponge for learning), but it’s also because I know it’s a great way to find high-quality freelance writing clients. By attending these events, I’ve met companies that have hired me for content marketing and I’ve made friends with people who refer me to clients all the time.
At the end of the day, being able to find high-quality freelance clients is totally possible. It just requires patience and elbow grease on your part.