Is finding freelance clients really that difficult?
No. But getting good clients is like winning the goddamn lottery
Full disclosure: I’ve only been Freelancing, officially, for 3 months. What started as a desperate grab for cash after quitting my job, turned into me forming my own LLC and pumping out contracts like snot-rockets.
Freelancing, or rather, “feelancing”, is like diving out of an airplane every day with the very real chance your parachute won’t open.
You have to be brave as all hell, and definitely insane.
I had to start delegating some of my smaller, more time-consuming tasks. Like a real businessy business person who does business stuff.
What makes matters even weirder is that I never chose the Freelance life. The Freelance life chose me.
Dedication is what separates the lifelong freelancer from the opportunist. The lifer is in it for the long haul. The opportunist is trying to scrape at the walls until something better comes along.
I’m a freelance opportunist who’s drowning in leads. How do I get so many freelance clients if I’m not in love with the game, you ask?
Content marketing is how I get my leads. Sweet, sweet views. Many of my methods are unorthodox, which I’m going to share with you shortly, so keep reading.
But I wanted to start this off with some truth-bombs about freelancing that I’ve learned on my Bizarre Adventure.
Getting freelance clients isn’t rocket science, but it does require formulas, and constant nurturing like a toddler that will never, ever grow up.
Or maybe nurturing your freelance leads is like owning a cat. Because cats are basically very hairy toddlers who are potty trained, but scream and shit everywhere anyways.
However, what is rocket science, when it comes to freelancing, is getting good clients. It’s like winning the goddamn lottery.
Why is finding good freelance clients so fucking difficult?
While clients desire Freelancers to do everything — and cheaply — with the skill of a brain surgeon, us freelancers also want clients who are stupidly easy to work with. And pay us appropriately.
That’s not an unfair thing to want, considering the gauntlet of insanity many of us Freelancers have gone through.
In fact, if I had $1 for every time a boss or client wanted me to wear 20 hats and play psychic detective with their goals, I’d be Scrooge McDucking into my damn Bitcoin money-pit like a boss.
I classify Bad Freelance Clients as the following:
A bad freelance client wants to hire you to do something they do not value, know they need, but won’t learn to do themselves ever, and don’t want to pay you well for.
A bad freelance client has high expectations, poor communication, and a very slim budget.
A bad freelance client often wants to pay you in exposure. Which is awesome and totally translates to real life moneys /s.
Let me just go to the EEO (exposure exchange office) and cash in my EP (exposure points) for USD. Then I’ll go stroll over to the communal job tree and cut some jobs down and make job-pasta. Hah. Hahah.
A bad freelance client is basically your mooching cousin Mikey, who shows up at your doorstep asking to crash on your couch, and then ends up eating all your food and paying you $10 for overstaying his welcome. For 3 months.
Bad freelance clients suck up your time, demand perfection, misunderstand the difficulty of a project, are scope-creepers, and throw temper-tantrums when they don’t get their way.
Bad clients: I’m not giving you a binky and a blankey, you’re not a baby. Stop acting like one.
Alright, alright. Jesus. What do good Freelance clients look like, then?
Good freelance clients are communicative, know they don’t know everything, and look to you for guidance.
Good freelance clients pay you well for something they, themselves, cannot do. Do not have time for. Or do not understand, but know they need.
Good freelance clients are respectful of your time and don’t move goal-posts.
Good freelance clients adhere to the standards of your contract. They don’t scope creep, and they certainly don’t pay you late. They also do not go past the revision clause you listed.
Unless you both decide you need to, and then you draw up a new contract. You know, like adults. Who exchange goods and services for currency.
A good freelance client is basically your cool cousin Nick, who asks you for help moving into a new place, and he pays you $300 for your help. He couldn’t do it without you. He also pitches in to buy some food, and you two have a nice heart-to-heart and rekindle your friendship.
Good freelance clients respect you, your time, your expertise, and your life.
Your freelance client came to you for help, after all. Why shouldn’t they respect you and your expertise?
I can’t even get bad Freelance clients! How do you do it?
Showing your skills proudly, writing about what you do, and posting your work in places that can be seen, is how you win as a Freelancer.
By building trust, making allies, and delighting others, people are more likely to want to work with you.
But you need to know where to post, how, and who to target.
To find out where to post, how, and who to target, you’re going to need to stay tuned for my next article.
I’ve dropped the second part in this series of Freelancing Tips & Tricks, so buckle up, buttercup.
It’s going to be a wild ride.
Kira Leigh is a snarky marketing nerd, writer, and artist.
Or join her on Discord like the giant nerd you are: windows95toasteroven#3745