Being a freelancer in any industry is harder than ever. With so much competition out there from both better-known freelancers and established businesses, you need every edge you can get just to get noticed, never mind the jobs that are the lifeblood of your continued business viability.
With this in mind, here are ten simple tips for attracting more clients and bookings to your business!
1. Embrace your personality
You are the biggest asset your business has. It was your idea, you’re the one who’s putting in the legwork, and you’re the one whose success is on the line. If clients want formless, faceless entities to work with, there are plenty of those around.
Give yourself an edge by showcasing your personality in your site, communications, and business publications. Many potential clients may have been avoiding larger companies to save money, and this is your chance to make them feel like this was a wise choice on their part. You never know what might entice a potential client to check out your site over the competition!
2. Seek out ideal clients
Just having a client roster isn’t good enough in today’s freelance climate. Having the right clients can make the difference between success and failure. By learning what qualities your ideal client possesses and then pursuing them, you can get your foot in the door and possibly acquire a lucrative and mutually beneficial relationship.
3. Articulate what you do
What makes you different from your competition? What can you offer that they can’t? Being able to do something better or faster doesn’t mean much if you can’t explain to a potential client what your process is and what sets you apart. More importantly, describing what you bring to the table clearly, confidently, and succinctly will give the client more confidence in your abilities and put to rest any fears they may have about whether you are the right person for the job.
4. Update your website
A website that’s months out of date won’t help you obtain new clients. Keeping your site up to date, easy to navigate, and comprehensive about your business will help you attract more and better clients than just slapping something together and calling it a day.
5. Improve your Google ranking
If your business doesn’t show up in the Google rankings early, you’re missing out on prime opportunities to make connections and craft relationships. At a minimum, your business name and some crucial keywords relevant to your business, such as “best photographer in Austin, Texas,” should be included in your site organically. This will boost your site’s search engine presence and increase your odds of the perfect client finding you!
6. Get listed on Facebook and Twitter
After search engines, social media is often the first place people go to check on businesses they are considering dealing with. If you don’t have a Facebook and Twitter page, many tech-savvy clients may not even consider your business. In addition, these are great, inexpensive ways to make contact with clients.
7. Add stunning pictures of your business, products, and/or services
The cardinal rule among writers is “Show, don’t tell.” This applies perhaps even more to your business. Having pictures of your personnel, facilities, and things you’ve done makes a great photo résumé that invites potential clients to look around and see for themselves what you’re capable of. If you do this, always use the most professional possible means to get great results.
8. Add links to your reviews
Telling a prospective client what other clients have said about you is great, but sooner or later you’ll have to prove it. Today’s clients demand transparency and the ability to double- and even triple-check your qualifications and references. Posting links to previous online reviews not only can help improve your search engine rankings (see #5), but gives your résumé another layer of depth and strength. Sites such as Trip Advisor can help with this, usually for free.
9. Get an online booking system
Customers may not always want to spend time on the phone discussing their jobs with you. They have things to deal with, just like you do. Giving clients a way to book online can increase your jobs and your profitability while cutting time spent on discussing details, especially if you offer a la carte services. If an online booking system seems too complex or confusing, Google Calendar has some features that can streamline this for you.
10. Ask your customers to refer their family and friends
When customers are happy with the results they get, they are more likely to tell their friends and family about a business. Why not put that free advertising to work for you? If your customers are raving about the caliber of service they received, ask them to tell their social circles about you. This gives you more business, as well as a chance to prove to your clients that their trust in you was not misplaced.
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Joe Shervell is a content developer and a keen blogger. He works with www.phoenix-training.co.uk, specializes in all types of business training.