How To Find Clients as a Freelancer: A Guide

June 26, 2023
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Finding clients as a freelancer can be challenging, especially for those new to the game. Finding your dream client might seem even harder but we’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s not if you know where (and how) to look. If you have been looking for a solution for how to get freelance clients on a consistent basis, you’re in the right place. 

Fortunately, there are several straightforward and effective ways to get fantastic freelance clients that can help you build a successful career.

One of the most important things to do when looking for clients as a freelancer is to find your niche. This means identifying your specific skills and expertise and targeting clients who need those services. Your niche could be a specific industry, like finance, or a particular audience, like solopreneurs of a certain income bracket. 

Regardless of your niche, the following strategies can help you increase your chances of finding clients as a freelancer.

How to Get Freelance Clients

As a freelancer, finding clients is crucial to your success. How to find clients as a freelancer depends on a number of factors, including what kind of clients you’re looking for, where you have an online presence, and what services you’re offering. Here are just a few examples of where and how you might begin your search:

Job Boards

Job boards are a great place to find freelance work. Websites like Upwork, Fiverr, FlexJobs, and SolidGigs allow freelancers to create profiles, showcase their skills, and bid on projects. Freelancers can also search for jobs that match their skillset and apply directly to the client.

Networking Events

Networking events are a great way to connect with potential clients and other freelancers in your industry. Attend local events, conferences, and meetups to expand your network and build relationships. Bring business cards and be prepared with your elevator pitch to make a lasting impression.

Social Media

Social media can be a powerful tool for freelancers to market themselves and find clients. Use hashtags and follow relevant accounts to stay up-to-date on industry trends and connect with potential clients. Utilize your online presence to showcase your portfolio and accomplishments.

For LinkedIn especially,  it's important to have a complete and professional profile and to be active on the platform. So be sure to keep your profile up to date with your latest achievements, projects, and professional insights.

Co-Working Spaces

Co-working spaces are a great option for freelancers who want to work in a professional environment and connect with other freelancers and potential clients. Many co-working spaces offer networking events and workshops, making it easier to build relationships and find work.

Over time, you will build a network of friends, former clients, referral partners, etc. so that eventually, your dream clients come to you (and you don’t have to track them down). Building a network takes time, effort, and patience. But it can pay off in the long run.

Nurturing Referrals

Referrals are a powerful tool for freelancers to expand their client base. They can be a valuable source of new business, and they are often more likely to convert into paying clients than cold calls or cold leads. Here are some tips on how to nurture referrals.

Your Referral Strategy

The first step to encouraging referrals is to provide exceptional service. If your clients are happy with the work you have done for them, they’re more likely to refer you to their network. The second step is having a referral strategy is essential to getting more referrals. You need to have a plan in place to entice your clients to refer you to their network. One way to do this is to offer incentives for referrals. For example, you could offer a discount on your services for each new client that is referred to you.

Asking for Referrals

Asking for referrals can be uncomfortable, but it is a fundamental strategy to grow your business. Plus, if your client is pleased with your work they’re probably more than happy to give one!

When asking for referrals, be specific about the type of clients you are looking for and the specific services/products you’re offering. Bonus points if you have a specific referral landing page or “menu of services” you can refer them to. This will make it easier for your clients to refer you to the right people.


Testimonials are a powerful way to nurture referrals as well. They provide social proof that you are a competent and reliable freelancer. You can ask your clients to provide testimonials that you can use on your website and social media profiles. Testimonials should be specific and highlight the results you have achieved for your clients.

Identifying Red Flags

Identifying the clients or projects you don’t like is an important part of figuring out who your dream clients are. Here are some warning signs to look out for and tips on how to deal with difficult clients:

Warning Signs
Unreasonable Expectations

Clients who have unrealistic expectations or want too much for too little are a big red flag. They may want you to work for free or demand unreasonable turnaround times. It's important to set clear boundaries with these difficult clients. This can include setting realistic deadlines, establishing a communication plan, and outlining your scope of work.

Poor Communication

Clients who are difficult to communicate with or don't respond to emails or calls in a timely manner can be problematic. It's important to establish a communication plan and make sure both parties are on the same page. Clarifying the repercussions for lack of communication is another way you can guard yourself against nonpayment or disputes as well. 

Lack of Professionalism

Clients who are unprofessional or disrespectful can be difficult and demotivating. They may not value your time or expertise and may not pay on time or at all. Even if a client is difficult, it's important to remain professional and uphold your side of the bargain. 

Outline your expectations and repercussions for noncooperation clearly in your contracts so you can protect yourself should clients prove unprofessional.

You Deserve to Work with People Who Respect Your Work

Finding clients as a freelancer requires persistence, patience, and a willingness to adapt and try new strategies. Since work is not guaranteed, the amount of effort you have to put into finding your dream clients will vary month-to-month. Don’t be disheartened.

To make this task a whole lot easier, invest time in building a strong online presence. Showcase your skills and expertise through a professional website or portfolio, and spend some time every day on whichever social media platform makes sense for you.

By implementing the tips and strategies outlined in this article, you can increase your chances of finding clients that are a joy to work with and securing repeat customers.

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