How to Succeed at Finding Customers as an Online Freelancer. No, Really!

Finding Customers as an online freelancer

Warning: This guide is brutally detailed. If you’re an online freelancer and you’re looking for a proven and tested strategy to find more clients online, then you’d better buckle off…

I get it. There are gazillions of articles talking about how to find a client as a freelancer. If you’ve done your fair share of reading, however, you’ll find that a good number of these guides are sharing tips that are so vague and cookie-cutter, they’re pretty much useless.

Not. This. One.

What I am about to share with you is one of the most effective strategies that I use to get more customers.

The best part is, this tip isn’t just going to help you get more customers, it’ll also help you grow your network of connections, and help you establish yourself as an authority in the industry you’re in.

What marketing strategy am I talking about?

Linkedin Marketing. (*insert cricket sounds here*)

Continue reading, or else… :)

Don’t worry, I understand why you aren’t as stoked as you ought to be.

I’m pretty sure you’ve read about Linkedin marketing a couple of times before and felt that what you did was an utter waste of your time.

I promise you that this guide is going to be different. No, really! We aren’t going to talk about those “optimize your profile”, “network”, or “write blog posts”, advises that makes you and your cousin Ray Ray wanna puke out of disgust.

In fact, I’m going to talk about ONE marketing tip only. And you can bet your family jewels that this one packs a punch. A massive one at that! I know because this isn’t my first rodeo using this tip. I’ve been using it for as long as I can remember and it’s gotten me real results.

What tip am I talking about? I’d like to call it, “The Welcome Marketing”.

Here’s the gist of it. When someone adds you at Linkedin, you’ll send them a welcome message that’s short and crisp, yet something that would encourage them to collaborate with you.

Here’s the template that I use:

“Hello (first name),

How’s everything in your side of (which country they are from)? I’m glad that we are now connected.

Can you tell me more about what you do? I’d love to explore if there’s an opportunity for us to collaborate.

Kind regards,

(Your name)

(Your job position)

(Your company)”

There are 4 things that I need you to take note of about the template:

  1. Since you’ll write their first names and the country that they are from, it makes your message look personalized.
  2. I did not pitch any of my services on my first contact. Pitching on your first message almost always leads to them ignoring you.
  3. Instead of pitching my services, I asked about THEIR services instead (or what is it that they do). This is a big one because everybody wants their existence in this world acknowledged. You are basically addressing one of their basic needs (which is recognition), since you made them feel important by asking about what they do.
  4. The language used is professional yet very friendly. This helps them loosen up a bit instead of being all defensive about you.

Pretty amazing, huh?

I have gotten several clients from the past using this strategy alone.

So in essence, this strategy is simply about taking the time to accept the connection invites that others are sending you, then sending them an epic welcome message that will open doors of opportunities for the  both of you.

The missing link…

Everything that you’ve read is good an all, but if you’re THAT perceptive, then you’ll realize how there is one missing link to what I have shared with you up until now.

And that is… everything hinges on others adding you as a connection.

If they don’t add you, then you won’t have anyone to send your welcome messages to.

You might be thinking, “What are you talking about Jim, I’ll just proactively add them myself”, that’s a terrible idea. Terrible on steroids, even!

You see, I did that myself in the past. I looked up a bunch of guys from Linkedin who are either business owners, executives, or managers (they are my target audience, by the way), and just clicked the “Connect” button.

The result? I received the dreaded, “Your LinkedIn account is temporarily restricted.” message from LinkedIn.

Friends, that’s the kind of warning shot that you’ll get from LinkedIn before they ban your account entirely — that is, if you don’t change your ways.

TLDR; don’t add people randomly. You’ll risk your account getting banned.

How do I get the people to add me?

This is the remaining piece of the puzzle that needs to be addressed. While there are a couple of strategies that you can go about doing this, I will share with you just one tip that I know will bring tons of other users to connect with you.

And that tip is… look out for posts from the L.I.O.N. (LinkedIn Open Network).

They are a group of LinkedIn users who will connect with anyone and everyone freely. They are the type of people who won’t tag you as “Spam”, or report to LinkedIn that they don’t know who you are.

They’ll just hit the accept button. Period.

These open networkers will often publish an update in their profile or even an article for the sole purpose of people adding them. Their posts’ headlines will often say “Let’s Connect”, “Open to Network”, etc…

It pretty much looks like this…

Finding Customers as an online freelancer 2

* Important note – DO NOT add your email address on the comments. You can simply say that you are open to networking, and that you won’t tag anyone as Spam or IDK. The other open networkers will then click the link to your profile, then add you to their network.

At this point, all you have to do is wait. You’ll start seeing people sending you connection invites over time.

Summary

While the strategy that I shared is pretty cut and dry, I’m sure that you can see how the tip is very actionable, and the methods that I shared are logical (let alone proven and tested to bring real results).

Here’s the gist of the strategy again:

  1. Look for L.I.O.N. posts and express how you are willing to connect with anyone.
  2. Once you receive the connection invites, approve them and send them a powerful welcome message asking them about what they do.
  3. Try to pitch your services strategically once they reply to your initial message. Remember that you don’t always have to pitch your services on your first, second, or third message to them. Just build the relationship, and be strategic with when you’ll pitch your message.

What’s next?

I need you to give the marketing strategy that I shared above a shot. Give it about 3 – 4 weeks and see if you’ll get any kind of results from it.

Please take the time to share your experience with the strategy in the comments section below. Cheers!

Photo courtesy – © michaklootwijk / Dollar Photo Club

 

Jimmy Rodela is a contributor on websites with millions of monthly traffic like Yahoo.com, Business.com, Monster.com, Business2Community and SocialMediaToday.com. He is a trainer at www.Guruface.com that specializes in topics about earning money online and digital marketing. He is the Founder of the Guild of Bloggers. Follow him on: LinkedinTwitterFacebookGoogle +,Read more about me

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