Freelancing is an amazing path. You get to do the work you love. You can set your own hours and can work from home. You have the opportunity to work with all types of people. You can even pick and choose the type of work you want to do.
However, in order to be able to do all of the above things, the very first thing that needs to happen is that you need to actually have work to begin with. Where does that work come from? Simple: clients.
Finding clients though, can be difficult; especially if you’re just starting out. Many freelancers starting out (myself included), tend to only look for work from the comfort of their own home. Why? Because putting yourself out there is a scary thing. What if someone tells you no? What if someone laughs at your work? What if someone tells you that you’re not worth your rates? If that happens, you brush it off and move on (you probably didn’t want to work with them anyway. 😉 ).
Graphic Design Blender has some great advice on how one freelancer stepped away from his desk and built his business from nothing.
The most important thing you can do as a freelancer is put yourself out there.
Instead of sitting behind my desk, hoping in desperation someone would see my website, I made the best decision of my life. I got up, walked out the door and decided to find design clients.
Initially I spoke to friends and relatives.
Networking has to start somewhere after all, and these people have friends and relatives too, so it seemed as good a place as any to start. The unfortunate thing is friends and family will tell you that you are great, you will be alright and everything will be a success.
They are not being honest.
You need to speak to new people. People in business. People you do not know.
Kind of daunting I know, but people who ‘may’ have a need for your skills are your prime audience and that means cold-calling, knocking on doors and selling your skills blind.
This is a whole new ball game. It’s hard work, and it will mean rejection a lot of the time, but each time you approach someone you will learn something, be able to adjust your pitch and take that experience to the next one.”
Be sure to read the full article at Graphic Design Blender.