Starting a business is difficult, but that shouldn’t deter you from doing it.

Luckily, starting a freelance business can be much easier and cost a lot less than starting a tradition brick and mortar business.

If you think about it, you’re already a step ahead.

One of the most daunting tasks that new freelancers face is finding new clients. I mean, where in the world are you supposed to look for people who are willing to pay you for your services?

It may seem as if you have no idea where to look, but that’s not usually the case. Many times, one of the best things that you can do is utilize the resources you already have.

In the case of finding freelance clients, that means talking with the people you already know.

“3. The best leads are from people you already know

Many of your first clients, or customers, are going to be people you know. This is especially true for service based businesses. And guess what? That’s okay!

Working for people you already know will help create “word of mouth” waves and eventually lead to referrals. It will also help build your portfolio, which makes your business more marketable to other clients. Reach out to friends, family, former coworkers or colleagues and let them know what you’re up to.

When someone sends you a referral, send them a card acknowledging and thanking them. A small gift card (can’t go wrong with Amazon) is a nice touch too, if finances permit. If you want to do something a little more robust, let your clients know they’ll receive a credit to their account for referrals they send your way.

CAUTION: Creating a robust referral program is best for companies that have been around long enough to have steady financials. I strongly recommend waiting at least a year before you establish anything formal.

Once a formal referral program is established, it’s very difficult to take it away. You don’t want to get into a situation where you’re paying out money that you really need to hold on to in order to build up a “rainy day fund.”

Check out the other 5 tips at Freelancers Union.