This is by far the #1 question I always get: “How do you find your clients?” The answer is both complicated and simple.
The complicated list of where I find clients is below - it’s nothing crazy. This is exactly how my business got rolling and picked up momentum, paired with a big dose of patience. The first 6 months were crickets, with barely any new clients trickling in (lots of walks with Rover, reading books, perusing dream clients, etc.). But, the easy way to find clients comes after the complicated part.
Temp agencies. I know they have a huge stigma, but my first solid clients came from being part of companies like Creative Circle and Creatives on Call. In full disclosure, they only share half of the money with you, but they bring solid leads and in my experience they have been negotiable on rates. Don’t write them off too quick - a few of my clients that I worked with here were able to “buy me out” of my contracts, paying a lump sum to work with me directly - leading to rate increases and a continued ongoing partnership.
Friends and family. Ugh, the dreaded sales pitch. It’s not like that - I got a few leads by simply explaining to the people around me what I was doing. You never know! One of my current clients came from a lucky strike of timing on a European river cruise over dinner. Get comfortable explaining what you do in a way that makes it sound like everyone needs it.
Companies I already use or associate with. I gained a few new clients by offering my services up to companies or businesses that I already use myself - like my home cleaning company or my insurance agent. If you know and trust them, they would probably make for a good piece of business.
Directly reaching out. In the time I had open, I spent time perusing Instagram accounts of dream clients. If it looked like they hadn’t posted in a while - bingo! I knew they probably needed help in this area. Send them a direct message, explain why you chose them, because again - you never know.
The easy answer: do great work. Don’t burn bridges.
Amazing clients come from other amazing clients. Hard work and dedication pays off in the form of referrals. Every client matters - even the lowest paying - because everyone has a network and if you’re doing something great, people are going to talk about you. Even if a client is frustrating you to no end or if they just aren’t the write fit - NEVER tell them off or burn a bridge. Everyone around you is valuable and you never know when you’ll need each other again.