It’s no secret that some freelance designers struggle more than others to find new gigs.

If you’re one of them, if you’re one of those freelancers who is always struggling to find their next project, then you may wonder what other freelancers know that you don’t. Why is it that some freelance designers are always busy? Are they a better designer than you?

The answer is simple. Some freelancers have more work because they know where and how to look for work. That’s really all there is to it.

In this post, I’ll share some smart methods for finding clients that many freelance designers overlook. If you enjoyed this post you’ll probably also like Five Simple Tactics to Find New Clients.

3 Smart Methods for Finding New Clients Most Freelancers Never Use

The freelance designers who get the most gigs and seem to stay really busy aren’t afraid to use these three smart tactics to find work:

  • Ask for Referrals. Tell everyone you know–friends, family members, acquaintances, past and current clients–that you are looking for freelance work. Tell them often. Even with good intentions, people tend to forget about your freelancing business. Ask your connections if they know of anyone who could use your services. Some freelancers even pay a small finder’s fee to those who refer projects to them.
  • Contact Past Customers. When a project is complete, you’re done with the client too–right? Wrong. Even after you finish a project, you need to keep in touch with that client. Don’t assume that a former client will automatically come to you with their next project just because they were satisfied with your work in the past. You’ve got to remind them that you are out there. You’ve got to ask for more work.
  • Cold Call. You are probably ignoring your most promising prospects. Did you know that your most promising prospects are those who live within calling/driving distance? It’s been shown over and over that local clients are more loyal and pay more. Yet, for some reason most freelancers absolutely refuse to make cold calls in their local market. Don’t be one of them. Don’t overlook the lucrative local market.

If you’re sharp, you’ve noticed that all of these methods for finding freelance work have one thing in common.

Be Bold: the Surprise Common Factor to Finding More Freelance Work

What all of these methods for finding freelance work share is that you’ve got to be bold to carry them out. You’ve got to be unapologetic. You can’t be too timid when it comes to promoting your freelancing design business.

There are many reasons why a freelancer may lack of boldness. The freelancer could be afraid of rejection. They could lack confidence. Or, they could simply be timid.

Sadly, many freelance designers are not very bold or very proactive when it comes to finding more work. They either:

  • Wait for more freelance work to come to them
  • Apply for the same advertised gigs that everyone tries to get

Neither of these methods works. Waiting and applying for the same old gigs simply isn’t enough if you want to stay busy as a freelancer.

Come on folks! You already know that being timid doesn’t work well in the business world. If you’re timid and it isn’t working it really shouldn’t be a surprise.

What to Do Now

Commit to being bold when it comes to looking for freelance work. It’s the smart thing to do, so do it today. Make a promise to yourself and follow through.

Now, spend the next month taking the three bold steps that I outlined earlier. Take these steps every chance you get.

  • Ask for referrals.
  • Contact all of your past customers.
  • Make those cold calls.

Try being really bold this time when it comes to looking for more freelance work and you will begin to see some real results. With the right effort, you may even become one of those freelance designers who is always busy.

Your Turn

Are you bold enough when it comes to looking for more freelance design work or are you timid instead?

Share your best methods for finding more work.

Did you take bold steps to promote your freelancing business? How are things going?

Image by Looking Glass

Posted by Laura Spencer

Laura Spencer is a freelance writer from North Central Texas with over 20 years of professional business writing experience. If you liked this post, then you may also enjoy Laura’s blog about her freelance writing experiences, WritingThoughts. Laura is also on Google+.

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