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Thursday, September 6, 2012

How to Get Your First Clients to Hire You

By Rickie Barnum

Congratulations on making the decision to go freelance and, hopefully, actually taking the leap on your brand new business! At the same time, you now have many new issues to deal with, such as going out and finding clients. You must do more than claim you're a freelancer if you want to start making a steady income. Booking jobs and finding the right clients is up to you. If you're new to freelancing, getting that first paying job can seem like a huge accomplishment. Once you find that first job, it will get easier as you settle into a routine. The following are some guidelines on how to find your first gig.

Don't take it personally when you're rejected. This may not be easy to understand, especially at first. It's only human to want to be accepted by others, but more often than not you are rejected when you are selling anything. Keep in mind, though, this is no reflection on you as a person. The person may already have a freelancer who does this, or he may not have the money to spare. Never act offended or disappointed, and make sure you say "thank you" to the person for taking the time to listen to you. Don't forget that even when someone rejects you, this could lead to other clients -you might even ask if they can think of anyone else. Many people are not comfortable handing out other people's contact info, so don't try to obtain this. It's much better if you do it the other way -let the person contact you if they are interested. This actually leaves the door open for the person to give your name to more than one potential client, and doesn't ask them to infringe on anyone's privacy.

Utilize whichever associates you have attained both personally and professionally. Speak to the people you know and tell them about how you are starting work as a freelancer. Explain to them how gracious you would be if they would refer you to other people they know. Tell them how pleased you would be if you remember them when thinking of a prospective hire. You can help yourself out here if you target your connections.

Get started with individuals who you know you can help through your services or whose own services work hand in hand with what you will be offering. This might not be a very big list when you get started but over time that list of contacts will grow.

You can begin teaching a class. You can prepare a column for your local newspaper. You can use the Internet for answering questions on forums and for questions that are on the range of sites found throughout the Internet. Get creative and put yourself out there. If you want to attract the notice of clients for your freelancing services, you can do this in many different ways. Freelancers who begin with a large list of valuable contacts are in the minority. Fortunately, it's possible to start from square one and build up a list of clients over time. Keep these guidelines in mind, and be ready to find clients everywhere. You will soon start getting those high paying gigs!
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