The freelancing boom is only going to get better. Many companies adopted remote working due to the recent pandemic, and this gave impetus to the emergence of more freelancers.
Freelancing puts you in control of your work life, time, schedule, and most importantly, your finances. With freelancing, you are the only one that can put a lid on how much work you do and how much you earn.
Sounds interesting, right! A major challenge you would have to overcome to achieve your goals as a freelancer is getting high-paying freelance clients.
The struggle for getting high-paying clients is fundamental. Every freelancer has to face it at one point or the other.
But relax. It is not an insurmountable challenge. With the tips provided in this article, you can land high-paying clients in no time.
Irrespective of your specialty as a freelancer- writing, marketing, graphics design, programming- the information herein is all-encompassing.
Landing high-paying gigs should be your routine and note a one-time fluke. And here’s how to start that journey.
Specialize in a Niche
The notion about freelancing not providing job security is untrue. If you provide highly specialized value to a targeted set of clients, you’ll never be out of job.
Being a jack of all trades and mastering them all might be possible elsewhere. However, when it comes to freelancing, you have to position yourself as an authority in a particular field. And you cannot do that if you keep delving into other things. Hence, it would help if you streamline your services.
For example, saying you are a writer is understandable. But calling yourself an e-book writer is more specific. So people now know the kind of content you write.
You’ll attract more high-paying clients if you portray yourself as an email sales copywriter with years of experience working with XYZ brands than just as a generic copywriter.
Specializing in a niche is particularly important in attracting high-paying clients for two reasons.
- It keeps you focused on your strength: you become an expert by honing a high-value skill over the years. This allows you to sell yourself better and attract the right clients.
- It helps you define your potential client base to the fullest: where are they? What are they looking for? What are their pain points, and how can I solve their problems? Answering these questions will help you target clients that will pay you what you are worth and more.
The essence of all of these is to build a personal brand around a particular niche. Your brand will go a long way in attracting clients to you because of authority in that field. Additionally, people like to give their money to experts to handle jobs for them. So, go through the process of discovering your niche and honing it.
Build a Website
Building a website might be one of your best investments as a freelancer. You can generate leads and conversions from your site if it is appropriately designed, optimized, and managed.
If your website provides high-quality content and is properly optimized, search engines like Google will recognize it as an authority.
Your website layout, font, colors, etc., determine whether visitors will come back to your site or if your bounce rate will increase steadily.
However, building a website is not enough to help you generate customers.
The goal is to create an exciting story with your platform. Captivate prospective clients with your headlines, sell values in the form of solutions, display social proofs, and call them to take action.
Here are some ways to make the most of your site.
Daily, the internet receives 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. This is a lot of information, and your site can just be a needle in a haystack.
An excellent way for your input to be recognized amongst this swarm of data is through search engine optimization (SEO). There are plenty of ways to optimize your page, but some are:
- Optimizing meta and title tags
- Reducing picture size on your site to ensure the site loads faster
- Incorporating external, internal, and outbound links
Create High-Quality Content
Content creation and marketing, regardless of your profession, is a sure way to gain recognition. As a result, brush up on your writing skills or hire a writer to assist you in explaining key concepts related to your business.
When prospects find your website, your depth of knowledge, and how simply you present it, they’ll realize you are very good at what you do. This portrays you as an expert, and that’s what attracts high-paying clients.
Consistently Improve your User Experience
Always be open to feedback from users about your website. Your site may not be perfect, and it is not aimed at impressing you but prospective clients. There are many benefits you can get from customers feedbacks and you should always listen to their opinions instead of your intuition.
If your prospects think that your site is not easy to navigate or does not load on time, then you should get it checked. Remember, your customers and prospects are always right.
Search engines will rank your site well when they see the value you offer. And, value is what high-paying clients are after.
A community is a place you can learn, improve your skills, and also find clients. You can find many freelance communities relating to your field on social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Linkedin, and even Quora.
What these communities do is help you meet people who share your interests and network with them.
You meet other freelancers, create synergy and show how good you are in your field. Demonstrating your expertise this way is very important in marketing yourself and attracting the right clients.
Additionally, most high-paying clients don’t list jobs in random places. It’s typically through people they know that you will get to find them.
Therefore if you are not in any community relating to your niche, you should join one. If you are already on one, you should become more active there and showcase your skills. People will not come to you if they don’t know what you do.
Collaborate With Other Freelancers
Collaboration with other freelancers is an excellent opportunity to improve your services, get fresh inspiration, and attract new clients.
The term iron sharpens iron is something you should apply to your networking. So, the more professionals you meet in your field, the better you get.
Furthermore, collaboration with other freelancers opens you up for opportunities you never knew existed.
You can collaborate with these two types of freelancers.
The ones who are directly in your niche
Working with somebody in your niche is an ideal career move. When they have an overflow of jobs and need an extra hand, they will automatically think of you.
Plus, working with someone in the same niche will help you rub off ideas from the person, especially if they are professionals.
If you are wondering where to find people you can partner with, Twitter and LinkedIn are excellent places to start.
You will find people from different niches and specialties. So whether you are an SEO specialist, programmer, writer, or anything at all, you will find someone in your field.
You just have to follow the right industry players and be active on these platforms. You are sure to meet up with new industry friends who might refer clients to you.
Freelancers that Complement your Service
Sometimes, you may meet a client whose request is related to your field but not necessarily your niche or specialty. Teaming up with such a fellow will help you not to miss specific opportunities.
As a copywriter, you can team up with a web developer or graphics designer. When they get jobs for website design and management projects, they are sure to need your help in writing web copy and content on landing pages.
Importantly, if you want to succeed with your collaborations, you have to lay down principles. The following principles will help you make the most out of your cooperation:
- No matter how open-minded you are about partnering, always ensure you stand your ground.
- Sign a written contract to avoid future issues.
- Ensure that equality reigns in the collaboration.
When you notice your partner going off-track or making a mistake, call them to order. Ultimately, whatever affects your partner may also affect you in the long run.
Ask for Referrals
It is natural for humans to trust and work with people they know instead of strangers. Therefore, even if digital marketing, having an optimized website, and collaborations are working fine, personal referrals still reign supreme.
When somebody trusts you enough to recommend you to another person, that is a blessing in disguise. Nothing makes a person more eager to work with you than an endorsement from people they are close to.
So, in your quest for big clients, if you already have some, don’t hesitate to ask them to refer you to others.
However, simply asking for a referral doesn’t mean that you will get one. So, what steps can you take to make sure you get a referral, whether you ask or not?
Let’s find out.
Make a Deal about Referrals from the Beginning
When you start the talk of getting referrals from your clients early, you reduce the pressure. It’s more like you are putting your fate in your hands, which will make you more accountable.
So, when you have the conversation early, you are automatically telling your clients that if you do a good job, they should refer you.
But if you don’t, then they can leave you. Therefore, you give your clients the deciding power and set a high expectation for yourself to deliver a good job.
Your Service Should be Exceptional
Mediocrity will not help you get referrals. Therefore, you should put your all into the job at hand. Eventually, the quality of your job will have a direct effect on your brand and determine whether you will get referrals.
Take Advantage of Clients’ Happiness
Another perfect time to ask for referrals is after a client just finished praising your work.
At that point, their heart is full of admiration for your skill. That is the best time to say something like: “I’m happy you’re pleased with my work. Do you know of anyone who may need this service? Please do well to recommend me to them.”
That line, up there, is enough to make a client drag their friends to you. When they are happy about your job, the iron is still hot, so striking it can make them refer you almost immediately. Therefore, you should be sensitive to your clients’ needs.
Try Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is a business process that involves you attracting customers through content that is tailored to their needs and solves specific problems.
Most times, when people hear the word “content,” they attribute it to writing. However, there are various forms of content, and writing is just one.
This section will show you how to leverage the most popular forms of content to reach your target audience.
Start a Blog and Become an Expert in your Niche
Blogging or written content is the most popular form of content. Earlier, we talked about why you need to niche yourself down and become an expert.
Blogging helps you demonstrate that expertise. You can display your knowledge as a true professional by explaining the most complex concepts in a way that even a 5th grader would understand.
Whenever prospects read your blog, they should see that you understand what you are saying. It will motivate them to employ your services.
Guest Blog on Authority Sites in Your Niche
Another way to show your expertise to the right clients is through guest blogging on authoritative sites in your industry.
This complements your blog, boosts your industry profile, and gives you access to a larger audience.
Additionally, the fact that your name appears on an authority site increases your credibility because it shows that other people in your field trust you enough.
Start a Podcast
You should note that not everybody enjoys reading long-form content. However, some don’t mind listening to an entire course.
Therefore, you should utilize this, especially if you are better at talking than penning down your thoughts.
Louis Grenier, the voice behind the occasional podcasts on Everyone Hate Marketing, uses this method to get clients. Your depth of knowledge will attract prospects if you are eloquent, and your inbox may blow up with messages.
LinkedIn is a Great Tool for Leads
As a freelancer, if you don’t have a LinkedIn account, you are in the wrong. LinkedIn is a melting pot of professionals and specialists. A good profile and frequent knowledgeable posts about your niche will position you as an asset.
You can encourage people to join your network or search for prospects manually and add them. The more extensive your network, the more leads you will generate, and the more deals you are likely to close.
Freelancing is fun, especially when you are doing what you like. Then, you get to work on your terms and determine how much you want to earn.
You can become overbooked with high-paying clients by taking specific steps to advance your career as a freelancer.
Become an expert in a highly-prized niche, build a captivating and well-designed portfolio website, join like-minded communities, collaborate with other freelancers, ask for referrals from current clients who pay well, and create the right content to market yourself.
Since you work for yourself, you might as well pay yourself more.