“How did you land your first client?”
I’m asked this question a lot. I’m still a newb. A lot of people think it’s luck or that you have to wait for the exact, perfect, ripe opportunity to open your business and grab your first client.
It doesn’t work that way.
Confession: I left my previous job not knowing where the heck I would land. Except that I couldn’t wait any longer – the hunger, the drive, siloing my passion into a volcano that finally erupted. So that when my husband forced me to quit – I’m being over dramatic about this – it was the best push ever.
So here I am, still, an infant, grasping the intimidating reins of entrepreneurship, in manner of baby giraffe coming out of mama, weak legs and all.
Except I had no idea where to start. I dabbled into analysis for a bit, blah blah blah, you know my story, but if not, click here to read more about why I shifted gears. I decided to go back to where it all started – writing.
It was tough not knowing if I was going to land amongst the stars or in deep amount of debt and overbearing my husband with a one income status.
Land Your First Client
I told family and friends that I’m freelancing.
That’s it. Right there – the most uncomfortable thing I have ever done was to be intimate about something I was so scared to do. It shouldn’t be a secret. Your talents are not secret. You are amazing!
Who ever heard of Steve Jobs being silent about his so-called crazy yet revolutionary ideas in his head? Who ever heard of Beyonce breaking through her transformative visionary album if not for her courage and bravery to step out and say ‘this is who I am.’
Go ahead – send your email. Land your first client. Don’t over think it: 3-4 sentences catching up with people and letting them know of your writing services. Start with family. They tend to be supportive, you know, as a family does sometimes.
It turns out people like to talk. I gave business cards to my momma, to dad, to friends, to Karla. It’s amazing how people want to support small businesses. It’s humbling, nurturing and downright fantastic to know people have your back and want to see you grow.
It took me a little while, but my name slipped through the grape vines: an uncle here, an aunt there, then a distant relative friend.
I’ll give you one more tip with how to land your first client.
Work for free, my friend. This is a controversial subject for many freelancers but the best advice I was given was to work for free. It will build up your portfolio and give you access to more clients.
Work Hard on these free projects! Please! It will pay off, people will talk about you. The best form of advertisement is still, to this day, and I argue it will always be, – WORD OF MOUTH.
So there you have it. It’s only one piece of advice for you. It’s scary, I know. I was embarrassed and thought I was crazy, but in the end, people are genuinely happy for you.
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