Freelancers: How to find new clients

Freelancers: How to find new clients

There has been a lot of press coverage lately around freelancers. IPSE released data in February that shows London has the highest level of freelancers. IPSE reported that are 2 million freelancers in the UK, and 21% of them live in Greater London. Their report also found that since 2008 the number of freelancers has grown by a staggering 59%.

We have talked to numerous freelancers over the years and they all say that they love the freelancing lifestyle, particularly having the freedom to work with different clients on varying projects and having the option to earn more money working less hours.

If you are thinking of becoming a freelancer the chances are that the main thought on your mind is how I am going to make money.

The solution is to find the right clients.

Sound’s easy doesn’t it! Follow our tips and it should be:

Contact your contacts

You may see no value in your reaching out to your contacts but they should be the first people you reach out to, including family and friends.

Once you have decided to go freelance, put together a letter or email explaining that you are working for yourself and outline what services you are offering.

You can send this letter or email out before you quit your job, and fit in some freelance work around your job.

If your friends and family do have some work for you, consider reducing your rates or even doing some work for free in return for showcasing the work on your portfolio and getting a testimonial from them.

Network, network, network

We all hate doing it, but if you want to become a successful freelancer, you will have to view it as a necessary evil.

The tip to successful networking is to go into a networking event with no agenda. See it as an opportunity to meet people, have a chat and possibly get their contact details.

Identifying the right networking events to attend is key. There are so many different types that you don’t want to spend hours at events that have connection to the industries you cover.

Connect with other freelancers

Connecting to people who may possibly be your competition does sound strange. But, they can be a source of work.

A freelancer may take on a large project and find they need to outsource some of it to another freelancer. If they think that you can do, they could send it your way.

Search social media

Having a presence on social media is a must for freelancers. You don’t have to have a profile on every channel. Instead, pick the ones that you are comfortable with, or know best. It is more constructive to focus your efforts on 2/3 channels. If you have more than this it can become unmanageable.

As well as posting on social media, make use of their search functions.

Individuals and businesses frequently post that they are looking for freelancers and by typing this into the search box you could find opportunities that are relevant to you.

Establish your own brand

The freelance industry is very competitive and there are numerous other freelancers who will be offering a similar service to you.

Creating your own personal brand will help you stand out in the marketplace and help with finding clients.

If you don’t have the resources to create your own website, use a free hosting site to create an online portfolio. Clients will ask to see examples of your work and an online portfolio is the most professional way to display it.

Get in touch with us if you are looking for expert tax and accountancy advice for your freelance business. Call us on 020 8952 2234 or Request a Call Back.

Suffering from Monday morning blues?

Are you sick of suffering from Monday morning blues? Then, become a contractor or a freelancer. According to research conducted in 2016 by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), contractors and freelancers are the happiest workers around.

MGI’s survey found that 97% of contractors are happier with their working lives than their permanent employee counterparts.

So if you want to be a happy worker, become a contractor or freelancer. But, what is it about the freelance or contracting lifestyle that makes people so happy?

Through our 20 years’ experience of working with contractors and freelancers we have learned that contractors and freelancers enjoy been able to choose:

  • who they work with
  • when they work
  • where they work, and
  • what projects they work on

Freelancers and contractors are also able to earn substantially more than they did as employees.

Why isn’t everyone becoming a contractor or freelancer?

There is a certain element of risk with being a freelancer or a contractor. A client could decide that they no longer require your services and end your contract with little or no warning. Some people are not comfortable taking on this risk. However, a job for life no longer exists and permanent jobs come with their own level of risk as well.

What also makes some people wary of becoming self-employed, is having to get their head around the UK tax system. As a permanent employee, the taxes you owe are handled for you through PAYE. As somebody who is self-employed you have to take on a greater level of responsibility for working out and paying the taxes that are owed.

Ready to make the change to self-employment?

If you are looking for a happier work life and think becoming a contractor or a freelancer could hold the answer, then our suggestion is to take your time and think about the pros and cons before making the change.

It is advantageous to find out from other contractors or freelancers what the lifestyle is really like. If you do not know anyone who is a contractor or freelancer then try and connect to people through LinkedIn. There are a number of LinkedIn groups that are aimed specifically at contractors or freelancers. Here at Cogent Accountants we have our own LinkedIn group – The Contractor & Freelance Network. The aim of our group is to encourage contractors and freelancers to connect with each other and discuss issues that may be affecting them, in a supportive environment.

You’ve made the change but feel de-motivated

This can happen and often does. After making the decision to become a contractor or freelancer, adrenaline kicks in and spurs people on to find their first client. They then start the project and everything goes great for the first couple of months and then their enthusiasm weans.

The question is ‘is it possible to stop this feeling from occurring?’

We asked this question to a number of our clients and their response was ‘Yes it is possible’. They even came up with great tips, which we are sharing with you below:

  • mix with members of the team
  • learn from others
  • do a job that you are proud of
  • challenge yourself
  • try new ways of doing something

If you are ready to make the switch to contracting or freelancing, give us a call on 020 8952 2234 and we can talk you through the process of setting up your own limited company.