When researching ‘how to find freelance clients’ I found the usual answers of ‘network, use social media and cold email local businesses’. Did I find my first ever freelance client through any of these means?
My first freelance client was a local hairdresser who had just moved to Aylesbury (near to where I live) and had set up her own hairdressing salon. She had followed me on Instagram, and being the girl I am who loves to obsess over beautiful hair and regret straightening and bleaching my hair so much when I was younger, I followed her back. Gorgeous photos of hair that my soon-to-be-client had cut, coloured and styled appeared on my Instagram feed for a few weeks until I decided that I wanted to pamper myself with a wash and blow-dry. Who came to my mind first to book an appointment with? The hairdresser on my Instagram.
At my appointment, we got chatting and I learned she was new to the area and didn’t know many people locally. I told her about Live Love Laugh PR and the ways PR can raise awareness and the profile of a business and we agreed to meet the following week. I came along armed with PR ideas and, as they say, the rest is history (sorry, Hairdressers, I won’t be sharing my PR secrets in this post – get in contact to find out how I can help your hairdressing business ;-))
What is the moral, then?
The moral, my freelance friends, is yes – you can find clients by going to networking events, tweeting and emailing local businesses, but your everyday situations and random run-ins with people you meet or may already know could also lead to finding clients.
If you sit at your laptop for 8 hours a day sending off emails to people who are quite unlikely to respond, you could be missing out on meeting clients. For example, if you know a new coffee shop has opened in town, head on down and whilst you drink your coffee, have a chat with the manager. If it’s appropriate, let them know about your PR services.
You’re more likely to land a client by chatting face to face as you can demonstrate the way you work and your personality. When sending an email you are, to the recipient, just a sales person behind a screen.
Keep a thought to ‘could my service help this person?’ with everyone you meet. Who knows, you could be exactly what they’re looking for.