How To Attract More Clients as a UK-Based Freelancer

“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing” – Tom Fishburne, Marketing cartoonist

Marketing and sourcing new clients is one of the most common talked about points amongst the Freelance Heroes community. So much so that we decided to ask outright, “As a freelancer, where do you find most of your work originates from (as opposed to enquiries only)?”

and the results are in:

Referrals 68%
People I have met face to face 20%
Social media 9%
Applying for jobs via third party sites 2%
Online listings 0%

Heather Hewer, who selected “referrals” as her answer, added: “All of my clients have found me thanks to a friend or acquaintance thinking of me when they see a proofreading/copyediting or writing opportunity pop up in their own life. I only mention my business if someone asks, in order to keep things sincere and less like I have an agenda, and I’m so grateful when someone remembers me in those situations!”

There is so much to take from these results and here are just a few thoughts:

1. Referrals

It couldn’t be clearer from this that every freelancer needs to ask every customer – existing or lapsed – for constructive feedback, whether they’re satisfied or otherwise. Then listen to them and act on their words. It’s a key tool to help you grow & improve. If it’s negative then it’s a lesson to improve; and if it’s positive then it’s an opportunity to ask for a referral.

2. People I Have Met Face to Face

Clients we win as a result of face to face connections aren’t going to come to the door of freelancers. The lesson to take from this is that there are potential clients out there who will employ us for a project, if they get to meet us first. Networking events and coworking spaces are the best places to make this happen.

3. Online Listings / Third Party Sites

I’m not surprised the figure is low on this, but I am surprised it’s at 0%. Just putting ourselves out there on directories and third party sites isn’t enough, especially at just 2% for those sources combined.

What about you?

What would you select from these options?
What lesson do you take from these results?

Let us know in the Freelance Heroes Facebook Group, on Twitter using #FreelanceHeroes or @FHChat, on LinkedIn or Instagram too.