You have skills. You have experience. You have qualifications. You’re ready to take on work!…
…But you also have an empty work diary. So, what’s stopping clients from saying yes? Here are our suggested reasons why you’re not getting freelance jobs.
You can tell clients you will do an amazing job for them – as can anyone. But where’s your evidence?
Samples of work and testimonials are your way of showing potential clients the depth, breadth and quality of your work. While it can be hard to build a portfolio at the beginning of your career, you may be able to do this by doing a project for a friend or charity.
You could also ask a company if you can do a ‘shadow project’ – you fulfil the same brief as their employee or freelancer and then ask them to comment on the work you’ve produced for it.
No Online Presence
You may be a technophobe and/or determined that you can run your freelance business without venturing near the evil internet.
Unfortunately, you’ll find very few potential clients feel the same. A basic website that introduces you, your work and your services is the minimum requirement (and you should have your own domain name to look professional).
A presence on industry-related sites and your own social media profiles or pages, too? Even better. Clients will check you out on the internet, whether you like it or not!
Slow Response Time
If a client asks a question or requests a quote, make getting back to them your priority. If you’re slow to respond to a query, they might think you’ll be slow to communicate when you’re working for them – or that you’ll take a long time to complete work. And if the work is urgent, they may not have time to wait for you.
While you dither, they’re hiring someone else.
You’ve Let Your Desperation Show
Submit a carefully considered, timely pitch or proposal and then leave it well alone. Some freelancers leave it a day or two and then start to get twitchy if they’ve heard nothing. They contact the potential client again. They ask them what they thought.
A day later, they’re offering to reduce the price, do more work for the money, add a service…
If clients want to negotiate or ask questions, they’ll get back to you. This doesn’t mean you should never give them a gentle, polite nudge if time has gone by and you’ve had no response. However, bothering them constantly and changing your proposal makes you look desperate and unprofessional.
You Haven’t Answered the Question, ‘Why You?’
You may have costed your proposal to the penny and broken down everything in great detail – but so may many other freelancers after the same gig.
Have you sold yourself? Have you explained the expertise, experience and ideas you bring to the table? In this way, submitting a proposal for a gig is no different than applying for a highly competitive job vacancy or top university place. There may be many excellent candidates who fit the bill, so you must persuade the client that you’re the freelancer they need.
If you’re struggling to win contracts or keep clients interested, think carefully about whether you’re guilty of any of these unprofessional behaviours – and if you are, be sure to change them quickly!