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The recurring nightmare that plagues all freelancers is having all their being unable to obtain new clients. Being able to gain new clients is what keeps freelancers paying their bills, and means they won’t have to do their bookkeeping in a candle-lit room.

Luckily this rarely happens to the majority of freelancers, but if you’re worried about what could happen, listen up. You could be ruining your chances with prospective clients without even knowing it. Avoid losing out on business by steering clear of all of these traits – and if you’re already doing them, stop!

Being too forward

Being too pushy with a client isn’t going to win them over. Were you ever convinced by an over-enthusiastic sales person begging you to buy their product? No. So don’t push your clients into your services.

Instead let your work do the talking and be ready to reply to any questions. If they’re interested don’t hesitate to turn on your sales charm, but don’t become over-powering. Check if you’re the overbearing one by thinking about how you converse with potential clients, and who’s doing all the talking. If it’s you, it’s time to tone it down.

Not promoting yourself

On the other end of the spectrum, you could be failing to promote your services at all. Without social media or referrals how do you expect clients to find you? Unfortunately there is not yet a secret underground freelancing club where businesses can go and find services they need (or if there is, we don’t know about it).

Stop being incognito and walk into the limelight! Let your talent shine by showcasing your work anywhere you can. Clients can’t decide if they want to choose you if they’re can’t even tell what you have to offer.

Having no testimonials

It can seem like a catch 22 when you’re starting out as a freelancer but are yet to have a testimonial. Clients depend on reviews to decide on the quality of your work and your professionalism. Not having testimonials can even put potential clients off hiring you.

One get around is to ask previous employers to give you a testimonial. When you want to build up a portfolio you can complete small pieces of work for free for friends and family who might need some help. They’ll be getting a small piece of work completed and you’ll get a referral which will draw future clients in.

Explain to your friends and family that this is a one-time deal – or you risk giving out free work for the rest of your freelancing days!

A bad website

Your main hook for clients is your website. It’s how you present yourself as a brand, and will be your primary selling point. How your website is designed will be specific to your services and your target audience. If in doubt keep it sleek and simple for a polished and sophisticated look.

If your website is a maze that needs manoeuvring through, you’re probably losing a few clients on the way. Don’t try to save money on a deal that looks too good to be true. Pay more for the security of a decent website and a certification that you’re getting exactly what you want.

Not communicating

Having the best website in the world doesn’t mean clients are going appear from nowhere. You need to coax them in, while not pushing them to part with their money.

There are plenty of buzzwords about building your brand and communicating ‘outside the box’. In fact, all clients really want from a freelancer is to know that they’re easy to get hold of. Set up some social media accounts and post regularly to give them piece of mind.

Having more than an email address will encourage potential clients to engage with you. You’ll also be able to advertise your services in more places and reach more potential clients – what’s not to like?!

What are your tips for gaining new clients? Leave a comment in the section below!

About The Author

Karl Bilby

We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!

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