Aaah, this wonderful world of Freelancing! Freedom at your fingertips, great flexibility in schedules, the choice of projects, and the perfect balance between private and professional spheres. Is it really that idyllic? It is true that this status offers many advantages but the difficulties are quickly felt, and in particular the big question arises, how to find customers quickly?
In 2019, there were around 3.2 million Freelancers. In France, self-employed workers are increasing and are present in all sectors of activity. Let’s dive for a few moments in this world not quite like the others, of Freelancing.
What is being Freelance?
Being Freelance means being self-employed, this status allows you to work on your own account for individuals, companies, organizations, etc. He is not limited in the number of clients, he can work as he sees fit. He defines his schedules, his offices ([pii_email_bc0906f15818797f9ace]) and works in complete autonomy. Well, in reality, it’s a little more complicated than that, a freelancer must do everything from A to Z, find the projects, manage them, execute them, maintain their accounts, their administrative procedures, communicate, etc. So in addition to its core business, it must be versatile and meet all of a company’s needs.
To obtain self-employed status, the Freelancer must be registered in a CFE , a business formality center, and obtain a SIRET number, as well as professional liability insurance. After these steps, he can start his activity. The hard part is done you will tell me? Actually no…
Why is it difficult to find your first clients?
Who are you again? That’s why. Nobody knows you, nobody knows the quality of your services, your thoroughness, your talent, and unfortunately at the beginning, you cannot present projects on which to lean. We will have to convince differently!
Knowing that your income is linked to obtaining projects, you will have to be good, and even very good if you want to survive! You are not the only one on the market, agencies, companies, freelancers with references are already present. The competition is tough and the task promises to be tough. So how do you get your first contracts? Five ways to get you started.
Solicit other freelancers
I told you about competitors before but there is also a lot of benevolence in this environment. Do not hesitate to contact some freelancers in your field of activity or others, try to reproduce the advice obtained in your own activity. Use their testimony as a solid foundation for moving forward. Take advantage of this exchange to be curious and ask a bunch of strategic and operational questions, the pitfalls to avoid and best practices.
Identify your ideal client
The more precise you are, and the more you define your ideal customer, the easier it will be for you to convince and retain them . Spend the time you need on this step, it is essential to get your first sales. You need to know who you want to sell your services to in order to develop an effective sales pitch that your client cannot decline. Put yourself in their shoes, identify their issues and focus on the needs and expectations of your customers.
Use networking platforms
Many generalist and specialized sites are popping up online. They aim to connect companies and freelancers. Create an account in a few minutes, complete your profile in an attractive way and start looking for projects that interest you. Also think about social networks, and in particular facebook groups, very active with a large community of freelancers. You can easily obtain first experiences and first contacts for your activity.
Create a website as a business card pledge
It all depends on your sector of activity, but for the majority of you I advise you to create a website, as a pledge of communication support. Use it as a portfolio, business card, presentation of your universe, your values, and your projects (if they exist, even if they are few). No need to be a web expert or spend millions on a website. Get closer, at first, to “turnkey” platforms, like wix , [pii_email_aef67573025b785e8ee2], ionos , etc., then when you get more and more contracts, professionalize it and go through a web agency.
Enter communities and create a network
The network is essential, and beneficial for many obvious reasons. There is strength in unity, forging contacts makes it possible to exchange, learn, and move forward more quickly, as mentioned in point 1, but not only. Joining forces with other freelancers also makes it possible to respond to too large calls for tenders or to projects in several trades. By joining forces, you will be able to seize new opportunities. Opportunities you could never have landed on your own. In addition, when you are a freelance, isolation can quickly be felt, developing your network allows you to converse and cope with this loneliness.
Hold on, it’s worth it
As you will have understood, getting started as a freelancer is a very enriching experience which has many advantages. However, starting as a self-employed worker is not easy and can cause stress when starting a business. This is why surrounding yourself with the right people, being motivated , having the right network, making yourself known and showing what you are capable of , are the first keys to your success.