Finding Clients as a Freelancer

Paul Boag

Paul Boag

4 hours, 11 minutes CC
Finding Clients as a Freelancer

Course Description

All freelancers are familiar with the fear that work will dry out. This course will examine what works and doesn’t when marketing and selling your skills. Learn how to win the type of clients you want with prospecting and reaching out to them in a way they are happy to hear from you. Also, we will look at how to keep them engaged until they’re ready to buy. Not only will you learn how to get the type of work you’re after, but you’ll also learn to charge better rates for your services!

This course and others like it are available as part of our Frontend Masters video subscription.


Course Details

Published: July 28, 2022


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Table of Contents


Section Duration: 8 minutes
  • Introduction
    Paul Boag begins the course by sharing some background information about why freelancers and small agencies struggle to find clients and build a business. The goal of the course is to provide tools and techniques for defining a market, getting the attention of an audience, and turning leads into projects.


Section Duration: 40 minutes
  • Marketing Mistakes
    Paul discusses common marketing mistakes made by freelancers and small businesses. Word-of-mouth marketing can be too passive and lead to a large amount of business being dependent on a single source that might stop unexpectedly. Online ads or marketplaces lack relationships and can be difficult to gain traction.
  • Email List
    Paul explains why email is still an efficient medium for generating business leads. While social media and blogs are good places for content, email is still the main method of communication. Potential clients may not ready every message, but every message acts as a continuous reminder of the services that are offered. A sales funnel is also introduced in this segment.
  • Email List Q&A
    Paul answers questions about response rates of emails, utilizing referrals or incentives, and a recommended sending frequency.
  • Sales Funnel Process
    Paul provides a high-level overview about how to build a sales funnel. The process includes getting the attention of the target audience, building a connection, keeping the audience engaged, and encouraging personal contact.

Your Niche

Section Duration: 35 minutes
  • Specialization
    Paul explains that defining a target market involves focusing on specialization. This doesn't mean turning away work or restricting leads to a specific type of job. Specialization tailors a message to a specific audience or sector.
  • Finding Your Niche
    Paul describes the minimum viable audience as the smallest group of potential clients that's capable of generating enough work for 2-3 years. An audience that boosts a freelancer's voice/presence can create leads across an entire sector. Another factor is if the audience can afford the cost of a service. Targeting a more niche sector can lead to higher quality work.
  • Researching & Finding Potential Clients
    Paul recommends creating a list of influencers and a list of potential clients within a sector. Influencers will help discover new connections within the sector. The list of potential clients helps narrow the search when establishing a point of contact. LinkedIn is a useful tool for identifying the best possible contacts within an organization.

Gaining an Audience

Section Duration: 44 minutes
  • Getting Attention
    Paul talks through different strategies for growing an audience without the messaging coming across as a sales pitch. Making a connection while asking for help opens a two-way line of communication where the potential client provides data points, and in return, receives a report or summary of industry-related information.
  • Create a Report & Gather Feedback
    Paul emphasizes that the deliverable doesn't have to be a report. It could be an app, tool, code library, etc. It should be free and provide value to the potential client. A sample email is also shown in this segment.
  • Create a Survey & Landing Page
    Paul shares tips for creating a survey. A properly designed survey will generate useful data for the report. Questions related to information the audience would be interested in or areas of expertise within the sector will lead to more engagement. The survey should be embedded on a landing page which describes the offerings and benefits of completing the survey.
  • Segment Your Audience
    Paul recommends segmenting the audience into three groups: Influencers, those who didn't reply to the previous email, and those who did reply. Each segment will get a slightly different version of the next email. To encourage additional responses, a site audit or other free service could be offered.
  • Write Content for the Report
    Paul breaks down how to write the report. The process includes creating an outline, writing an initial draft, editing the report, and designing it.

Getting in Contact

Section Duration: 36 minutes

Growing Your Audience

Section Duration: 1 hour, 13 minutes
  • Growing Your Audience
    Paul explains how frequent mailings will help grow an established audience exponentially. Emails should be personal, helpful, and free of any sales-related language. If the emails are too infrequent, readers may lose interest of forget about the benefits of receiving the information.
  • Creating New Content
    Paul shares advice about how to generate new ideas for content. The process is often invoked by experiences during everyday work like coding problems, newly discovered development tools, or collections of resources.
  • Find Your Voice
    Paul explains that personality is a powerful tool for winning work. Maintaining an authentic personality when writing online will build trust with potential clients.
  • Referrals & Growing Your Email List
    Paul outlines a few ways to grow an email list through marketing and referrals. Connecting with users, showing appreciation, and encouraging referrals creates more engagement with an audience. As an email list grows, adding segmentations or asking about content preferences helps tailor the information and increase the quality.
  • Handling Leads
    Paul recommends using a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to manage leads. When a customer make contact, they are added to the CRM. Reminders can be set to follow up on conversations.
  • Create a Proposal
    Paul demonstrates how to create a proposal. Key components of a proposal are why the work is necessary, the mutually agreed upon objectives, value the work has to the company, pricing options, and how to measure success of the project.

Wrapping Up

Section Duration: 12 minutes
Wow! I felt stronger with this, now feeling like a freelancer pro+ already. Certainly a better roadmap to freelancing.
Aliyu Usman

Aliyu Usman


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