Winning New Clients

5 killer tips to land new and old clients

Chapter 3

Finding the right leads

Now that you’re ready to hit hard, you can find the best people to target. If you’ve been freelancing for a while, you have two groups of people to choose from: previous clients and prospects.

Reaching out to previous clients

Jobs end for a lot of reasons. Even if your previous clients loved your work, they might not remember to contact you when they have a new project.

At the same time, many of your past clients, particularly those you worked for at the beginning of your career, won’t be the right fit for you now. As you create a list of contacts, consider these questions:

  • Who do I want more work from? The clients you loved should be at the top of your list.
  • Why did I stop working for them? If there were any red flags or problems (late/non-payment, scope creep, unprofessionalism, etc.) with that client, you will likely deal with the same problems. Only choose people who will benefit and grow your business.
  • What kind of work did they need? Make sure your client has a need for the services you offer now before approaching them.
  • Have my prices changed? Many clients are open to pricing changes, but it’s good to prepare for that discussion going into the conversation.

These past relationships are the best source of new work, so do your best to leave a positive, lasting impression for every job you complete.

Finding new prospective clients

Though it’s often easier to reconnect with past clients, there are millions of potential new clients just waiting for you to reach out. Finding the right client is just as important as gaining new work, so you should always choose prospects that are most likely to fit your requirements. You want to build long-term relationships with these clients, so do the work upfront for a better return.

Before looking for businesses to target, consider these questions:

  • What kind of work/niche are you pursuing? Thousands of companies may need a social media manager, but only a handful of restaurants in your area may have the same need. Use your experience and skills to narrow your target audience to the people most likely to respond to your specific offer.

    Not sure where to start? Use
    this checklist to narrow down your niche.
  • Does the company fit your needs? From your research, does it look like they have a need for your services? Does the company’s values align with yours? Don’t spend time pursuing a business that already seems like a bad fit.

When you know who you want to contact, then you can find the best ways to turn cold outreach into conversations.