Going Freelance: Three Things that Turn Off Potential Clients


With so many professionals going freelance nowadays, it could get harder and harder for beginners to get clients. If you feel you’re just as–if not more–persistent as others but you’re still not bagging new jobs, then the problem might be lying elsewhere.

It’s time to sit down and evaluate yourself. What are the things you do, right? In what areas could you be lacking? Put yourself in your prospective client’s shoes. What do you see that could be causing them to pass on the opportunity to work with you?

You Come Off as Unprofessional

It’s not just about the way you use words in your emails and messages. There are small details when you present yourself online that could make clients say no to you.

One of these is the lack of an online portfolio. Before they decide to schedule a meeting and see your new pantsuit, they will first look at your portfolio to see if talking to you is worth their time. Within that online library of your best works, there are smaller details still that could pin you as either a professional or just another hopeful novice.

Believe it or not, a work address does wonders for companies are looking to outsource their services. Invest in a shared office in your city for a budget-friendly way to include a work address in your profile as well as your business card. That high school email address with the initials of your favorite band won’t cut it either. Pay just as much attention to your contact details as you do to your portfolio’s aesthetic. Your works will convince them that you can do the job, while your contact details–specifically your address–will assure them that you’re not a scam.

You’re Not Sure About Your Pricing

Giving your services a price is tricky for most freelancers. You want to be competitive, but at the same time, you need to ensure that you’ll make enough money out of it. When clients inquire about the price of your services, and you respond with uncertainty, they also become uncertain of you.

Freelancers who know the value of their work and are confident in them know their prices. They might give discounts from time to time, but they’re certain that they can deliver work that is worth the money they’ll get paid.

Payment channels, methods, and contract clauses are some of the few things you have to determine early on. Interview successful freelancers in your industry. Read blogs and books about these topics to educate yourself. Remember that this is also a way to protect yourself legally.

You Have Limited Material in Your Portfolio

graphic designer

A freelancer in the graphic design or writing industry, for example, will need more than one type of work in a portfolio to get more clients. The more diverse your skills, the wider your demographic of potential customers.

More often than not, they’ll be looking for a specific output. Send the link to your portfolio, but specify that the works they’re looking for are on a particular page. This will show them that you did your research on their company and paid attention to their needs.

The time you spend building your portfolio is never time wasted. Polish your skills, publish more works, and you’ll find more jobs waiting for you.

You Have to Work Smarter

If you’re not getting the results you want, then something needs to change. A little introspection and outside perspective will help in determining the ways you can improve your freelancing career. Persist, work smart, and soon enough, you’ll enjoy the results.

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