What are your best tips for starting a freelancer career from scratch?

24 replies
I have setup accounts on oDesk, Elance and Freelancer. Now what? How do I land clients?
#career #freelancer #scratch #starting #tips
  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Be pro-active. Brand yourself. Even though you've registered at the usual freelancing sites, you should be out there actively and aggressively promoting yourself, your brand and your skills.

    The Warrior Forum is all about how to do promotion and marketing. So any of the methods that work in paid or free advertising can work for promoting your own brand.

    One of the most important things to do is to determine where there is demand for the exact services you provide . . . then go put yourself in front of those audiences.

    Develop a portfolio, get some great testimonials, then promote the heck out of yourself.

    Good luck,


    Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources

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  • Profile picture of the author Ledux
    Start sending proposals for people looking for you services. All the freelancing platforms you signed up for have easy systems for doing that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Originally Posted by gkishore View Post

    How do I land clients?
    By changing your Warrior Forum signature-file so that its link leads to your Fiverr gig, as you intended (rather than to the page from which the Fiverr gig-owner, when logged in, can edit their own gig!).

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  • Profile picture of the author Anish Khandelwal
    Even m trying to build up my profile on odesk, elance ,freelancer ...but it is difficult to land initial jobs without reviews ...luckily i got response on 3 application recently and a job of odesk
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  • Profile picture of the author Zak L.
    Just take MASSIVE action, make mistakes, quickly learn from them and correct course.


    Start sending Job Proposals, start reaching out to clients, start branding yourself, look at other successful people in your area of expertise on Elance for example and look at what they're doing - model after them.

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    • Profile picture of the author Fonzan
      Originally Posted by Zak L. View Post

      Just take MASSIVE action, make mistakes, quickly learn from them and correct course.

      Just DO SOMETHING.

      Start sending Job Proposals, start reaching out to clients, start branding yourself, look at other successful people in your area of expertise on Elance for example and look at what they're doing - model after them.
      I agree with Zak L. 20% learning but 80% action taking. And.......train your mindset! Otherwise you will stay an "opportunity seeker" and you jump from one "Big money generating opportunity" to the other. (And earn only pocket money) When you become a "Business Owner" in your mind, everything will change. Because you'll stick to 1 or 2 money making activities until it becomes successful! Buyaah!
      Try this if other courses failed,
      Like, "How to sell affiliate products"
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  • Profile picture of the author drmani
    Originally Posted by gkishore View Post

    Now what?
    One suggestion might be to narrow your focus by specializing in a niche.

    As long as it is one that has demand and which you can serve uniquely, you can lower your competition and position yourself as an expert faster - even charge more than peers who are "generalists".
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    • Profile picture of the author ElGuapo
      DrMani makes an important point: you'll do more business as a 'logo designer' or a 'Kindle cover designer' than as a mere 'designer'. Carve that niche for yourself and own it.

      Other than that, it's not too difficult (provided you have a work ethic and talent). A friend of mine was in financial difficulty a few years ago and wanted to get set up as an article writer (anything else in IM she deemed too complicated!) She started threads in the services section of a couple of marketing forums and offered to do sample articles for distinguished members. Her work was damn good and got her reviews and demand - enough demand that she was able to raise her initial prices after just a few days.

      A personal website is a nice touch, but not essential to begin with. But do have a small portfolio of your best work in case any potential clients ask for examples.
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  • Profile picture of the author krad32
    Apply for jobs that fits with your skills. If no one's going to hire you for your rate you can look for person who's on a tight budget. Then, ask for a referral instead if they know someone. Start building your network.

    If you haven't find good opportunities on those sites you can expand your search on other freelancing site like Staff.com and Guru.com. This will give you more chances of find a job. You can also look for possible clients on Forum, Social media and etc.

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    • Profile picture of the author DrRandi
      I think you need a strong presence in social media ,so people can ask you directly for your services in your niche.

      Stick to your expertise field , don't accept any project that you are not able to do perfectly because negative reviews on your profile will end your freelancing career.
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  • Profile picture of the author markeeter
    Once you have created you account, build your profile in the most professional way that you can manage.
    Highlight your skills by taking different skill tests.

    Now start applying for as many Jobs as you can in a day, start by low paying Jobs but don't accept a wage below $3. If possible attach samples with your Job applications. Once you land your first Job, do it well and request your employer to leave you some feedback.

    Follow the similar process for the second Job again. If you're persistent, you'll start seeing results in a month or two.

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  • Profile picture of the author seoboyz01
    Do you have samples or screenshots of some of your articles that you have written in the past? You should include those on your sales page so that people can see the quality of your work. Often, they won't buy if they have to guess at your work quality. Show them samples (but don't do free work) and you'll make sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author shmeeko69
    Originally Posted by gkishore View Post

    I have setup accounts on oDesk, Elance and Freelancer. Now what? How do I land clients?
    In joining these sites you should have some form of plan about how you're going to attract new orders, what makes you different from the rest of crowd, are you equipped to deal with multiple orders (burnout syndrome), don't sell yourself to cheaply (busy fool predicament) and always be consistently good = repeat customers
    The Rock n Roll of Marketing Reviews
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  • Profile picture of the author gdccashflow
    Do not forget to complete your profiles, in your profile try to attach a sample of your woks or projects.

    Visit my blog today - Return On Investment and Tips in Paying Insurance Premium. Thank you!

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  • Profile picture of the author Bella Perry
    That is true, you should not wait until someone gives you the task or brings you lots of suctomers. Of course, websites for freelancers are trying to find customers for you and be helpful, for example like Freelancer Careers for writers, but there are not many websites who act like this. So you should start to find customers yourself, to send job offers.
    And it will take time to make your career what you want it to be.
    Good luck to you!
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  • Profile picture of the author positivegirl
    Hi.. i agree with people here, there are a lot of things that you should set/try...
    for Instance you could also post your Free ads on Craigslist (top tier countries), show people samples of the task you have done is past (try to find at least one friend or person that you have worked for, so that he/she gives you the testimonial). That site gives you the opportunity to land some clients that will pay you more that Fiverr for the same tasks and also you'd also land some long term clients. you should also set up at least a mini website with your prices, your brand and some samples of your work, so that be perceived as a professional in your niche. Everything is about perseverance and not waiting and hoping...
    Good Luck!
    Jany Luz Posada
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  • Profile picture of the author bambinoes
    You will have to specialize in certain tasks rather than going for everything that is advertised. Also, be consistent, keep trying your best.
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  • Be brave! Know exactly what it is you want to do as a freelancer and go for it 100% Treat it as a business from day one, not a hobby. Hobbies cost money, businesses are there to make a profit, so see yourself as a one man (or women) band business from the outset and you'll more likely be successful in the long term.

    Working for yourself beats slaving away for an employer any day, so even as the going gets tough (and at times it always will) just keep going.

    Best of luck in your ventures!
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  • 1) Write 5 - 10 Interesting Articles..

    2) Find Places To Submit Them To Build Credibility.
    Places Like Guest Blogging..

    1. EzineArticles.com
    2. Type: (Niche) + Guest Post
    3. Contact Blogs

    The key is to build your reputation

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  • Profile picture of the author mazzuca
    now start bidding on your Related skills projects with a killer cover letter. You can also offer some trial offer to them so they can assume your ability and skills.
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  • Profile picture of the author justicejr
    Finding your interest for start project and market research will know your audiances
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  • Profile picture of the author nicolasmd2112
    Build spoke sort of social media following, one that allows people to look at your most recent works. Also start applying for jobs on these freelance sites. Eventually people will start to hire you based on your social media reviews
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  • Profile picture of the author Rory Singh
    Have you ever considered Google Adwords? PPC can bring you in 'customers' if you follow all of the Google's terms carefully & learn how to structure your ads to attract the 'rigth' click in order not to waste your budget.

    You have a good product. If you do look into Adwords, you will need to know how to keep your costs down. I am not sure how expensive your keywords are but I know that if I was offering services like yours, I wouldn't just depend on fiverr.

    If you do look into this route, make sure to look up Perry Marshall. Here is a 'direct' link to his website with his $10 Ebook: http://www.perrymarshall.com/adwords/
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  • Profile picture of the author Riki Stein
    Do you have any experience yet?

    Some tips:

    1) With regard to freelancing websites (such as the ones you mentioned), it would help you get taken seriously if you have a portfolio and some detailed information about you and what you do (I don't know if you do or don't have that set up yet).

    2)Also with regard to freelancing websites, go through the projects, and start bidding! (Try to find ones that are newly posted, to have a higher chance of being noticed.) Make sure your bid is tailored to the specific project the person is asking for.

    3) Beyond freelancing websites, word of mouth is the best way to go. Tell people you know that you are offering your service. Ask them to tell others. Etc. Have rates and turnaround times available for when they ask.

    4) Offer a special right here on the warrior forum.
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