How would you land your first 3 paying customers as a new freelance digital marketer?

14 replies
I am trying to land my very first 3 paying customers as a new freelance digital marketer. Anyone have any advice on this?

Many thanks
#customers #digital #freelance #land #marketer #paying
  • Profile picture of the author Wile E Coyote
    This question pops up a lot on these forums and it's pretty unbelievable how often it is asked by "digital marketers" or "experienced marketers".

    The first thing you really have to do is identify what exactly you can do. If you're trying to provide actual "marketing" services to other companies, my advice is for you to actual practice what you are preaching. If you're going to be giving FB marketing (for example), then you should have a good idea how to get your own clients from FB. If you don't, then you honestly have no business selling anything to anyone.

    In the off-chance that you may have just miscategorized yourself or made a generalization when you called yourself a "digital marketer" then you have to first identify what you really are whether it be a graphic designer, web designer, programmer etc etc.

    Good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Wile E Coyote View Post

      The first thing you really have to do is identify what exactly you can do. If you're trying to provide actual "marketing" services to other companies, my advice is for you to actual practice what you are preaching. If you're going to be giving FB marketing (for example), then you should have a good idea how to get your own clients from FB.
      Take that one step further. Identify exactly you can do, and what that means to the client. Why will the client be better off having hired you? What benefit, in detail, might they see?

      Using the FB example, what will hiring you to market their business on FB bring them? More leads? Better leads? Cheaper leads? Better customer experience? Be specific.

      Originally Posted by Wile E Coyote View Post

      If you don't, then you honestly have no business selling anything to anyone.
      My thoughts, exactly.
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  • Upwork and other micro job sourcing sites would be a good option for startup freelancers. You'll be able to post your profile in those sites; and

    When you get reviews after completing a few projects, This will be shown to your other prospects in those platforms - You should also use this to pad up your marketing content in your own website. You'll also get significant experience in talking directly to your prospects to offer your services, in negotiating project contracts, in handling projects from start to finish, and in compelling your clients to send repeat business your way ...

    Once you've gained significant experience, you can try the things below - This can usually get you better paying, longer term freelancing contracts:

    >> Gather the business phone numbers and emails of the marketing / advertising / Web property management departments of your prospect small businesses and companies - You can focus on local entities near you, or overseas businesses in countries where it's quite common for businesses to outsource or hire freelancers in your country. Then:

    >> Trim your shortlist down to entities with recently launched products and / or service offers, particularly those that most likely need multimedia marketing campaigns done for them, especially those that require your specialized expertise. Next:

    >> Study their onsite and offsite marketing content, what they're doing at the moment to use the Web for establishing their brand across their target markets, to use social media for widening their reach across their ideal audiences and to implement onsite content for enticing their target prospects to become their subscribers and so on. Next:

    >> Use the details you've gathered at this point to create compelling proposals for possible business opportunities, freelancing arrangements and other mutually beneficial deals. Send your proposals to your prospects, follow it up, close contracts, handle and complete projects, and convince them to send repeat business your way ...

    Hope this helps.
    • Deep Learning & Machine Vision Engineer: ARIA Research (Sydney, AU)
    • Founder: Grayscale (Manila, PH) & SEO Campaign Manager: Kiteworks, Inc. (SF, US)
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  • Profile picture of the author robinaraoz
    Hi microhappiness,

    Thanks for your question, one of the first things I did when I landed on this forum was to offer my services on this same forum.

    One of the things I did was to offer my services for free in exchange for a recommendation if they felt the job was worth it.

    Many did recommend us! This is an example of "word of mouth" type advertising/marketing ()..., this landed me much more than 3 clients.

    So, basically some job upfront really paid of in the end.

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  • Profile picture of the author Affportal
    Start asking everyone you know or newly meet "So what's new and exciting with work?" or "What are you working on these days?". I find those questions open up conversation, and inevitably you will run across someone with a business that you can help with internet marketing.

    AffPortal Niche Research & Campaign Development Tools - CLICK HERE >>

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  • Profile picture of the author finnruest
    Hi microhappiness,

    My very first advice would simply be to find a genuine need and fill it. As much as possible it should be a niche you're passionate about.
    Learn a little about SEO and write SEO optimized articles in your blog. Explore Google Analytics. Write more articles and publish on your blog or site.
    I have a few more videos that I think might help you especially if you already have LinkedIn. It will also teach you about the psychology behind the whole thing. I'll list them down below, hope this helps.

    Business Success: What is really stopping you
    How To Get 100k Clients Off LinkedIn Without Advertising
    Overcoming The 3 Great Lies of Getting New Customers

    Best of luck,
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    • Profile picture of the author artatkins
      This entire video channel is super handy. thank you!
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  • Profile picture of the author PedGrob7
    Hi microhappiness,

    Winning clients on Upwork is a consequence of a process.

    1. I know this sounds a bit obvious but you need to take action and apply to those jobs;

    2. In terms of your profile, don't build a generalist profile in the hope to get more opportunities. Funnelling your profile in a niche helps you build authority in that niche and get some invites for jobs;

    3. Make sure your profile title is highly specific and your profile overview build value on that profile title you specified. Also, make sure your portfolio is really relevant to your chosen niche;

    4. When applying, look for jobs where the client is looking for someone with your profile. Don't apply simply because as you'll get frustrated because people won't reply to your proposals. Make yourself relevant to the client;

    5. Try to really understand the real motivation for the client to create that job ad. Are they looking for a copywriter to write articles for their blog? Why do they need that? To get comments? To get shares? What can you add to your proposal that builds extra value than the simple writing of the article?

    6. Don't use your proposal to close the deal right away. The proposal is purely the first step for an interview and use the proposal to put yourself available for that interview. Almost all the jobs I landed on Upwork had an interview before closing the deal. The exceptions were rarely projects that worked out as I wished;

    7. Get yourself some professional time to be on Upwork and don't look at Upwork as something you can spend 10 minutes and that is it. Use a professional approach and commit to some time a day to really make sure it will work out for you.

    Winning 3 clients on Upwork, specially when starting from scratch is not impossible, but it demands some commitment and positivity because you'll send a few proposals that won't get you any results.

    Really narrow down your search and build your profile to generate trust and authority in what you do.

    Remember that we all have a life outside Upwork and the fact that we don't have any feedback or work inside the platform that doesn't mean that you're a nobody. Make sure your profile shows you're a lot more and are just starting on Upwork.

    In fact, that is why your price is still considerably lower than outside Upwork.

    And build that advantage for your client from the start and get projects and raise prices.

    This comment is from my own experience on Upwork and yes, I got those first 3 clients really fast doing what I told you above.

    Good luck,
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    • Profile picture of the author Puda

      I have been very active on Upwork for the past 18 month and landed over 50 clients in PPC. (Adwords and Facebook Ads)

      2- Yes, you definitely need to market your profile very well and stick to it. So if you do PPC, you will just do PPC and nothing else. That's something I don't really like btw since I am not just a PPC specialist. I like Fiverr better when it comes to gigs. You can literally offer many different services and not just one. On Upwork, you are down to one niche and can't create different profiles to advertise on other skills you have.

      3- I always wonder if clients actually look at the portfolio. The way Upwork displays it is so bad (and you can literally add all the BS you want!) that I doubt that most clients actually look at it. Same goes with certifications and education. They literally don't care! I also always wonder why people would display some test results they had and got an "above rating" grade which means that you are ok but not so much in your field. (You can't imagine the number of freelancers adding tests results on their profile page where they actually suck at it and you can tell!!)

      4- It's all about budget and that's something you never know unless the client is clearly stating how much he/she is going to pay for the gig.
      Last year when I was starting and charging $40 an hour, I got tons of gigs. Now that I charge more than $100 an hour, I get less gigs but still more money!
      I think lowering your rate at FIRST, for your first 2 clients really, is ok but then quickly move to your real rate. You'll see that getting clients is harder but you will be making way more money every time you get a new client as well.

      5- Most clients inviting you to apply to their posting (and they will trust me) don't even look at your profile. Upwork actually tells them that based on the keywords they have used in the job posting, you would match 40,50,70, 80% etc. So clients automatically invite you without even looking at your rate and then you never hear back which is extremely frustrating.
      I get around 90 invitations to interview in a 3-month period and I get to chat with maybe 20% of the clients. Just because they invite so many people and then they look at your rate and think it's too much.
      That's the major problem with Upwork. Most clients don't want to spend much, they assume that they can get a great job done for $20 an hour.

      6- Yup, you will never close a deal without interviewing with a client. Got 2 offers without even talking to the client which I declined right away.

      The other thing I find hard is that if you look at most freelancer's profiles, you'll see that almost none of them are able to make a living with Upwork. Even the freelancers that won over $100 K. You'll see that it mostly occurred a while ago at best and these people are now mostly inactive on the platform. Probably because once they raised their rates, they couldn't get as many clients anymore.

      Also Pedgrob7, you didn't mention the JSS. I have never been able to tell if it was really making a difference or not. I see some people landing good jobs with 75% (which is considered terrible by Upwork's standards) and some people not getting a single new contract with 100%. The way they calculate your JSS is secret. Literally. There is no way to know how you sometime get 98% and why the next day you got 90%. The reason why is usually the private client feedback that can crush your score.
      Had one repeat client who left me 2 wonderful reviews and probably stabbed me in the back with the private feedback. Right after he left me his reviews I went from 97% to 93% and it takes forever to recover from a penalty. You have to wait at least 6 month and then another 6 month so that the reviews are not being counted in your JSS anymore. I am not the first Top Rated freelancer to complain about this. Clients can backstab you or leave you a 8 out of 10 which means that you didn't do well according to Upwork's Standards.

      My 2 cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    I would first do lots of stuff for free.

    Get a portfolio going.

    Get lots of orgasmic-level testimonials.

    Then offer your stuff for pay.

    Also, it pays to always OVER DELIVER
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  • Profile picture of the author Yvon Boulianne
    just call the local business , so easy but need persistance, that`s all...
    Stop Struggling With Your Website and Marketing
    30$ / task, pay after done!
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Originally Posted by microhappiness View Post

    I am trying to land my very first 3 paying customers as a new freelance digital marketer. Anyone have any advice on this?

    Many thanks
    Specifically, what services do you offer? IMO just saying digital marketer freelancer is very vague, it would likely help to clarify exactly what you do.
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