70 Freelancers Reveal Their Best Source of New Business

70 Freelancers Reveal Their Best Source of New Business

Wait, before you scroll down to the meat and potatoes of this expert roundup post…!

I have set up this post a little differently from other expert roundups you may have seen.

Yes, I compiled a list of 70 freelancers revealing their best source of new business.

But let’s be honest…

Have you ever just skimmed an expert roundup to find your own contribution, or perhaps a contribution from someone you recognize?

Yeah, I’m guilty of that, too.

And if you really want to do that here, it’s totally up to you…

But faster than you can say lights, camera and action, I want to prepare you to get the most of out of this expert roundup.

(1) Lights…

Let me begin by setting the stage for the contributors — the stars — you’re about to hear from…

What exactly constitutes an expert for the purposes of this roundup post?

Well, back when I was an employee, I once had a manager who taught me that good ideas come from all areas of a business. Simply put, the intern right up to the president can have a great idea.

So while putting together this expert roundup post, I accepted contributions from freelancers who…

  • Work on either a full-time or a part-time basis
  • Are just getting started or who have several years of experience
  • Earned a lot in 2015 or possibly earned just enough to get by

Yes, I actually asked my contributors to identify their 2015 income bracket. Some chose not to answer that question — but more than half did — and it gave me enough data to estimate what the typical earnings looked like for my freelance contributors in 2015…

The average?

$40,788 USD.

(Of course, nobody said you have to be average…)

I also asked contributors to only state their earnings from freelancing activities — so this figure excludes course sales, affiliate commissions, and so forth.

The point is, my only requirement for a freelancer to contribute to this post was that he or she earns a regular income from his or her online, service-based business.

And as you will see, great ideas emerged from freelancers of every experience level.

(2) …Camera…

I like to take a snapshot of important moments in my life… don’t you?

Well, the beauty of the digital age is that we can easily capture important moments in our lives. And this may be one of those moments for you.

I encourage you not to just read two or three contributor responses and move on… read the entire post, start to finish. Because sometimes all it takes is one really good idea to ignite your freelancing business.

Don’t have time to read it all right now?

That’s fine.

How about I send you a PDF copy of this post to review later offline, on your own time?

DOWNLOAD THIS COMPLETE POST

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Or perhaps you’d rather view 70 Freelancers Reveal Their Best Source of New Business later today offline?

Simply enter your email address below and click Send.

You’ll instantly receive a free copy of this post in PDF format to review on your own time…

Either way, get ready to make note of some great ideas… because combining all contributors featured in this post, you’re about to digest ideas that generated approximately $2.85 million in freelancing revenue last year.

(3) …and Action!

So let’s get this show on the road, shall we?

I asked 70 freelancers the following question:

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Ideas ranged from SEO to cold calling, from content marketing to Fiverr, from newspaper classifieds to networking, and more.

But I also asked our contributors a second question…

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

It’s no secret that new freelancers often take low-paying jobs.

So 62 of the freelancers that contributed also shared their best strategies for establishing your prices, winning new clients at those prices, and eventually increasing your prices over time.

And you won’t find the answers to that second question — the bonus question — in this expert roundup post.

But you can unlock those second answers here:

UNLOCK BOTH SETS OF ANSWERS NOW

62 Strategies to Establish or Increase Your PricesSetting your prices can be one of the trickiest parts of establishing your own online, service-based business.

And if you’ve already been freelancing for a while…?

Well, you might be ready to raise your prices — but unsure how to do it professionally.

Upgrade now to access both 70 Freelancers Reveal Their Best Source of New Business and 62 Strategies to Establish or Increase Your Prices in one convenient — and thorough — guide.

Oh, and by the way… the answers alone in that premium guide span 45 pages and 18,000+ words!

But if you’d like to start by first reviewing 70 sources of new freelance business, let’s take a look at who our expert contributors are:

Thanks for sticking with me while I set the stage.

Without any further delay, let’s raise the curtain and get this show started!

Appearing in alphabetical order by last name, let’s begin with Adeyemi Adetilewa:


Adeyemi AdetilewaAdeyemi Adetilewa

Freelance Writer

Website // @stojay007

2015 Earnings: $0 to $24,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

My best source has always been my network. It is a known fact that the size of your network dictates your net worth.

In simple words, make friends with more people. Get influencers to work with you.

So, how do you do this?

Simple. Respond to their emails, comment on their blog posts, join their Facebook groups and develop genuine relationships.

Rinse and repeat this process and then get a bigger piggy bank.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock his answer now!)

Make friends with more people. Get influencers to work with you. – Adeyemi AdetilewaClick To Tweet

Deborah AndersonDeborah Anderson

Founder

Website // @socialwebcafe

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Relationship marketing.

I do not care for the term, because it sounds like I am using people, and that is the farthest from the truth! Another way to look at it is word-of-mouth and referrals. The reality is that I love people and treating people right — hence my doctorate-in-progress in psychology.

I guess you could say what goes around, comes around. I focus on doing right by people, and so far that has panned out well in the business arena.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock her answer now!)

I focus on doing right by people, and so far that has panned out well in the business arena. – Deborah AndersonClick To Tweet

Philip V. ArielPhilip V. Ariel

Freelance Writer & Social Media Consultant

Website // @PVAriel

2015 Earnings: $0 to $24,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

First and foremost, the satisfaction of my present customers is important. If they are satisfied, it paves the way to get the word spread to their contacts — and that leads to new business.

Of course, at the same time, developing better relationships with my network will help me move business to new horizons. To maximize the development of these relationships, I make use of social media.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock his answer now!)

The satisfaction of my present customers is important ... that leads to new business. – Philip V. ArielClick To Tweet

Edward BeamanEdward Beaman

Freelance Website Copywriter

Website // @writerbeaman

What is your best source of new freelance business?

When first starting out as a freelance copywriter, I connected with a number of freelance web designers. We formed friendships and professional bonds over a period of time. They now send work my way and I send work their way.

Clients sometimes forget they need a good website design as well as good copy, and vice-versa. When writers and designers work closely together on a project, magic tends to happen.

If you’re a new copywriter or web designer, find some collaboration partners. Look for other new freelancers who obviously have some budding talent and connect with them.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock his answer now!)

If you’re a new copywriter or web designer, find some collaboration partners. – Edward BeamanClick To Tweet

Andrea BeltramiAndrea Beltrami

Visual Strategist & Brand Stylist

Website // @drebeltrami

2015 Earnings: $25,000 to $49,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

My most lucrative stream of business comes from my community. Whether it’s directly from my free branding guide, one of my branding mini courses, or from someone in my private Facebook support group, my freelance business is proof that the money is indeed in the list.

Building an email list of qualified leads has allowed me to build a full-time business that’s constantly growing and providing new opportunities, in less than a year.

If you’re a new freelancer, I’d highly suggest you focus on creating content that’s directly applicable to your freelance services, including some kick-ass freebies. You can then leverage your content and free opt-in offer to not only grow your business, but also to grow your community.

It’s essential that you keep in contact with your peeps regularly, by continually offering them valuable skills and training, so you can build the trust needed to convert them from a community member to a loyal customer.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock her answer now!)

If you're a new freelancer, I'd highly suggest you focus on creating content that's directly applicable to your freelance services. – Andrea BeltramiClick To Tweet

Ryan BiddulphRyan Biddulph

Freelance Writer

Website // @RyanBiddulph

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Writing entertaining blog posts from a fun-feeling space is my best source of new clients. If I stay on topic — and I do — and feel great writing my posts, folks seem to find me and seek out my services. Even as I’ve promoted my freelance writing services less these days — moving towards passive income streams — I get inquiries because blogs are like one-stop shopping for readers. They can see all you’ve to offer through your blog, from your wide array of products and services, your content, reviews, videos… everything!

Churn out helpful content. Demonstrate your knowledge. Attract clients. In a way, each post is just proof that you know what you’re doing. So have fun, enjoy writing, and allow your freelance star to shine.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock his answer now!)

Blogs are like one-stop shopping for readers. They can see all you've to offer through your blog. – Ryan BiddulphClick To Tweet

Grace BlackGrace Black

Freelance Copywriter

Website // @gracejblack

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Referrals! I started really small, working odd jobs on Fiverr and then meeting clients that way. Make a nice looking account on Fiverr and really give your best efforts on the blog posts you write, even though you’re not getting paid much. Negotiate a meeting outside of Fiverr and work out deals and trust. Trust is the most important component of this!

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock her answer now!)

Work out deals and trust. Trust is the most important component of this! – Grace BlackClick To Tweet

Terrence BlairTerrence Blair

Freelance Copywriter

Website // @TerrenceBlair

What is your best source of new freelance business?

I’ve gotten clients through a number of channels.

However, I find referrals and repeat business to be the most stable and consistent means of getting clients. But you’ve got to have a system.

Here’s mine:

On every invoice, I include the following message, which is also on the back of my business card:

“Your business is always appreciated! My goal is to help your business grow over the long term. If you need help, I provide the following services: articles, advertising copy, autoresponders, brochures, sales letters, and copywriting.”

If the client is happy with the piece of copy I wrote, and later he or she needs something else — say, a sales letter — wouldn’t he or she reach out to me? Of course. It has happened.

I then send the client an email thanking him or her for the opportunity to work with them.

After expressing my gratitude, I say, “Do you know anyone who would benefit from my writing services? Refer a friend or colleague and they’ll save 10 percent on their project, and you’ll also save 10 percent of your next project with me.”

Whether they have an immediate need for my services or know someone who does, he or she still benefits by saving someone 10 percent and saving 10 percent on a future project.

Sometimes I change it up and say, “Refer a friend or colleague and save 10 percent on you next project or get 10 percent of whatever they pay me.”

This works beautifully because most people are happy to refer friends without taking the 10 percent cut.

Another thing I do is instead of the email, I send it as snail mail with the headline:

“Save 10 Percent on Your Next Project”

Same information, except this time I include a gift card — Starbuck or Dunkin Donuts.

Showing you appreciate their business keeps you top of mind when he or she has needs for the service you provide.

Whatever promise you make, be prepared to follow through. And provide the best service you can. That’s how you’ll get referrals. And keep in mind, if you screw up on a referral, it’ll not only make you look unprofessional but reflect badly on the person who referred the client.

Go the extra mile to make your client satisfied. If you agreed on two rounds of edits, and after you delivered those edits he or she is not satisfied and want a third, do it.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock his answer now!)

I find referrals and repeat business to be the most stable and consistent means of getting clients. – Terrence BlairClick To Tweet

Stefania BolesoStefania Boleso

Marketing & Digital Strategist

Website // @stefaniaboleso

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Networking both online and offline as well as previous customers, who work as referral source.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock her answer now!)

Networking both online and offline as well as previous customers, who work as referral source. – Stefania BolesoClick To Tweet

Jaime D. BuckleyJaime D. Buckley

Author & Illustrator

Website // @wantedhero

What is your best source of new freelance business?

My best source of new business is still from Fiverr, though the results come to me in a split fashion.

Let me explain.

Fiverr has provided me 99 percent of my leads and client requests, however, they approach me both on and off Fiverr.

So when a client contacts me via Fiverr, I work with them through that system, as the Fiverr TOS (Terms Of Service) require… but when a new client contacts me through another mode — my website, Facebook, Twitter, etc. — I keep them separate.

It has been odd, but also refreshing at times, to have someone tell me, “I saw you on Fiverr, but wanted to work with you directly. Is that alright?”

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock his answer now!)

Fiverr has provided me 99 percent of my leads and client requests, however, they approach me both on and off Fiverr. – Jaime D. BuckleyClick To Tweet

Yusuff BusayoYusuff Busayo

Freelance Writer

Website // @writebucket

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Cold calling and pitching by email rock for getting new clients. Usually, I research a prospects’ website, figure how I can help their businesses to grow with my content creation skill — while ensuring they really need the service of a freelance writer — and then send them an email or call them.

Not all will respond. But most who do are often long-term clients. And they are often happy to take my suggestions.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock his answer now!)

Cold calling and pitching by email rock for getting new clients. – Yusuff BusayoClick To Tweet

Elna CainElna Cain

Freelance Writer

Website // @ecainwrites

What is your best source of new freelance business?

My best source of new business would have to be my author bio on my already published pieces. My optimized writer website works in tandem to convince a potential client to contact me.

In my author bio I make sure to link to my writer website and convey in as few words as possible who I am, what I do and who I help.

And for my writer website, I speak to my ideal client by letting them know how I can help them save time and make more money.

Having a magnetic author bio and an optimized writer website has helped me land numerous high-paying clients.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock her answer now!)

In my author bio I make sure to link to my writer website and convey in as few words as possible who I am, what I do and who I help. – Elna CainClick To Tweet

Christine CalderaChristine Caldera

Freelance Content Writer

Website // @thefrugalsingle

2015 Earnings: $0 to $24,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

My best sources of new business would be Carrie Smith’s Facebook group, The Careful Cents club, Elna Cain’s Facebook group, Contena.com, and Twitter.

My best sources of new business would be Carrie Smith's Facebook group, The Careful Cents club, Elna Cain's Facebook group, Contena.com, and Twitter. – Christine CalderaClick To Tweet

Maria CarrasMaria Carras

Copywriter & Virtual Assistant

Website // @carrascreative

2015 Earnings: $25,000 to $49,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

The best source of new business and clients for me is social media — and more specifically, Facebook groups and Instagram. I absolutely love interacting with people on those platforms by actively providing value, tips and inspiration on a consistent basis to my ideal clients.

I naturally gravitate to those platforms anyway and I feel fortunate to have made them work for me in terms of finding new business. It’s all about finding out where your ideal client hangs out online and then going in there, interacting with them, engaging them, solving their problems and fully throwing yourself into cultivating your “know, like and trust” factor.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

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It's all about finding out where your ideal client hangs out online and then going in there. – Maria CarrasClick To Tweet

Cara ChaceCara Chace

Social Media Strategist

Website // @carachace

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Referrals are by far my best source of new business. Trusting the public face of your brand on social media to someone can be scary. When prospective clients talk to existing clients, that hurdle can be overcome pretty quickly.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock her answer now!)

Referrals are by far my best source of new business. – Cara ChaceClick To Tweet

Bryan CollinsBryan Collins

Writer

Website // @bryanjcollins

What is your best source of new freelance business?

The best source of new business and clients is referrals from a personal network.

For example, when I worked as a freelance writer and journalist, I received almost all of my work from either people I had worked with in the past, former colleagues or from friends of friends. This is great, but it’s difficult to scale.

These days, LinkedIn is the best place to develop this referral network and keep in touch with former colleagues and potential new clients, as it’s relatively quick and easy to keep in touch. You can also spend a few minutes each week ensuring your relationships with former clients are warm.

A more advanced tip is to have an email list of former clients and reach out to this list every now and again and tell them what you’re working on or if you have a new service that would help them. Provide value!

Second only to a referral network is having a visible presence online where you can point people to and show them examples of your work.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock his answer now!)

LinkedIn is the best place to develop this referral network and keep in touch with former colleagues and potential new clients. – Bryan CollinsClick To Tweet

Evan DerekEvan Derek

Blogger, Affiliate Marketer & Freelancer

Website // @theevanderek

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Blogs always were my favorite. While affiliate marketing is my primary source of income, I do occasionally write for a couple of event blogs for fast cash.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock his answer now!)

While affiliate marketing is my primary source of income, I do occasionally write for a couple of event blogs for fast cash. – Evan DerekClick To Tweet

Brookes EgglestonBrookes Eggleston

Character Designer

Website // @bageldenizen

What is your best source of new freelance business?

While it tends to depend on the type of work, the majority of my clients initially see work that I’ve done, either client or personal work, or have seen my various teaching videos and posts, and then funnel through my site.

I’ve curated what I put out. It’s clear to anyone who comes across a profile of mine: I make characters and teach others to do the same. I share as much, if not more, of my personal work; not only do I love doing it, but the passion for it shows to potential clients.

Ultimately, clients come from networking. Reaching out to them, referrals, and any aspect of connecting with people. Be professional, show new work frequently, and be a friendly person — the kind you’d like to work with.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock his answer now!)

It's clear to anyone who comes across a profile of mine: I make characters and teach others to do the same. – Brookes EgglestonClick To Tweet

Minuca ElenaMinuca Elena

Freelance Writer

Website // @MinucaElena

2015 Earnings: $0 to $24,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

I create expert roundups as a paid services for other bloggers. My posts bring a lot of traffic and allow bloggers to connect with influencers and get exposure. My clients are mostly bloggers that participated in my roundups as experts. They got to know me through my work and because they liked my results and my approach, some of them asked me to publish a roundup on their blog.

When you are a beginner, it’s hard to connect with influencers. I know that not everyone is making roundups like I am, but this strategy can be used by anyone.

Let’s say you are a content writer. Write an article on your own blog. Do a lot of research on your topic and in your post mention — and give a link to — the best posts that you found on same subject or related ones. After that, send an email to the bloggers you mentioned telling them you mentioned their post in your article. Ask them for a feedback. This is the first step in connecting with influencers.

If your post is truly awesome, they will probably share it with their audience, and you will get a lot of exposure for your website and services. The most important thing is that you get a bunch of influencers to see your “Hire Me” page and your work. Probably at least one of them will ask you to write a similar post for his or her blog. This is one way to get your first client.

Always over-deliver and build long-lasting relationships. If your client is satisfied, he or she will recommend your service to other bloggers. Even if she or he doesn’t recommend you, a well done job will make people want to hire you.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock her answer now!)

Do a lot of research on your topic and in your post mention -- and give a link to -- the best posts that you found on same subject or related ones. – Minuca ElenaClick To Tweet

Erik EmanuelliErik Emanuelli

Freelance Writer

Website // @ErikEmanuelli

What is your best source of new freelance business?

My personal website. I own several online properties based on different business models, but I believe having a site with my name helps increase my chances of getting new clients for the services I offer.

I promote my personal website through guest posting and social media. For example, I will pin a special tweet at the top of my Twitter profile that invites people to check out my website.

Often, I get mentioned in expert roundup and interviews.

This is definitely something you need to do if you want to build your online reputation and personal brand.

I will pin a special tweet at the top of my Twitter profile that invites people to check out my website. – Erik EmanuelliClick To Tweet

Ashley FaulkesAshley Faulkes

Web Designer

Website // @madlemmingz

2015 Earnings: $75,000 to $99,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

The most useful and reliable source of leads for my business is referrals. Why? Because it makes selling so much easier. People trust people they are referred to, so I love these kinds of leads.

How do you go about getting more referrals? Networking.

As an employee you are constantly fed — money, work, etc. But as a freelancer, the majority of the time you will have to find your own work. So get out there and connect with people you know to start with. Tell them what you do — clearly and concisely, so they can easily refer you to clients. It’s even better if you can tell them who your ideal client is so you only get the leads you really want, although this may come later once you have enough work.

Then expand from there — local business meetups, and online groups, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Look for places where you find your ideal client, perhaps someone who offers parallel and non-competing services. This will give you a massive boost in clients. And keep on networking. It can never be enough!

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock his answer now!)

Look for places where you find your ideal client, perhaps someone who offers parallel and non-competing services. – Ashley FaulkesClick To Tweet

Ashley GainerAshley Gainer

Freelance Writer, Editor & Coach

Website // @ageditorial

What is your best source of new freelance business?

The best way to find new business is through your network. Stay active in your personal network, and develop a strong professional network. It can be as simple as participating in one or two Facebook groups and sending an email of appreciation to someone your field. By being plugged in and visible, you’ll be there when someone is looking to make a new hire or refer a gig.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock her answer now!)

It can be as simple as participating in one or two Facebook groups and sending an email of appreciation to someone your field. – Ashley GainerClick To Tweet

Brent GallowayBrent Galloway

Freelance Graphic Designer

Website // @BrentGalloway

2015 Earnings: $25,000 to $49,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

My best source for finding new client work is through my website. I’ve been creating content for over two years under my name, and by optimizing my website, it generates new inquiries for me. It’s a long-term play, but the results it generates are worth the time and effort.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock his answer now!)

By optimizing my website, it generates new inquiries for me. – Brent GallowayClick To Tweet

Gail GardnerGail Gardner

Small Business Marketing Strategist

Website // @GrowMap

What is your best source of new freelance business?

I get so many requests for work that I now spend more of my time passing that work off to other influencers, freelance writers, virtual assistants, and social media managers than I do performing work myself.

Any business or freelancer desiring more work should develop high visibility in their niche on social media. This is easily accomplished by sharing excellent content related to what your potential buyers would be interested in plus some that is just entertaining to hold their attention. Participating in Twitter chats and being active in Facebook and LinkedIn groups,  as well as Google+ communities, are also good ways to develop a following.

Even more importantly, contribute your very best content on sites with large audiences related to your target market. That is where my leads come from and also why most of my collaborators stay so busy.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock her answer now!)

Any business or freelancer desiring more work should develop high visibility in their niche on social media. – Gail GardnerClick To Tweet

Quantas GinnQuantas Ginn

Marketing Consultant

Website // @WaterWalkMktg

2015 Earnings: $25,000 to $49,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Friends of friends, local networking events of small business owners, and local networking events with fellow freelancers.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock his answer now!)

Friends of friends, local networking events of small business owners, and local networking events with fellow freelancers. – Quantas GinnClick To Tweet

Dana GoreDana Gore

Writer & Wellness Coach

Website // @mrsdeegee

What is your best source of new freelance business?

I’ve been successful with freelancing websites such as Elance, which is now Upwork.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock her answer now!)

I've been successful with freelancing websites such as Elance, which is now Upwork. – Dana GoreClick To Tweet

Jessi GurrJessi Gurr

Owner & Lead Developer

Website // @icebergweb

2015 Earnings: $50,000 to $74,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Referrals. Hands down. I am a member of a number of local networking groups, which do bring in a fair amount of referrals. The BNI Chapter that I belong to pays for its annual membership every month.

But, while a lot of referral business comes from these networking groups, most referral business comes from current and past customers.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock her answer now!)

I am a member of a number of local networking groups, which do bring in a fair amount of referrals. – Jessi GurrClick To Tweet

David HartshorneDavid Hartshorne

Freelance Web Content Writer

Website // @davidhartshorne

2015 Earnings: $0 to $24,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

To date, the best source of new business for me has been through reaching out to my established online network and offering my freelance web content writing services.

I’ve also been ramping up my efforts on other marketplaces — like Upwork — so I expect to see more business from there in the next month.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock his answer now!)

The best source of new business for me has been through reaching out to my established online network. – David HartshorneClick To Tweet

Ryan HealyRyan Healy

Direct Response Copywriter

Website // @HeyHealy

2015 Earnings: $100,000+ USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

My best source of new business is referrals. Referrals usually make the great clients because:

(1) Current clients tend to refer clients who are similar to them… similar business, similar level of sophistication, similar ability to pay.

(2) Referrals are already further along in the sales process. They are already looking for a copywriter like you… and a person who has already hired you has told this person that you are the best copywriter to work with.

(3) Referrals need less convincing. Since referrals are further along in the sales process, they require less proof that you are the right copywriter to hire. So the sales conversation is usually less about your credentials and more about whether you’re a good fit for the client and his project.

I should note that the first point in the list above can work against you. If you have a problem client who happens to like you, then you must be wary of any new clients they refer to you. There is a high probability they will refer you more problem clients.

But the inverse of this is true, too. Good clients tend to refer more good clients.

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Good clients tend to refer more good clients. – Ryan HealyClick To Tweet

Robin HollandRobin Holland

Brand Catalyst

Website // @robincreates

2015 Earnings: $25,000 to $49,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Clients find me through referrals, and through relationships built via email outreach and social media. Occasionally, a client has developed out of a problem. For example, there was a situation where I had engaged a company for an outdoor construction project, and the billing was messed up. This led to a wonderful engagement to collaborate on business development.

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Clients find me through referrals, and through relationships built via email outreach and social media. – Robin HollandClick To Tweet

Sharon Hurley HallSharon Hurley Hall

Freelance Writer

Website // @shurleyhall

2015 Earnings: $50,000 to $74,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Most of my new clients find me through work I’ve already published. The lesson I have learned from this is that articles with a byline market your writing services for you in a way that ghostwriting work can’t, so it’s good to have a mixture of types of writing gigs. When something appears with your name on it, share it everywhere, especially where people who want similar work can see it.

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Articles with a byline market your writing services for you in a way that ghostwriting work can't. – Sharon Hurley HallClick To Tweet

Andréa JonesAndréa Jones

Social Media Manager

Website // @onlinedrea

2015 Earnings: $50,000 to $74,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

(1) Currently, Upwork is my best source of new business. I apply to about 40 jobs a month, talk to about 10 of those potential clients, and close maybe 1-2. With Upwork, it’s all about consistently putting yourself out there. You never know who you’re going to meet!

(2) One of my highest paying clients to date was a previous Fiverr customer. While getting $5 — $4 after Fiverr takes their cut — doesn’t seem lucrative at first, over time you have the unique opportunity to forge connections with business people. My advice for Fiverr clients is to keep your mind open and be ready to help businesses out in other aspects they may not have considered.

The similarity in looking for work on both Upwork and Fiverr is that you’re connecting with business people who are actively looking for help.

Take advantage of the open-minded qualities of these individuals and suggest other ways that you can help their businesses grow!

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With Upwork, it's all about consistently putting yourself out there. – Andréa JonesClick To Tweet

Brent JonesBrent Jones

Freelance Social Media Manager & Copywriter

Website // @brentjonline

2015 Earnings: $50,000 to $74,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

My best source of new business in recent history has been referrals. Existing clients, connections I’ve made through blogging, and even past clients — they’ve all been huge for sending business my way over the past 4-6 months.

That said, as a new freelancer, my best source of business was Fiverr — and I intend to publish a blog post on this very topic in the near future.

Just glancing over at the white board in my office as I write this, I can instantly identify three clients with monthly recurring invoices of $342, $600, and $1,200 USD… and I first met all three of those clients on Fiverr well over a year ago. Yes, the first jobs I may have done for those three clients were priced at just $5-15 each — but think about it. Just in the past 12 months, those three clients alone were worth more than $25,700 USD in revenue.

The way I see it, offering gigs on Fiverr isn’t about selling your services starting at $5… it’s about trading your services for leads, because you never know who might order your gig.

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Offering gigs on Fiverr isn't about selling your services starting at $5... it's about trading your services for leads, because you never know who might order your gig. – Brent JonesClick To Tweet

Corinne KerstonCorinne Kerston

Freelance Writer & Blogger

Website // @corinnekerston

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Networking! In the last few years, most of my new clients have come from referrals from either clients or connections I have made online. I’ve also started getting some business from people finding me through guest posts and expert roundup posts on my blog.

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I've also started getting some business from people finding me through guest posts and expert roundup posts on my blog. – Corinne KerstonClick To Tweet

Robin KhokharRobin Khokhar

Blogger

Website // @jacoblucky3

2015 Earnings: $0 to $24,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

There are many sources, but I will tell you the best ones which have worked for for me.

(1) Social media: Sites like Twitter and Facebook have helped me to identify new potential clients.

(2) Referrals: I already have friends who work online and they’ve offered their time to help me.

(3) Word-of-mouth: Talking to people face-to-face about what I do has always worked well.

(4) SEO: Though it’s a slow process, organic traffic to my website has been very effective.

(5) Email outreach: Reaching out to people personally is really a good idea. Some recipients may consider it spam, but pitching ideal clients by email has helped generate new business for me.

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Though it's a slow process, organic traffic to my website has been very effective. – Robin KhokharClick To Tweet

Yatin KhulbeYatin Khulbe

Content Marketer & Copywriter

Website // @yatinkhulbe

What is your best source of new freelance business?

I consider guest posting my best source of new clients. Always keep these three points in mind while submitting a guest post:

(1) Add value: Don’t just submit a guest post with the intention of generating backlinks. Forget about getting juice from search bots and focus on your target audience.

(2) The first impression is the last impression: Never spoil the mood of the site owner. You get one chance to impress him or her.

(3) Give respect to your readers: If readers give up some of their precious time to read your article, you must pay back the same love by providing engaging and useful content.

Start with low authority blogs. After getting exposure on these blogs, aim for bigger publications.

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I consider guest posting my best source of new clients. – Yatin KhulbeClick To Tweet

Ardelia LeeArdelia Lee

Freelance Writer & Content Consultant

Website // @ArdeliaMLee

2015 Earnings: $0 to $24,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Word-of-mouth referrals have been my best method for getting new clients. In order to set up a network of referrers, I’d suggest that you go above and beyond with your current clients. Add extra value to what you do for them. Do an extra revision or two without charge, or do a little task that’s not in your job description. Just make their lives easier, and they’ll be happy to refer you to their network.

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I'd suggest that you go above and beyond with your current clients. Add extra value to what you do for them. – Ardelia LeeClick To Tweet

David LeonhardtDavid Leonhardt

Freelance Writer

Website // @amabaie

2015 Earnings: $25,000 to $49,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

The queries from my own website are my best source of new business. In 2015, I got three book contracts for myself, as well as a few for team members, that way.

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The queries from my own website are my best source of new business. – David LeonhardtClick To Tweet

Matthew LoomisMatthew “Kaboomis” Loomis

Freelance Writer

Website // @buildurownblog

What is your best source of new freelance business?

When I was freelancing for clients, there were three sources that were all good sources of business, so it is hard to single out one as the “best.”

Here are the three sources:

(1) Other freelancers: For this to work, you need to develop relationships with others in your field. It works well when the others are more established than you are, because they are usually going to have the better referrals. That’s one benefit to making connections with your online colleagues — they will send work your way when they are too busy or the client is not a good fit for them.

(2) Local networking group: Once I started faithfully attending a monthly networking group in my local area, and developed relationships — see a pattern? — over time, that group became a good source of new business. You have to participate consistently and… wait for it… develop relationships for it to work!

(3) Social media marketing: Back in 2012-2013, when I was hustling for freelance work, I heavily marketed myself on various social platforms, and I found this to be productive. For me, the best platforms for new business were Facebook and LinkedIn. I was also heavily using Google+ and Twitter.

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You need to develop relationships with others in your field. – Matthew LoomisClick To Tweet

Diana MarinovaDiana Marinova

Freelance Marketing Consultant, Mentor & Coach

Website // @DianaLMarinova

2015 Earnings: $25,000 to $49,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

I have two equally good sources. One is Upwork — many clients find me there. Now I have a proven track record on the platform, which plays an important role, but… even when I was just starting, a lot of clients were inviting me to apply to their projects. Suffice to say, how one builds their profile on Upwork and how they position themselves will make or break their practice on the platform. Good clients often don’t even publish their projects publicly, they search and handpick their freelancers.

The other one is referrals and repeat clients. When I work with a client, long- or short-term, they usually are happy with my work but also with the communication and workflow in general. They happily return to me even after years have passed — that’s how strong the relationship is! — or send their friends and colleagues my way. All in all, building a strong network of clients and connections is a stepping stone to building a referral network. And the key to doing that is not only doing your job well and on time, but also being likable and making the whole experience enjoyable for the client.

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Many clients find me on Upwork. Now I have a proven track record on the platform, which plays an important role. – Diana MarinovaClick To Tweet

Karen MarstonKaren Marston

Copywriter & Freelance Writing Tutor

Website // @karenmarston

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Most of my clients come from inquiries on my website or via people I meet at conferences and other in-person events. The former isn’t very useful for total newbies… although if you want to go that route, make sure you’ve got a damn fine website and a regularly updated blog — you’ll get there eventually! — so let’s focus on the latter.

Sometimes it feels like cheating, getting clients via events. Either I meet someone who wants to hire me themselves, or I meet someone who recommends me to somebody else — and all I had to do was be myself and talk openly and passionately.

The conversation doesn’t even need to be about copywriting, although at some point, you know… it’s a good idea to at least mention what you do. Just clicking with someone makes a huge difference. Because if somebody likes you and happens to need to hire someone to do the exact thing you do… well, guess who they’re going to think of first?

Most of my clients come from inquiries on my website or via people I meet at conferences and other in-person events. – Karen MarstonClick To Tweet

Rob McDonaldRob McDonald

WordPress Web Developer

Website // @robswebdesign

What is your best source of new freelance business?

My best sources of new business is from referrals. I believe that you have to develop relationships with your audience before they will become your customers. Then once they become your customers, they are the best source of new customers from their referral of your services.

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I believe that you have to develop relationships with your audience before they will become your customers. – Rob McDonaldClick To Tweet

Emily McGeeEmily McGee

Freelance Writer

Website // @MyAdaptCareer

2015 Earnings: $25,000 to $49,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

I get my best leads through referrals. Some of the referrals come from previous clients, but I’ve also had valuable referrals from fellow freelancers in my network.

It takes time to build up your freelance business, so don’t expect instant results. But over time, you’ll work with great clients, and you should ask them directly if they know anyone else who would be interested in your services. A client who was happy with your work will often be happy to send referrals your way.

This technique also works especially well if you ever do pro bono work. When you’re just starting out, you can offer to do work for free to build your portfolio. Be sure to ask for referrals from the clients who benefit from your free work.

When you're just starting out, you can offer to do work for free to build your portfolio. Be sure to ask for referrals from the clients who benefit from your free work. – Emily McGeeClick To Tweet

Eren MckayEren Mckay

Social Media Strategist

Website // @erenmckay

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Mainly through building relationships with people through Skype groups, paid business forums, Google Hangouts, and even Blab. After building a rapport through talking and helping people out, I end up getting clients referred to me through my friends.

Voice is the key to growing the “know, like and trust” factor.

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Voice is the key to growing the know, like and trust factor. – Eren MckayClick To Tweet

Dawn MentzerDawn Mentzer

Freelance Writer

Website // @DawnMentzer

2015 Earnings: $50,000 to $74,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

The combination of social media engagement and face-to-face networking have been extremely effective in generating new business for me. The key is to have patience, and realize it takes time — sometimes months or years — and often multiple interactions before leads turn into clients. Sometimes it takes a long time before people truly understand what you can do for them… and time before they realize they need your services. And of course, you can’t build relationships and earn trust overnight.

Referrals are also a wonderful source of new business for me.

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It takes time -- sometimes months or years -- and often multiple interactions before leads turn into clients. – Dawn MentzerClick To Tweet

Jagadeesh MohanJagadeesh “Jag” Mohan

SEO Architect

Website // @jagadeeshmp

What is your best source of new freelance business?

The best sources of new business are a user-friendly website, organic search, engaging social media campaigns, and paid campaigns. In other words, a multi-channel approach works well when all the pieces work together to create a consistent experience.

This singular experience should be consistent from a desktop computer, iPad or another mobile device.

A multi-channel approach works well when all the pieces work together to create a consistent experience. – Jagadeesh MohanClick To Tweet

Becky MollenkampBecky Mollenkamp

Content Strategist

Website // @beckymollenkamp

2015 Earnings: $50,000 to $74,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Clients tend to come to me, often from the work I contribute to trade publications in their industry. They usually see me there, then message me through LinkedIn or via my website. Writing for trade magazines may not pay a lot, but if it’s specific to the industries you are targeting, it can be the start of a great sales funnel.

Writing for trade magazines may not pay a lot, but if it's specific to the industries you are targeting, it can be the start of a great sales funnel. – Becky MollenkampClick To Tweet

Alex MorrisonAlex Morrison

Marketing & Social Media Consultant

Website // @Malamax_com

What is your best source of new freelance business?

(1) Referrals and word-of-mouth: These are great, but something that comes with time.

(2) Facebook groups: These are so, so important as a freelancer! Find groups of professionals that are diverse but also comprised of members who fit your target market. Don’t advertise yourself in these groups, but participate as an active member. Demonstrate you’re an expert in your field by answering questions, engaging, and when the opportunity arises, don’t be shy. In these groups, you can offer freebies that people will eat up.

(3) Blogging: This is the easiest way to get new, targeted traffic to your website. It’s low cost but time consuming, so make sure you share it shamelessly to get traction. If no one sees it, it’s useless.

(4) Networking: Find local groups that meet in person. Follow up with the people you meet. These connections will be very important. When you go to functions, you need to have a mindset of being there to offer value. Think about what you can offer others, rather than what they can offer you.

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When you go to functions, you need to have a mindset of being there to offer value. Think about what you can offer others, rather than what they can offer you. – Alex MorrisonClick To Tweet

Sylviane NuccioSylviane Nuccio

Life Coach, Author & Freelance Writer

Website // @sylvianenuccio

2015 Earnings: $50,000 to $74,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

My best source of business is my blog. People come to my blog and contact me through email. Recently, however, I have started a brand new YouTube channel which is only three weeks old, and I’ve got over 3,000 views with close to 100 subscribers.

While I have not gotten any new clients from this channel yet, it’s a very specific niche-oriented channel, and I can see how much this brand new and already successful channel is going to be a great source of potential clients for me.

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My best source of business is my blog. People come to my blog and contact me through email. – Sylviane NuccioClick To Tweet

Jasper OldersomJasper Oldersom

Freelance Writer

Website // @opportunityTM

2015 Earnings: $0 to $24,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

My best source for new business is my email list. I don’t have a big email list, but when people get on my list, it means they are highly interested in what I do. Most of my subscribers that turn into business reply within two days after signing up.

Sometimes people even ask me for services that I do not show on my site, like consulting. Because of my digital marketing background, I am flexible enough to provide these services.

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When people get on my list, it means they are highly interested in what I do. Most of my subscribers that turn into business reply within two days after signing up. – Jasper OldersomClick To Tweet

Maddy OsmanMaddy Osman

SEO Copywriter

Website // @MaddyOsman

2015 Earnings: $0 to $24,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

One of my greatest sources of new business and clients is the network I built before I quit my job to freelance full-time.

I built this network by making my professional interests and passions as clear as possible on my social networks, regularly attending networking events, and frequently attending industry conferences.

Even though I’m starting to reach my limit in terms of clients and projects, I still am regularly making efforts to network — you never know what amazing clients and projects are just a meeting away!

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I still am regularly making efforts to network -- you never know what amazing clients and projects are just a meeting away! – Maddy OsmanClick To Tweet

Laura PenningtonLaura Pennington

Freelance Writer & Project Manager

Website // @sixfigurewriter

2015 Earnings: $100,000+ USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Upwork! I also get referrals from previous clients.

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Upwork! I also get referrals from previous clients. – Laura PenningtonClick To Tweet

Dr. Rin PorterDr. Rin Porter

Freelance News Reporter

Website // @rporter610

2015 Earnings: $0 to $24,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

I have not received any new clients in several years. My income is from long-term clients.

When I decided to end my teaching career in 2004, I knew that I could not be content with stopping work completely. So I made a list of possible jobs that I could get in my rural area, and settled on freelance journalism. I was new to the area and had few contacts.

In 2003, I gathered the names and addresses of the local newspapers — weeklies — and began buying them and checking the classified ads for help wanted. Sure enough, in a month or so, I saw an ad for a freelance newspaper reporter and I called immediately. It turned out that I was the only applicant, and the job included writing for two newspapers. I started work before I retired from my full-time job.

I continued my quest for freelance work after retiring. I contacted two additional newspapers asking about freelance work. Both said they weren’t looking for anyone. But five years later in 2009, one of them called me and hired me to cover a single news source. In 2012, a fourth newspaper contracted with me to cover that same news source, and agreed that I could use the same story in both newspapers since they served different geographic areas.

I gathered the names and addresses of the local newspapers and began buying them ... sure enough, in a month or so, I saw an ad for a freelance newspaper reporter and I called immediately. – Dr. Rin PorterClick To Tweet

Alicia RadesAlicia Rades

Freelance Blogger

Website // @aliciarades

2015 Earnings: $25,000 to $49,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

It’s hard to say what the “best” source of new business is because there are a couple of sources that work for me. However, we can bundle them under the “inbound marketing” category.

I currently have several clients who found me through referrals. One cool thing about it is that it originated from just one client. So one client referred someone to me, and then that person referred another person to me, etc.

I also have several clients who found me through search engines or contacted me after seeing my guest posts on other sites.

These aren’t necessarily tactics you can rely on in the beginning, but when I started, I knew for sure that I didn’t want to do much outbound marketing. I hate it. So I put a lot of time into my website and networking with other people.

People think it’s impressive that I can rely on inbound marketing, but I don’t think so. It’s not that I’m more in-demand than other writers and bloggers or that I have any secret tips. It’s just that that’s where I’ve focused my efforts.

My advice to new freelancers is to make time for inbound marketing. Take the time to set up a website and optimize it for search engines. Consider starting a blog on that site. Network with other freelancers and industry professionals. You never know who might send work your way.

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People think it's impressive that I can rely on inbound marketing ... that's where I've focused my efforts. – Alicia RadesClick To Tweet

Corina RamosCorina Ramos

Blogger & Freelancer

Website // @notnowmomsbusy

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Facebook groups have been my main source of new clients. My biggest response was when I had a promotion for my services.

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My biggest response was when I had a promotion for my services. – Corina RamosClick To Tweet

Cheri ReadCheri Read

Freelance Writer

Website // @cherireadwrites

2015 Earnings: $0 to $24,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

When I first started, the ProBlogger and Paid to Blog job boards were my main sources of new business. They are both great for newer bloggers, but because they usually list lower paying gigs, I moved on quickly. Now my main source for new clients is referrals. When you deliver your best work, you’ll be surprised at how quickly current clients will start to refer you to others in their network. I’ve also just signed up for Contena.com, which appears to have higher paying job listings.

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When you deliver your best work, you'll be surprised at how quickly current clients will start to refer you to others in their network. – Cheri ReadClick To Tweet

Lorraine RegulyLorraine Reguly

Freelance Writer & Editor

Website // @lorrainereguly

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Word-of-mouth marketing, from previous clients, is one of my best sources for obtaining new clients. The quality of my work is another!

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Word-of-mouth marketing, from previous clients, is one of my best sources for obtaining new clients. – Lorraine RegulyClick To Tweet

Dina RodriguezDina Rodriguez

Hand Lettering Artist

Website // @lettershoppe

2015 Earnings: $0 to $24,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

I’ve built my business using word-of-mouth and social media, so I’m lucky enough to have all my clients come to me. Whether they saw my work on Instagram, Pinterest, Dribbble, or Twitch.

In my business, it’s 70 percent promotion with 30 percent production. After every project I finish, I spend an additional week promoting it by creating case studies, process sketches, and even time lapse videos to help spread the word on my work.

Creating good work is just the first step in getting clients. You have to be able to talk about your work and the reasons behind your design decisions to stand out from the crowd.

After every project I finish, I spend an additional week promoting it by creating case studies, process sketches, and even time lapse videos to help spread the word on my work. – Dina RodriguezClick To Tweet

Ariel RuleAriel Rule

Freelance Writer & Social Media Manager

Website // @freelance4more

2015 Earnings: $25,000 to $49,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

My long-term clients are generally ones that come to me. They either find me from a guest post or from an internet search.

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My long-term clients are generally ones that come to me. They either find me from a guest post or from an internet search. – Ariel RuleClick To Tweet

Gabriella SanninoGabriella Sannino

SEO Consultant

Website // @SEOcopy

2015 Earnings: $100,000+ USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Referrals, SERPs, and — of course — social networks.

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Referrals, SERPs, and -- of course -- social networks. – Gabriella SanninoClick To Tweet

Natalie SayinNatalie Sayin

Freelance Writer & Social Media Marketer

Website // @turkishtravel

2015 Earnings: $25,000 to $49,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

The “Advertise and Work with Me” page on my blog is responsible for all my clients at the moment. On occasion, I have to take it down because I just don’t have time to take on more work.

Most of my existing clients that came to me through my blog also work with me on a regular basis and some have been with me for two years or more. Others will get in touch with me every so often when they want new content or advertising.

My advice to new freelancers is to set up an advertising or services page. When you receive inquiries, send through a PDF media brochure listing all your services. Most clients will order a combined package of articles, adverts and social media work.

This system also works because I keep a client list of everyone who has contacted me, should I need to pitch for new clients in the future. People who have inquired also keep my media brochure for future reference.

It also helps to narrow down your niche and prove yourself to be an expert, rather than an all-rounder. Rather than listing myself as a travel writer, all my work has been based on the country of Turkey, which has earned me a name in the Turkish travel industry as well as repeat business.

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My advice to new freelancers is to set up an advertising or services page. When you receive inquiries, send through a PDF media brochure listing all your services. – Natalie SayinClick To Tweet

Lanre SolarinLanre Solarin

Content Marketer

Website // @rathersure

2015 Earnings: $0 to $24,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

My best source of new business is my website. A website serves as a unique portfolio of the kind of work you can create for clients.

Ever since I started freelancing online, I had started a blog early enough, too. Most of my clients came after viewing an article I wrote on a guest blog, and then filling the request form on my services page.

Aside from that, I also get clients from referrals. I always say, “Marketing is about doing good work, and telling the right people about it.”

When you tell the right people online about the work you do, that’s marketing, and it’ll get you results. When you do good work for your clients and they also tell the right people about it, you’ll get results too.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

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A website serves as a unique portfolio of the kind of work you can create for clients. – Lanre SolarinClick To Tweet

Tom SouthernTom Southern

Copywriter & Blogging Coach

Website // @CopyByTom

What is your best source of new freelance business?

My best source of new business are people who find me online and who really connect with my message and what I teach them to do.

The people who find me and join my email list or come to my blog generally come ready to tell me exactly what they’re going through and, in so doing, tell me exactly — albeit, indirectly — what they want me to do for them

How do I achieve this? I spent a lot of time — and continually spend it as it’s an ongoing process, I believe — diving deep into what my target audience’s “deep heart problems” are and drawing on these in my content.

I realized as I did this that I wanted to work with clients whose own end results matched mine. Maybe not to the letter, but echoed a lot of it.

This is important because it lets me know what it is that’s at the core of their “deep heart problems.” It gives me a unique understanding of what’s going on for them. And what’s blocking them from getting to their end result.

The best part about this strategy is that it helps me find where my best potential clients are hanging out. All I need is to go there and make myself visible. New clients come to me.

They usually sign up to my list or leave heartfelt comments on my blog after reading one of my posts that really go into their “deep heart problems” and then ask for my help.

How do I do it?

I took time out over several weeks to get clear about what I wanted to achieve through my business.

I defined what my end result was… what did I really want out of my business, and what would have to happen for me to know that I was both on track, and then actually achieving that end result?

But these are not what your end result should be. These reference points are just the steps that lead to your end result.

The closer you are to your target audience or clientele, the more likely you are to understand what their “deep heart problems” are.

And, more importantly, they’re more likely to trust you and listen to what you have to say, or teach them.

This common bond works so much better than trying to find a niche to fit into. It helps to narrow down to find the right kind of traffic; the right kind of people to bring into your business.

The best part of all this is that you get to work with returning clients.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock his answer now!)

I spent a lot of time diving deep into what my target audience’s problems are and drawing on these in my content. – Tom SouthernClick To Tweet

Laura SpencerLaura Spencer

Freelance Copywriter

Website // @TXWriter

What is your best source of new freelance business?

The best clients are people who know me already.

My second best source of clients comes from referrals.

It’s so important to keep up with your contacts so that you are the person they think of when they need a writer. There are lots of ways to do this. For example, I love the way the LinkedIn tool prompts you to interact with contacts when something changes. When you see the prompt you can decide to respond, or not.

Another way to keep up is through email or leaving comments on their blog. Of course, if the contact is local, you can arrange to get together with them in person or meet at a trade show.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock her answer now!)

I love the way the LinkedIn tool prompts you to interact with contacts when something changes. When you see the prompt you can decide to respond, or not. – Laura SpencerClick To Tweet

Kirsty StuartKirsty Stuart

Freelance Writer

Website // @kirstythewriter

What is your best source of new freelance business?

My best source for new clients is definitely pitching directly. I advocate this on my website and dedicate lectures to it in my Udemy course.

Why?

Firstly, because it cuts down on competition — if you’re competing against every writer on Upwork or People Per Hour, you have less chance of getting the job.

Secondly, you’re able to really hone in on how you can provide value directly to the client this way… and therefore you can charge more!

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock her answer now!)

My best source for new clients is definitely pitching directly. I advocate this on my website and dedicate lectures to it in my Udemy course. – Kirsty StuartClick To Tweet

Angela TagueAngela Tague

Freelance Writer & Journalist

Website // @AngelaTague

2015 Earnings: (Shared privately)

What is your best source of new freelance business?

My best source of new clients and projects comes from building relationships on social media. I seek out the companies or publications I want to write for and get on their radar by sharing, commenting on, and liking their posts. Some will eventually email me with opportunities, or I’ll reach out with a pitch for their blog or upcoming issue.

Be proactive and put yourself out there if you want to gain more clients.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock her answer now!)

I seek out the companies or publications I want to write for and get on their radar by sharing, commenting on, and liking their posts. – Angela TagueClick To Tweet

Pinar TarhanPinar Tarhan

Freelance Writer, Content Consultant, Screenwriter & Blogger

Website // @zoeyclark

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Pitching. I love pitching personally to established publications. I know how much they pay and when, what they publish, and I know they won’t disappear. At this point, I should mention that I am also a screenwriter, so fiction writing also takes a lot of time.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock her answer now!)

I love pitching personally to established publications. I know how much they pay and when, what they publish, and I know they won't disappear. – Pinar TarhanClick To Tweet

Caressa ThompsonCaressa Thompson

Business Strategist

Website // @CaressaLenae

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Video. Ironically, this is my favorite way to deliver information and it works. And no matter if you’re a veteran or just getting your feet wet, you can easily hop on Periscope, Facebook, or some other live online training that allows your audience to hear, see, and make a connection with you and your content.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock her answer now!)

Hop on Periscope, Facebook, or some other live online training that allows your audience to hear, see, and make a connection with you and your content. – Caressa ThompsonClick To Tweet

Cari TwitchellCari Twitchell

Content Marketing Specialist

Website // @CariTwitchell

2015 Earnings: $25,000 to $49,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Hands down, my best source of new clients is word-of-mouth referrals. You need to take the time to build a strong network, and to support that network through ongoing communications. And then you have to deliver quality work. That quality work will lead your clients and your referral partners to sending more clients your way.

I have heard time and again from writers who say networking isn’t worth it. This statement is untrue. What is true is that you get out of it what you put into it. Take the time to build real relationships and support your network.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock her answer now!)

What is true is that you get out of it what you put into it. Take the time to build real relationships and support your network. – Cari TwitchellClick To Tweet

Adam ZetterlundAdam Zetterlund

Freelance Writer

Website // @writingAZ

2015 Earnings: $25,000 to $49,999 USD

What is your best source of new freelance business?

Asking for referrals from my existing clients has been a huge boon to my business, drastically reducing the time I spend prospecting for new work. Admittedly, it feels a little uncomfortable the first few times around, but I’ve yet to encounter a single client who has responded negatively to my request.

I keep it casual and simply ask them to share the word with others — if you’re delivering consistent, high-value work, you might be surprised by how many customers are not only willing to comply, but eager to proselytize on your behalf.

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

(This contributor responded to the bonus question. Unlock his answer now!)

Asking for referrals from my existing clients has been a huge boon to my business, drastically reducing the time I spend prospecting for new work. – Adam ZetterlundClick To Tweet

And just like that… the curtain closed, and 70 awesome freelancers exited stage right…

Wow.

What did you think?

I’m excited to discuss your thoughts in the comments below.

But first, let me ask you this… would you like to review some of these answers again in the future? After all, there were a lot of actionable ideas in this expert roundup post to help you source new freelance business.

If so, why don’t I send you a complete — and free — PDF copy of this post?

GET THIS POST DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX

There were a lot of ideas contained within this post. So if you’d like to download a complete version of it — including the answers from all 70 contributors — in a single PDF file, enter your email below and click Send.

After all, posts like 70 Freelancers Reveal Their Best Source of New Business don’t get published every day.

Plus, you’ll be able to review it anywhere and at any time — even if you’re offline.

Or better yet… how would you like to do it all over again?

As you might recall, at the start of this post, I mentioned that I asked this same group of freelancers a second question.

That question was,

What’s your best tip for setting or increasing prices?

And do you know what happened?

62 of the 70 freelancers who contributed to this post answered that second question, as well.

I packaged all 62 of those answers into one premium guide called, 62 Strategies to Establish or Increase Your Prices.

And if you’d like, you can unlock a copy of it right now…!

LAST CHANCE… UNLOCK BOTH SETS OF ANSWERS NOW!

62 Strategies to Establish or Increase Your PricesWell, now you’ve had a chance to see what this group of freelancers is capable of delivering… so I ask you again, are you ready to discuss establishing or increasing your prices?

As the saying goes, if you keep doing what you have been doing, you’ll keep getting what you have been getting.

And if you’re okay with that…? Great.

But if you’re serious about taking your online, service-based business to the next level, upgrade now to unlock 70 Freelancers Reveal Their Best Source of New Business and 62 Strategies to Establish or Increase Your Prices in one convenient — and thorough — guide.

We’re talking about 18,000+ words spanning 45 pages from a group of 62 freelancers who earned an estimated combined total of $2.5 million last year.

As we conclude this post, my sincere hope is that you find yourself bursting with ideas… ideas to establish and build your own online, service-based business.

And if you truly did find this post valuable, insightful, or possibly even inspirational, could you do us all a big favor…?

Please share it relentlessly on social media.

I don’t ask you to do that simply because this is my own blog; rather, I think the contributors truly deserve the exposure for offering their ideas for us all to learn from.

Don’t you agree…?

Either way, I sincerely look forward to connecting with you in the comments below.

85 thoughts on “70 Freelancers Reveal Their Best Source of New Business

  1. Awesome man

    Sorry for coming here so late, but I’ve been swamped with work and another thing I’ve got involved with recently as well that’s been taking my time and energy as well. Even though pretty great and successful as well.

  2. Amazing post..!:) I’ll come back again to read again…but the below note really stuck me..

    “As the saying goes, if you keep doing what you have been doing, you’ll keep getting what you have been getting”.

    • I love that saying. It’s so true, isn’t it?

      My best suggestion is to download this post (free) for offline use… see above. You can then review this post whenever you would like.

      Happy Friday!

      Brent

  3. Great job Brent.

    Sorry for coming here so late, but I’ve been swamped with work and another thing I’ve got involved with recently as well that’s been taking my time and energy as well. Even though pretty great and successful as well.

  4. Hi Brent Jones,
    I am kind of freelancer but still not online. You post is very inspiring , at least for me. I am still new at the freelance online but thanks to Diana Marinova I am starting this online part. Lot of people want to be a freelancer but it’s not so easy to rely on yourself only and to blame yourself only instead your boss. With this post everyone can be inspired that with persistence and big desire everything can happen. Thanks to Diana I read this and found your site. You have one more fan in my face!
    Mariya

    • Hi Mariya,

      Thanks for dropping by to check out my expert roundup post! Glad you did, and grateful that Diana contributed to it.

      New fan? Excellent. 😀

      Well, if you’re new to freelancing, this post ought to give you plenty of ideas in terms of where you can source your first clients. Additionally, you may wish to check out the paid upgrade… it offers a lot of detail on how to price your services to sell.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Brent

  5. Great job Brent.

    Sorry for coming here so late, but I’ve been swamped with work and another thing I’ve got involved with recently as well that’s been taking my time and energy as well. Even though pretty great and successful as well.

    You’ve done a great job gathering so many people and interesting information. I noticed that a lot of them didn’t want to show “the money” but as for me, I’m celebrating my newfound financial freedom and love my numbers now.

    Thanks for asking me to participate, and see you around soon.

    ~Sylviane

    • Hi Sylviane,

      Never apologize for having work to do… clients must come first, my friend!

      Out of the 70 contributors, 38 offered up their 2015 earnings — more than half. That was enough data for me to calculate an average amount of $40,788 per contributor in 2015, for a total of $2.85 million combined.

      And I’m totally with you… whether you made $20,000 last year or $120,000, it’s something to be proud of. A lot of people talk about taking the plunge into self-employment, but how many people actually ever do it? Plus, there’s a certain feeling of satisfaction you get when you make a large purchase, pay a mortgage payment, or take a vacation knowing that every dime spent was a dime you earned on your own — you didn’t need to rely on an employer.

      Really cool, right?

      Glad you contributed to this post, Sylviane. It wouldn’t have been the same without you.

      Best,

      Brent

  6. Brent, it’s very nice to virtually meet you….
    Some writers have found success with the use of a dictionary….

    Basically, most common words are owned by big companies (such as Finance.com) and big companies have money. They have taken the daily task of pitching their services to those companies one by one, which I personally consider a good idea. After all, the worst that could happen is that they say “No thanks” to the writer…

    Thanks for this wonderful list!

    Elvis Michael

    • Elvis,

      What a creative idea! Go word-by-word and look up company names associated with that word… I suppose, of course, you could target your efforts a little more by choosing words that directly relate to your niche.

      I’m glad you enjoyed my expert roundup post — thank you for commenting! It’s great to virtually “meet” you, as well.

      Best,

      Brent

    • Well, thank you for saying so, Devishobha!

      If you found this expert roundup post useful, I highly recommend upgrading to get both sets of answers.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Brent

  7. Hi Brent Jones,

    This is so epic post to have.
    WOW! Didn’t knew that freelancers could tend to earn that much. This would be acting like a confidence
    boost up for many of the newbies out there like me.

    One thing I noticed among all the 70 experts, that everyone is focused upon, their present customers
    and things that can be done for the betterment of their resources and how to keep them connected
    through our services. Many times I have seen that, people get too busy with their success, that they stop
    giving attention to their old customers and this leads to the degradation in their income.

    This is the huge roundup experts info, about their best sources of income.
    Thank you so much for sharing this post among us.
    Shantanu sinha

    • Hello again, Shantanu!

      How are you?

      Thanks for commenting.

      Glad you enjoyed this roundup post. If you thought the first set of answers was good, you should check out the upgrade with both sets of answers! Wow!

      The thing about freelancing is you can earn as much as you want. No one can stop you except for you. And as you say, to earn a healthy income freelancing, you need to split your focus on winning new business while taking care of existing clients.

      Good luck with your own freelancing — let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you.

      Best,

      Brent

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