While working in the day-to-day of our freelance or service-based businesses, it can be difficult to find the time or the willpower to find new work.
After all, when you’re in the middle of working on a new project, the last thing you’re going to be thinking about is finding new clients. But it’s exactly this that could leave you in hot water down the line. When you’re struggling to find new work or new clients for your business.
So, in this article, I’m going to outline how to find new freelance work into your work schedule with ease.
Visual learner? Watch the video:
If you’re here, you likely get pretty into doing a project and don’t even think about finding new clients until it’s too late. Either that or you’re completely overwhelmed by finding new clients and want a better way to structure it.
So here are a few techniques I’ve developed over the years.
How to add ‘find new work’ into your freelance schedule
Tip #1: Have a system in place
Having a system in place for finding new clients is perhaps even more important than actually finding new clients.
If you think about it, there are many ways to find new work, including:
- Cold calling
- Cold emailing
- Social media
- and more
But there’s nothing worse than trying them all at the same time and getting no results.
As a freelancer or service-based business owner, you’ll want to pick one or two of these techniques and stick with them. Then once you have your chosen system, get a little more specific.
If you’re going to use networking, what’s your strategy? If you prefer social media, how are you going to focus on client generation?
My system of choice is cold emailing. In a previous article, I outlined why I think this is the best strategy for finding new clients. Read the article.
Tip #2: Automate it
While working on a project, you’re likely not going to have the time to do anything but work on that project. The good news is you can automate certain aspects of your work-finding or client-finding process.
For example, the likelihood is that your previous clients could still do with your help. So you can set a series of email templates you can use and customize for each client, pitching your other services.
Either that, or you can use email templates to help you cold email your prospective clients. Then you can schedule these to send ahead of time while you’re working on your existing project to take a hands-off approach.
If you have one set up, you can even automate your emails for the people who have signed up to your email list. You can use these to pitch your services also, this way you have something working for you in the background.
Tip #3: Schedule it in
This is perhaps the most obvious tip, but before working on a project or getting into client work, add ‘find new clients’ to your to-do list for a future date.
It simply won’t get done if you don’t schedule time to do it. If you have your system set up and scheduled a way to automate it, it shouldn’t take as long as you think.
How often you schedule this task depends on the amount of what you currently have. And the amount of what you think you need in the future.
This could be a once-monthly task or a task you set to complete every few days, depending on your situation. Make sure you schedule it on a day you don’t have much else to do.
This is a very important part of your business strategy, so you should schedule time to get it done.
Tip #4: Book a day ‘off’ to get it done
Sometimes, running a freelance or service-based business can be pretty overwhelming. Especially if you’re having to answer regular client queries and keep clients up to date. So when it comes to finding new clients, you’re already stressed and overwhelmed with the time it takes to manage your current ones.
While we don’t want to take our current clients for granted and we certainly don’t want to neglect them, we need to find time to find new ones.
I recommend booking a day ‘off’. This day off isn’t actually a day off for you, but it is a day off in the eyes of your clients.
Essentially, you’ll tell them that you’ve got a day off on X date and you’ll get back to them when you’re back. Give them a heads up of at least a week or more, depending on how much work you’re doing. You can even book this in in the middle of doing a project if you feel the need.
Then on that day the only thing you need to think about is acquiring new clients. Take this day to focus 100% on your client-finding strategy, putting a system in place so you can move forward without distraction.
You’ll be thankful for it and be able to jump right back into client work the next day.
So tell me in the comments, how do you schedule and finding new clients for your service-based or freelance business?