I’ve got my portfolio and website online. What is the next step to attract new clients?

So you’ve had several freelance gigs and have sorted out your website. You’ve got most of your previous jobs through services like oDesk or through meetings in-person. Now that you are happy with putting yourself out there you want to know the next step as to attract new clients.

Use your skills and experience to your advantage

Write content that will drive visitors to your website! But not just any visitors—you want to write for people who need your services.

To attract people who need your services you have to show them that you can solve their problems.

And you can do that by writing, recording videos or making a podcast. Whichever you choose, it all starts with writing.

Help them solve their problems

You want to help the visitors of your site achieve something they want, to kill a pain they are already having. This way you are going to position yourself as an expert and you will gain their trust. Providing value by explaining them how to solve their problems will make them grateful towards you. The next time they need someone with your skill set they will remember you.

This guy’s writing helped me solve my issues the last time, well now I am going to hire him to do it for me.

Well then, what should I write about?

Let’s say you want to find clients for your freelance copywriting business.

Off the top of my mind, here is a list of things I would like to know (as a business owner, which I am), when I want to hire a copywriter:

  • Where can I find copywriters?
  • What is considered to be good copy?
  • How to evaluate copywriters?
  • How to post offers for copywriting gigs—what do copywriters need to know about my project so that I get them to reply to my job posting on oDesk?
  • How is copywriting being priced as a service?
  • What should I expect from a copywriter at different pricing levels? (provide examples, behavioural cues)
  • Help me understand why cheap becomes expensive when paying for copywriting
  • Why is copywriting valuable for me as a business owner?
  • What is copywriting actually?
  • What is the application of copywriting in my marketing processes?

Teach me about copywriting and you will become an authority in my mind.

Hint: Replace the word “copywriting” in the above paragraph with your skill and you’ve got a list of 10 topics to start your blog with.

Solve the problems of your target customers by publishing content that will help them and they will trust you.

I can’t stress this enough.

When you help them, a link titled “Hire Me” on your site won’t feel as a blatant promo or “this guy is selling me something I don’t want”. If I click it, it will be a statement—”I like you and your work, I trust you, I want to work with you!”

Where to go from here

Before you start helping you future clients you want to set up your site so that you will be able to contact them again.

Convert the visitors of your site into leads with an email newsletter

Create an email-list and put an opt-in form for to it at the end of your posts. Once you help someone with your advice and they give you their email you can notify them when you have published new content. This is essentially an invite back to your website—to check your new content, but more importantly, it is a way for you to remind them of yourself.

“But why would they give me their email?”

Well, they may want your “Working with insert-professional-skill-title-here tips” straight into their inbox 🙂 If you solve their problems with your writing they will become your fans.

Meanwhile you can still fiddle with oDesk, but wouldn’t it be better if you had freelance gigs delivered straight to your inbox? Your website can be the tool that can drive more qualified clients back to you.

You should definitely have some paying work going on while executing tactics from the above strategy. Go find work “the way you used to do till now”. But don’t forget to share what you’ve learned. Take some questions out of your conversations with clients and answer them on your blog.

Teaching and helping is a long-term oriented process and once you get it going there is no stopping to the leads and gig opportunities that will follow.

Speaking of teaching… If you’re just starting out with web design, take the free email course that I prepared.

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