How to find your first freelance client



Freelancing is a great way to work independently and be your own boss. However, finding your first freelance client can be challenging. With so many freelancers out there, it can be difficult to stand out and attract potential clients. In this article, we’ll provide some actionable tips on how to find your first freelance client.

Define your target audience

The first step to finding your first freelance client is to define your target audience. Who do you want to work with? What type of clients are you interested in working with? Identifying your target audience will help you tailor your marketing efforts to reach the right people.

For example, if you’re a freelance writer, your target audience might be small business owners who need blog content. If you’re a freelance designer, your target audience might be startups that need help with branding and design.

Leverage your existing network

One of the easiest ways to find your first freelance client is to leverage your existing network. Reach out to friends, family, former colleagues, and acquaintances to let them know that you’re freelancing and looking for clients. You never know who might be in need of your services or who they might know that needs your services.

Make sure to update your LinkedIn profile and let your connections know that you’re available for freelance work. You can also join professional groups on LinkedIn to connect with potential clients.

Create a portfolio

Creating a portfolio is an essential step in finding your first freelance client. Your portfolio should showcase your best work and highlight your skills and expertise. It’s important to have a professional-looking portfolio that accurately represents your abilities.

If you don’t have any freelance work to showcase, consider doing some pro-bono work for a non-profit or offering your services at a discounted rate to get some experience under your belt.

Utilize freelance platforms

Freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr can be a great way to find your first freelance client. These platforms allow you to create a profile, showcase your skills and portfolio, and bid on projects posted by potential clients.

While these platforms can be competitive, they can also be a great way to gain experience and build your portfolio. Make sure to carefully read project descriptions and only apply for projects that you’re qualified for.

Attend networking events

Attending networking events is a great way to meet potential clients and build relationships. Look for industry-specific events or events for small business owners in your area. Bring business cards and be prepared to talk about your services.

Don’t be afraid to follow up with people you meet after the event. Connect with them on LinkedIn and send a follow-up email to stay in touch.

Cold email potential clients

Cold emailing potential clients can be a highly effective way to find your first freelance client. Make a list of potential clients that you would like to work with and reach out to them with a personalized email.

Make sure to research the company and mention why you think you would be a good fit for their needs. Include a link to your portfolio and invite them to schedule a call to discuss their project further.

Offer a referral program

Offering a referral program can be a great way to incentivize your existing clients to refer you to their network. Offer a discount or free service to clients who refer you to a new client.

Make sure to clearly communicate your referral program to your existing clients and make it easy for them to refer you. This can be as simple as including a referral link in your email signature.


Finding your first freelance client can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. By defining your target audience, leveraging your existing network, creating a portfolio, utilizing freelance platforms, attending networking events, cold emailing potential clients, and offering a referral program, you can increase your chances of finding your first freelance client.

It’s important to remember that finding your first freelance client is just the beginning. Once you’ve landed your first client, it’s important to provide exceptional service and build a strong relationship with them. This can lead to repeat business and referrals, which can help you grow your freelance business over time.

Remember to always keep improving your skills and staying up-to-date with industry trends. This will help you stay competitive and attract new clients in the future.

Lastly, don’t be discouraged if you don’t land your first freelance client right away. It takes time and persistence to build a successful freelance business. Keep putting yourself out there and refining your approach, and you’ll be sure to find your first freelance client soon enough.