Where you find your clients out in the world is a big question.
I held an open door session inside the Sustainable Freelancer FB Group last Friday where I put the webcam on and anyone could pop in to talk about anything they want.
Resulting from that was a conversation around the location of potential clients. Not necessarily any strategy about getting them, but more of where to look for places, online, offline, etc, where they may be.
A watering hole is where all the animals in an ecosystem come together because they need water to survive.
The idea fits perfectly because you want to find places where your clients come together to talk about business with other people in a similar market.
These are events, meetups, conferences, online forums, trade shows, and the list goes on.
You are a developer or designer and live online, so it's safe to assume that you know your way around the web.
Because of that, you may want to find your clients on the web. You try Facebook Groups, Twitter, Instagram, and even online forum sites. While you may find them here, maybe it's not THE watering holes best suited for your clients.
When I was working for an agency that focused on the medical industry, the sales team would regularly attend trade shows and conferences and buy booth space at these events.
Sure they ran Google Ads and such, but a great portion of sales and revenue for the business came from these events. There were months of the year where the sales team would attend 10-15 events in one month, all over the country.
The thing is that doctors and the medical industry don't spend the entire day on the computer and the web. They still don't.
What they do is attend conferences and events to learn about new technology and studies, to meet up with colleagues and build relationships, and play golf (let's be honest).
The sales team knew this, the business knew this, which is why they were so invested in putting effort into going to these watering holes and finding their clients.
Understanding the behavior of your client will help you figure out where to find them.
Pay close attention to your existing clients. Just because you found them in one spot, doesn't mean that's where they all are.
Follow them, talk with them. Ask them about their weekend and what they did. If they tell you that they can't make a meeting because they are going to a conference, ask them what conference.
Where you find your clients isn't about you. It's about them.
Be curious, ask questions, pay attention. Get into the head of your clients and they'll lead you to more.
Growing your freelance business
More episodes in this topic:
What are emerging platforms for freelancers?
Is automation necessary to grow a business?
How do you get away from a client that is most of your work?
How do you handle two target markets for different services?
Do certifications work for growing a freelance business?
Why do things that don't scale?
Are you comfortable?
How do you find other freelancers you can work and partner up with?
How can I share a tool for freelancers?
How viable is it to a find a job as a front-end web developer as a freelancer in the current market?
How do I improve my communication skills and confidence in public?
How did you scale your freelance business?
How to raise your rates at any time?
How to handle a bad referral?
Do you have any tip to increase productivity and motivation?
What is your biggest failure as a freelancer?
How do I grow my audience and awareness?
What is the first step in productizing your service?
How long does it take?
What is the benefit of a business coach?
Why don’t you grow your business?
Are you reviewing your sales process?
How do you make a productized service?
How to make business habits stick?
How to sell your productized service?
How to add a productized service to my business?
Where do you find freelance clients?
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