How do you bring in new freelance clients consistently?

In other words, what do you do to make sure that you have consistent incoming freelance work?

I’m really interested in hearing from those that have gone freelance full-time or part-time. How do you keep new customers coming in? What do you do to meet new potential customers/clients?

Interesting question and yet a tough one too. Here’s mine.

1 - Marketing. Freelancer don’t have a dedicated sales/marketer people so you need to be it your self. Build your soft skills in presentation, scope agreement, customer response, documentations, budget/costing calculation.

2 - Competitor. Yes, you’re a freelancer, usually do not have a strong background/portfolio in getting big/medium projects. So, focus on the small market first.

3 - Relationship. Build good and smooth relationship with the potential customer/client even our proposal was rejected by them. Make friend, do not make business. When they remember how good we are in term of handling a relationship, they’ll vouch us to their friends.

4 - Subcon. Sometimes as a freelancer, you’ll be proposed by some company to do the job on their behalf. Make a proper costing to them and again, build a friend relationship plus look back at point 1, good soft skill. People like person with a good soft skills.

5 - Technical. Soft skills + Technical skills + awesome = you’ll nailed it.

6 - Costing. This is the crucial part. How do you put your rate? Since you’re a freelancer, your cost might not require building rental,utilities,hot PA,etc…so you can cut too many costs here. But, by providing a low cost to the client, it’ll affect the current market rate and most of the times, people in the same market field would not like it. Do some research on your local market, what is the best rate, and how you can make sure your cost will not affect the market.
I believe costing is one of the main criteria that ensuring you can easily obtained a project. Most of the clients are require pentest project because ‘they need’ not because ‘they want’…Every countries have their own regularities for govt/financial/ organisations to perform pentest. So, these organisations usually will look on company/people that able to provide the service at a low budget. Here’s the tricky part, once you quoted them at a low price, high chances that the price will not go up high anymore in future. so that’s a gamble. :smile:

TLDR version;

To have consistent incoming freelance work:
1 - Broship relation with your subcon provider,clients,potential customers
2 - Awesome softskills and cool documentations that is suitable for both tech and mgmt people
3 - Awesome tech skills + response in providing recommendation.



yappare made some good points that I’d also agree with.
I’ve managed to get a few contracts now and the following things are what have worked for me.

  1. Use contacts you’ve made down through the years.
    Most people hate seeing advertising from people they know, especially through channels normally reserved for private communication but at the same time, there is a need for the services you provide and most people are more likely to refer you if they see that you’re attempting to work for yourself. People you know can be surprisingly supportive and can help by mentioning your services to potential clients. People do talk!

  2. Publish or make public any positive work you’ve done or “advertise” your achievements. Get your services out there in the public by doing conference talks, taking part in public events etc.
    This can help pull potential clients you don’t have any connection to. I got a contract and another potential client after doing a 20 minute talk at a local infosec conference. Going to such events or submitting talks/papers is an opportunity to advertise at an event that other people put time and effort into attracting potential clients to.

  3. Create attractive “deals” or prices.
    I’ve worked for slightly below the usual market rate. Some would consider this selling yourself short but for me it has got me extra contracts I may not have got otherwise. On two occasions a client came back to me for further testing as they felt I was providing them with an excellent service for the price. The goal for me is to keep myself working, so more contracts/jobs to me is better than aiming for a single larger contract.

  4. Go beyond what everyone else is doing in whatever way you can.
    Clients appreciate it and WILL come back for more.

I hope these additional tips will at least help some people!