It’s one of the most frequently asked questions: ‘Where will I find my clients?’ There are plenty of ways to grow your client base, both for starters and experienced freelancers, but I decided to go over all my current clients to show where they came from. I believe there’s an important lesson to learn from it.
I’m currently working with 8 clients on a monthly basis. They are all on a fixed-price monthly package, which means my income is relatively secure. This is how I found them, in order from the most paying to the least paying.
#1. €2700 per month
2 years ago I was dating a guy. I told him of course what I do. Because of that, his best friend knew. The girlfriend of this best friend worked at a global company. When that company was looking for a community manager, she told her boyfriend, who thought of me. The girlfriend and I talked, and we were both excited about working together. Her company asked me to work on their account via an agency they always work with. So technically, that agency is now my client. It started as a €800/month job, but grew into this amount over the course of 2 years.
#2. €800 per month
This is a brand new client that I had training with last week and will officially start working with on Monday. Someone from that company posted in a local expat group on Facebook that they were looking for a social media expert. A friend of mine saw it and connected us. The friend has nothing to do with my type of work, she was just aware of what I’m doing. It’s a big company with 10 offices across Europe, so as long as I do my job well, it’ll be a stable client.
#3. €700 per month
This one is linked to #1. The agency was so happy with my work that when they got a new client with a similar project, they asked me to work on it. I was very happy working for the agency as well, so of course I jumped on the opportunity!
#4. €500 per month
I used to work for a motorbike startup. They had an interim senior marketer. He left the startup (and so did I) and then he started working for a very well-known company in The Netherlands. They had a vacancy in social media, and he thought of me to temporarily fill the gap until they had hired someone for the in-house position. That’s now 2 years ago and I’m still working for them! The reason he knew that I had started as a freelancer by then was because I had posted a lot about it on LinkedIn.
#5. €500 per month
This client I met at a conference. We got to talk at the afterparty and he liked my vibe, so after the conference he contacted me, we discussed how I could help him, and that was it. I’ve been working with them for over 1.5 year now, basically from their very first day.
#6. €350 per month
This is a small client that I got via someone at my coworking space. I gave a workshop session there and actually the aunt of my client attended the session. She contacted me a little while after that workshop and connected me with her nephew who needed help with the social media of the company he managed.
#7. €225 per month
This is another small client that I got last week via a job board. It was an international job board but he was specifically looking for someone who speaks Dutch, so I’m guessing the competition wasn’t very high. Good for me!
#8 $275 / €170
Another small client that I got via Upwork. I will have to pay a commission and will get paid in dollars, so I estimate it will leave me with €170 per month. This is below the usual price I would charge, which was ok for me because it’s a niche I have no experience in. I just wanted to give it a try and see how it goes.
What You Can Learn From This
So what can you learn from this? The thing I always advise: tell everyone what it is you’re doing, even when you believe your network isn’t worth anything. My 3 biggest accounts, which sum up to already a very nice income, I found because of people in my network who had nothing to do with my field of work. Tell everyone. It pays off.