How to jumpstart your freelance business and get your first customers
With so many freelancers working online (and offline) now, it's becoming tougher to make that all important first sale. You know the ones that establish your reputation and help you get a foot into the freelance business door.
So how do you turn those casual shoppers (tire-kickers, sight-seers, people who act interested in your service but never buy) into die-hard buyers who return time and again to buy your services? Are you offering a discount for first time buyers? Are you offering more than your competition?
I started out on SEOClerks as a seller, with forum posting. I love being on forums and talking to people and am very social so it seemed like a good option. Later on, I moved into article writing and blog commenting (super easy, pays way better than forum posting and a good way to develop your writing skills).
As for myself, I didn't have the luxury of being able to offer the '$1.00' jobs. Not even sure that was an option back then. Also, I never really earned that well from $1.00 jobs and those buyers usually just sampled and didn't come back for more services.
As for getting my first buyers (people who purchased my SEOClerks freelance services), the thing that worked best for me was being active on the SEOClerks forum in the early days.
At that time, I was a moderator on the original support forum, but also posting daily there.
And, people would check out my forum posts and then come on over to my profile here to see what services that I was offering.
The forum posts that I was creating served as perfect writing samples to demonstrate the quality work that I was able to deliver. And, this is something that I would recommend to anyone. Get active on our forum.
When a potential buyer clicks through from Google search onto a topic and reads a literate and well thought out response on a forum post, they are likely to want to click through on your name to check out your profile to see what you have going on.
That brings me to another matter. If you don't have a really good description on your profile, you should get that updated so it reflects who you are and what you offer.
Getting those first customers (and ratings) was pretty easy. But keeping them coming back was another task. For me, the key was to out-perform anyone else in that category. So for instance, if I was contracted to create 10 forum posts, then I would deliver 30. And, that created a lot of good will with forum owners.
Within a short period of time, I was so busy that I had to raise prices and still constantly busy.
After awhile, I had a nice bank of work (and my profile picture was everywhere online) and good word just got around and orders were non-stop by then.
Always maintaining the best quality (better than competition); delivering way more than anyone else; being a reputable seller and charging a fair (not cheap) price were some of the things that helped me stay in business as a profitable freelance writer via SEOClerks.
Please share some of your best secrets for getting your first customers as an SEOClerks seller and for building y our SEOClerks freelance business.