Freelancing 101: Finding New ClientsMar 09, 2023
If you’re considering a new career as a freelancer or virtual assistant, what scares you the most? Some might say, “Hey, there are so many things to be worried about, I can’t pick just one!” However, in talking with entrepreneurs who have made the life-changing decision to escape the doom of being just another underappreciated clog in a big, honkin’ wheel, one “fear” seems to permeate the deepest recesses of their minds.
It’s the process of finding clients.
Does Anyone NEED Me?
Many immensely talented, articulate people hesitate to venture into the freelancing world because they are concerned—some even terrified—about finding clients with whom to work. As someone who has successfully traversed this “bridge over troubled waters,” the founder and CEO of Virtual Expert® training, Kathy Goughenour, has been there.
“I see this ALL the time,” she said. “I don't think there has been a single person, including me, who didn't have this fear on some level. In fact, about 80% of the people who I've spoken to who want to become freelancers are self-identified introverts. And as an introvert, they believe it's even more difficult to ‘put yourself out there’ so people know you're available to help them.”
How does someone overcome this roadblock to success?
What are the steps you advise a new freelancer to take to overcome this fear of business development “roadblock” to success?
Kathy doesn’t hesitate. “Get coaching and training from someone who has already created the type of business you want to create,” she notes. “However, it’s important to remember that not all business coaches and trainers are created equal.
“You want to find someone who has actually done what you want to do, not someone who has read about it, or come close to achieving it. Also, they must have a proven process to teach you how to use your unique gifts to find, get, and keep high-paying clients.
“Plus, you want to find a coach who provides ongoing training, coaching, and other resources to continuously increase your confidence and shift your mindset so that you can face the fear and do it anyway. Confidence and mindset aren’t something that you can turn on and off like a light. It's something that you build step-by-step, day-by-day.”
You might underestimate your unique gifts, but Kathy doesn't. She knows they are genuinely gifts that you are here on earth to share. She's helped hundreds of women identify their gifts and allow their gifts to shine, so they can do what they are great at: supporting their clients. In Kathy's program, she has quarterly “Mindset Tuneups,” presented by mindset experts around the world, along with quarterly advanced training to help you continue to grow and learn how to find, get, and keep clients.
Selling Ain’t What It Used to Be
There may have been a time, long, long ago, when a door-to-door salesperson could ring your bell, smile broadly, and launch into a prepared spiel about whatever they were pitching that day. Weirdly, people would even stand there and listen. Those days are long gone.
“The old-fashioned method of sales doesn't work in today's environment,” Kathy notes. “No one wants to be aggressively pitched or ‘sold to.’
“I suggest that you stop thinking; you must learn how to SELL. Instead, think about how you build relationships of any type. For example, think about a time you joined a new church or a new community. What did you do to develop new relationships? You got to know people. Right? And allowed them to get to know you. Slowly, you build trust. Not all at once, but little by little. That's what you do to get clients. Get to know people, build trust, and Bada Bing, they will want to work with you!
“Prospects for your freelance business are everywhere. Friends, friends-of-friends, current co-workers, people you went to school with, your spouse’s co-workers, your second-cousin Emily—almost anyone who is a functioning member of society, with challenges that they can’t find the resources to fix, might need the talents you possess. You simply must talk with them—not SELL them—and determine if you can help them.”
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