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  • Craft more persuasive pitches and proposals.
  • Have clients who are better and more profitable.
  • Stop wasting time sorting through emails and files so you can get back to work.

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How to Use LinkedIn to Find Clients

Looking for new ways to find clients? Try LinkedIn. As freelancers, we can use this active social media platform to find and attract clients. LinkedIn is popular as a social networking site for business professionals. It is the perfect avenue for freelancers and clients to meet.

How is it done? Here are three concrete and actionable tips to get you started on your client search on LinkedIn.

Tip #1: Optimize your LinkedIn profile with a keyword relevant to your job description.

Estimated Time: About 30 minutes to optimize your profile. To be updated every month or so.

On the LinkedIn website, you can post a CV or resume on your profile page. In order for your name to come up first on a search, you need to optimize your profile with keywords. For instance, if you are a web designer, you want people to see you when they go to LinkedIn to search for web designers. So you optimize your LinkedIn page with the words “web designer.” It’s a simple SEO tactic that you can use to the fullest to let your clients find you.

Tip #2: Join a LinkedIn Group whose members are part of your target clients.

Estimated time: 15 minutes to set up. 5 minutes per day to execute.

LinkedIn groups are active discussion sites. You could start a discussion on any topic, or join one that is ongoing. If you are seen as an expert in the field that is relevant to your services, then you have more chances of getting the clients you want. Therefore, participate in discussions. Respond to questions. At the end of answering questions, you could also encourage people to email you or visit your contact form if they are seeking more specific answers. If done right, this can lead to new clients and more work.

Tip #3: Use the advanced search option on LinkedIn to do an outright search for clients.

Estimated time: 30 minutes.

The search option in LinkedIn can be used to perform specific searches for people, groups, jobs, companies, answers and updates. Once you have established yourself as an expert and an active participant on the network, it will be easy for you to contact a prospective client directly. Just go to search and type in the keyword you want. Scroll down through the results and choose for possible clients. You can then email them with your pitch and wait for the reply.

LinkedIn As A Tool For Freelancers

These are just three suggestions of what you can do to find clients using LinkedIn as a tool. The site has many other possibilities that you could explore. If you are a freelancer without a LinkedIn account, I suggest you join the network and create your account now. If you have a LinkedIn account but haven’t checked it in a while, it is important that you go over there and update your profile. LinkedIn can be a powerful tool that you should be using to its full potential as a serious freelancer.

3 Ways to Lower Your Client Acquisition Cost

In a previous infographic, we discussed how client acquisition cost or CAC affects your total income per client. Carefully planning the elements that comprise your client acquisition cost can make a huge difference in your income – especially in the long run.

Here are 3 things you can do to lower your client acquisition cost and maximize your profit per client:

#1 – Get more recurring work from current clients.

Getting more work from clients saves you a lot of time and hassle in finding new clients again after a project ends. When you have recurring work, there is no need to spend time or money looking for new clients.When calculating your income for recurring clients, you only need to charge your client acquisition cost once. As a result, your succeeding income from this same client is relatively higher than when this income is earned from different new clients.

When clients are satisfied with your output, naturally they will give you more work. So, providing quality service in the first place is important to earn your client’s loyalty.

#2 – Focus on getting referrals.

Another advantage of providing quality service to clients is the high probability of getting referred to other potential clients. It’s not rare for a client to know another person who is looking for services like yours. A happy client is likely to put in a good word for you and refer you to their friends who might benefit your service. This is free and requires minimum effort or cost on your part.

#3 – Use only marketing channels that work.

Spending too much time and money on marketing approaches that do not yield results is useless. Don’t waste of money, time, and energy on something that doesn’t work if you have other marketing channels that bring in clients.

To measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, have a time frame  for how soon you expect this particular marketing channel to bring in clients for you. In this way, you can measure its relevance to your business.

As a freelancer, every second spent towards attracting clients has a cost attached to it. What have you done lately to lower your client acquisition cost?

5 Telltale Signs That You are NOT Suited to Freelancing

So you’ve been freelancing for a while. But what was initially an exciting idea is now tiresome and exhausting.

When friends and former colleagues bump into you, they always quip about how you must have a lot of money now, or how lucky you are to have left the rat race. They tell you this even when you have not figured out yet how you would write that 550-word article on “Mortgage Loans” and the accumulated balance of your PayPal account is not even close to $100 from the time you left your office job – which was, by the way, 3 years ago. This nagging reality makes you wonder…

…did you make the right decision to freelance?

If you’re asking this, maybe you should be on the lookout for signs that you might not be cut out for freelancing. Here are a few of them:

#1 -You lack the skills.

In a recent report, Elance has listed 180,000 new contractors in the first quarter of 2012. That’s a lot of new workers for fields which already have existing workers. As it keeps growing, the freelancing world is a cut-throat competition of million other freelancers with marketable skills around the globe.

If you do not have enough skills to be competent in your chosen freelancing field, then you might have a hard time competing. It may be better to get more training or practice before you start pitching to clients. Those who are best suited for freelancing are competent in their field and they are confident that their skills are enough for them to set out on their own.

#2 – You are lousy at time management.

What gravitates most people to freelancing is the autonomy about where, when, and how they work. Since freelancers do not need to go to an office anymore, it’s easy to think that one would be better off freelancing so that there won’t be any problems about coming in late. If you are notorious for coming in late at work, freelancing will not get rid of your bad habit. Freelancers work on two or more projects at a given time and finishing them on time, every time, is crucial to success. Only individuals with high regard for time can reap the full rewards of freelancing.

#3 – You hate revisions.

It is typical for freelancers to receive revision requests from clients, even during ungodly hours of the day. Although accepting a limited number of revision requests should be part of your services, you have to cooperate with clients – even if it means doing this at the last minute. If this level of client support isn’t your thing, then freelancing may not be right for you.

#4 – You dislike interaction.

Freelancers may work independently, but they don’t conduct their business alone. They provide clients with constant communication through email, chat, or phone. To earn the trust and loyalty of their clients, freelancers should make it a point to respond to all client queries, even if it’s just to acknowledge that they’ve received it.

#5 – The thought of seeking out clients yourself fills you with dread.

Ideal candidates for freelancing do not cringe at the challenge of seeking out their own clients. Successful freelancers thrive on marketing and networking. They network with other freelancers and market their services to the public to attract clients.

Now that you have checked yourself against these signs, do you think you are suited for the freelancing life?