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Freelancing For Designers Ep2: Reaching the Right Clients

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The previous article was about 2 years ago, and I’m sorry about that delayed follow up:). On that one, I told my story of why freelance.

We’re slowly getting into How. For starters, the choice of going freelance is not just about life style is it? It’s also about money.

We do this to gain a decent individual income and if possible, an income that is recurring. For that, we need clients. But when I say clients, I’m talking about people with minds and quality. That’s also what they seek on us, don’t they?

There are so many ways to reach potential clients on the web and around. The most common tip you might have read is networking, a.k.a word of mouth marketing. Something I don’t do myself. The reason is; networking only best works for local clients. And since I’m currently located in Turkey, I would not say I’m a fan of my local clients. Anyways that’s an another topic.

Getting back to finding quality clients on the web, there are a couple major boards (those you might already know) I can suggest for finding the right clients, and a couple to stay away from.

Where?

  • Freelance Switch
    The busiest freelancing job board is freelanceswitch job boards. For 7$ a month, you can subscribe an account to be able to post applications to the existing ads.
  • Authentic Jobs
    Assuming you prefer going totally remote freelancing, you will need to filter “freelance” while searching on this site. The good thing about Cameron Moll’s AJ is it’s free for us.
  • Smashing Magazine Job Boards
    Relatively new (and assumed to be huge in the near future), it’s possible to spot quality and fun work possibilities. Again, you might want to use the “freelance” tab to list the remote work jobs only.

You can either frequently check these or subscribe to their job feeds, just like I do. I have this nifty app that I add these 3 sites’ job feeds into, and it just notifies me when those feeds have something new.


Where Not & Why Not?

Sites like freelancer, guru and elance are places where people wanting to get things done for cheapest, mostly without the quality requirements. You wouldn’t want to bother with them if you’re a designer doing this for the right money but also care about quality work.

It is really easy to spot a bad client that is only good for wasting time and nothing else. Check the ad if the ad/classified contains the following:

  • If the job/work description is more than 3 paragraphs and you still don’t get what the work is about. This means the client is unaware of what he/they exactly want.
  • If there’s a huge list of requirements (design / html & css / development for more than 20-30 pages) with a budget of $600. Of course you’re free to go for it if you believe you’re that low.
  • If the job ad/classified contains “seeking ultra great designer / outstanding work / super awesome skills / we want the greatest website design”, just ignore them. You’ll never make them happy even if you’re the really super awesome great designer.
  • If the budget field of the job details is empty, then he’s looking for a super cheap work done. Don’t bother.

Not sure if I missed anything, but above are pretty much about definition of a bad work, cheap client. Back in ’05-06, I used to work for clients like these(so many of them) and was hardly paying my rent. Now I have half the number of clients, but at least I’m getting paid right for what I do and have a great relationship with my existing clients.

Am I missing anything? Do you have any other suggestions? Let me know.

Cheers.

Posted in Freelancing

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  1. Nancy Kimberly

    Thanks for the share!
    Nancy

  2. Randy Pena

    Just wanted to say HI. I found your blog a few days ago on Technorati and have been reading it over the past few days.

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