New to freelancing? 13 Ways to Earn Enough Business to Succeed


Oftentimes, people are afraid of going solo as a freelancer because they’re not sure how to get enough business to keep their heads above water. What is your best advice for doing this, and why?

Freelancer working on a projectphoto credit: Artem Podrez / Pexels

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization made up of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent almost every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at

1. Build your reputation first

Unless you’re currently working for a company in the exact same company you would as a freelancer, I think the old adage of “don’t quit your day job” is still good advice. Get one or two clients that you can manage along with the rest of your day-to-day tasks, do an excellent job for them and build your reputation. You can then quit your main job without undue fear.

– Kyle Michaud, Carolina Dozer

2. Get active on social media

Be social on social media every day. That means not only producing content that you can post on different platforms (which is also important), but also interacting with others. I often see entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that people just ‘find’ them. But if everyone believes that someone else will find them, who will make the find? Take the step to reach out.

– Morissa Schwartz, writing and marketing of Dr. rissy

3. Target your ideal customer

The best way to do business as a freelancer is to target your ideal client. Once you know who you want to work with, you can start creating content and marketing materials that appeal to them. You can also reach out to potential clients through social media or networking events. By focusing on your target market, you are more likely to attract the right kind of customers and increase your sales.

– Blair Williams, Member Press

4. Collaborate with other freelancers

Work for other freelancers and take on their extra work. If you do it right, they will send the work they don’t want or have time for you. My book with first clients were other professionals with more experience than me, and often I got referred clients who were too small for them. I have built meaningful relationships and lifelong customers.

– Givelle Lamano, law firm Lamano

Increase online sales with digital marketing

5. Improve your online visibility

One way to attract clients to your freelance services is to promote your services online. So get started on improving your online visibility. Not only will this attract new leads, but it will also help you build brand awareness. When people start recognizing you, they come to you when they need one of those services.

-Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

6. Write guest posts

It’s easier to grow your business if you have a strong reputation. I suggest contacting publications that publish content in your industry and ask if they accept guest posts. Use this opportunity to write a valuable article for another publication with a link back to your website. This strategy will help build your reputation, which will ultimately lead to more on-site traffic.

-John Turner, SeedProd LLC

7. Build Industrial Connections

For any type of freelancer position, it’s important to focus on building network connections in your industry. This is an easier way to get your foot in the door and get noticed by your target audience.

– Stephanie Wells, formidable shapes

8. Ask for referrals

Always ask for referrals. don’t ask once; periodically ask. Then you can take advantage of the networking efforts of multiple people. Don’t hide in a home office. Attend any event that may be related to your field. Work at coffee shops with a stack of business cards next to you. Learn how to be the one to break the ice and have faith in yourself.

– Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts

9. Highlight Testimonials

One way to find potential customers is to display testimonials and other forms of social proof on your website. Research shows that 72% of people only take action on a website after reading reviews. It doesn’t matter if they buy a physical product or the services of a person. Reviews and testimonials can have a huge impact on your sales and engagement.

-John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

Send Cold Emails

10. Cold Email Owners

There are two critical skills a freelancer can develop to keep bringing in clients: lead generation and cold emailing. I recommend learning these skills or getting help from fellow freelancers to find genuine emails from business owners. An aspiring freelancer can then coldly email these owners with offers of their services. This way they can always find new customers.

– Syed Balkhi, WP Beginner

11. Design a compelling website

If you want to see success as a freelancer, you need to build an audience. It’s nearly impossible to see consistent engagement if you don’t have a website. I recommend creating a blog and sharing industry-specific news, opinion pieces, and advice for your readers. It won’t be long before you have a list of options when it comes time to pick your next gig.

– Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

12. Build your portfolio in a particular niche

The key to ramping up cash flow quickly as a freelancer is to find a niche where you can build a portfolio to showcase new prospects. For example, as a writer, you can focus on an area that you are interested in or have some real-world experience in, such as healthcare. It’s much easier to sell work if the samples you send to potential clients are relevant to their business.

-Richard Fong, Bliss Drive

13. Focus on the quality of your work

One of the most efficient ways to stay on top of your freelancing is to consistently focus on quality content. Whether you’re a makeup artist, photographer, writer, or web designer, people will come to you if you can convince them with the quality of your work. It helps promote word of mouth and attract more customers.

– Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

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