The bad freelancer's guide to standing out

Aug 16, 2015

Freelancing can feel like a real numbers game: if you’re not pitching one new client, you’re courting the next one… and all while networking as hard as you can.

But how do you make sure you stand out from all the other freelancers?

Check out these 5 easy tips to leave a lasting impression on any potential client!

1. Establish a connection

Everybody likes to feel valued.

At your next networking event, make sure your potential client knows they’re your NUMBER-ONE PRIORITY by trailing around them throughout the room, joining in every conversation, following them into bathroom stalls.

Stare unblinkingly into their eyes; get close enough to feel the moisture on their breath. Yes, yessss - you’re One with them now…. NUMBER-ONE.

2. Utilize the power of social media

Any expert will tell you that social media is the key to freelance success!

If your potential client has a social media presence, immediately friend them.

Remember that real-time content is everything: Tweet at them every hour, on the hour and ask them why they’re not responding.

Y AREN’T YOU RESPONDING Y DON’T U LIKE ME ANYMORE ☹ ☹ ☹ #callme #why is a great baseline professional Tweet, and well within 140 characters.

Tag them in photos of your day-to-day life, just so they know you’re thinking of them..

If they don’t have a Twitter name or Facebook page, make one for them, and engage yourself in long, intimate conversations!

When they find out, they’ll be so flattered!

Join the #FreelanceNation (it's free!)

Become a member

3. Explore common interests

You and your Potential Client have so much in common!

- They run a graphic design company, and YOU’RE a graphic designer!

- They’re from the Midwest, and YOU visited Chicago once!

- Their toothbrush is green, and YOU’VE been crouched outside their bathroom window for at least seven hours, hiding in a bush… and the bush is ALSO green!

… it’s like fate!

4. Find a memorable message

Many coaches advocate using a small ‘elevator speech’ or ‘personal tagline’ to make a strong first impression with potential clients.

Great examples of striking, dynamic one-liners for freelance businesses include:

“I love you”

“I can handle all of your graphic needs – oh, no, I didn’t say graphic design”

“Lord Xtholode’s blessings upon you, mortal worm”

“I know where your children are”

5. Stay in touch

The most important tip for freelancers looking to turn a potential client into a permanent one? Turn a contact into a resource by staying in touch.

Once you get that flesh-on-flesh contact, you don’t let go.

They can saw off your arm if they want to, but as long as your limb is attached, they’ll escape that handshake by prying off your cold, dead fingers.


Leave your disturbed comments below!

Kate Hamill lives and works in New York City, where she consumes an inordinate amount of Sriracha daily. You can catch up with her on Twitter at @katerone.