How I find clients through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
A lot of freelancers use websites like Bechance, Freelancer and Elance to find clients, which works great for them, but not for me. I've never actually booked a client from any of those websites. Most of my clients have found my through:
- My blog
And that list was ranked in order. As you can see, after referrals from my clients and other designers, social media brings me lots of clients. In fact, my most recent inquirer found me via Pinterest. It just proved to me that I needed to continue putting effort into pinning my work onto Pinterest and taking Pinterest seriously.
I occasionally do consult calls with freelancers, and a lot of them tell me they don’t know how to get clients from social media. So I’m here to shed some light on the actually-pretty-simple technique.
Let’s start with Facebook.
A year ago, I hardly ever logged on to Facebook. I had a Facebook page that I never used because it didn't drive much traffic to my site, and I was in a few Facebook groups but never actually participated in discussions.
I was one click away from deleting my Facebook account forever.
Fast forward one year and my business makes a lot of its money via Facebook groups.
There's a tendency among freelancers to focus on getting more likes for your Facebook business page. But because of Facebook's algorithm, not everyone who likes your pages actually sees what you post. That means the chance of actually getting clients via your Facebook page is super slim. I focus on Facebook groups instead.
When you find the right Facebook groups, you can: - Establish your expertise in the group - Make friends with business owners in the group - Turn some of those friends into clients - Find freelancers in the group who are willing to refer work to you
To get clients from Facebook groups you have to implement these 3 things:
Find the right Facebook groups for YOU
Facebook groups are only beneficial when they serve you and help you. So look for groups have daily discussions with plenty of comments, and are filled with potential clients or people with the same job as you, and groups that aren't just filled with promos.
Be active. Actively participate in discussions. Facebook groups- the right ones- are gold mines filled with potential clients. But if you don’t actively comment on threads and make your expertise known, no one will know you’re there and no one will inquire about your services. You don’t have to be on Facebook 24/7. Do what I do- dedicate an hour each day to it.
Don’t be salesy. The thing Facebookers hate the most is spam, so don’t spam groups with your services and products. Some groups have certain days where you can post about your services, so be respectful and stick to those days. If you find a group that doesn't specify a day for this, post about your services very sparingly.
I find quality clients from Facebook groups such as the Biz Designers group. In fact, I booked two clients from that group this year and they purchased my Luxury Brand package and my website design package. Result!
I don’t book as many clients from Twitter these days, but when I was freelancing part-time I booked 6 clients in one week from Twitter. It was the turning point in my life where I realized I could actually make money from freelancing. It was the point when I realized I was kind of good at this marketing stuff.
When I booked 6 clients from Twitter, I tweeted 3-5 times a day about a (cheap) special offer I was selling. If you’re selling smaller packages and lower-priced services, Twitter is a great platform for you.
Ah, Pinterest. My favorite social media platform of all. If you create anything visual, like websites or logos, then Pinterest is the perfect platform to get your work seen. But I personally think that Pinterest only works best when you have a blog. Most of my website traffic comes from Pinterest- it’s my second biggest referrer. So not only do potential clients see my design work pinned on Pinterest- they also see my blog posts. And when they click-through to my site, they see I offer design services.
So, if you’re going to find clients via Pinterest: - Pin your blog posts and encourage readers to do the same - Pin your work - Blog about your work and pin it again
You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t included Instagram in this roundup. That’s because I’m still playing with Instagram. I’ve never really taken it seriously and it has never sent clients my way, but I know it brings some people a lot of clients. So if you’re interested in Instagram marketing, I recommend checking out Alex’s post on Instagram marketing.
So, when should you post on social media? Should you have a schedule?
Yes! You should! I've never been great at sticking to a social media schedule so I created this one today. I'm going to follow it; maybe you can too! I optimized this schedule by researching the best days to post on social and implementing T.A McCann's 5-3-2 rule. According to McCann's framework for posting on social media, out of every 10 posts, 5 should contain content from others that is relevant to your audience, 3 should be content from you, and 2 should be personal posts. Awesome framework, isn't it?
OK, so I didn't say I was going to discuss getting clients via referrals in here but I'm doing it anyway! Referrals is a big part of how I get clients. But how do I get the referrals? There are a few ways of manifesting referrals:
Make friends with others in your niche
It's really easy to make friends with other creatives in your industry. You can tweet them, chat with them in Facebook groups, email them... the list goes on! If you strive to make genuine friendships, you'll find that those friends will start sending work your way when they're booked up.
Make friends with people in other niches
The best way I make friends with people in other industries (like writers and photographers) is promoting their posts and services, or including them in a blog post. In fact, a copy writer I included in a blog post this year emailed me yesterday asking if she could refer me to her clients. Pretty awesome, huh?
Join referral programs
Some businesses have referrals programs where they refer clients to you and take 5-10% of the earnings you make from that client. Depending on how much you charge, this could be a really great way of gaining some clients. If you don't know anyone who runs this kind of program, ask around on Facebook or start one of your own!
Get your clients to refer you to their friends
This should be one of your main goals. When my clients walk away from our time together, I want them to be so pumped and excited that they yell my name from the rooftops! So I go above and beyond to make them happy. I don't let them walk over me, but if the project is ending quickly I throw in extra revisions. I reply to their emails quickly. I send them a card when their project is over. You get the point! If a client thinks you've done an amazing job, they'll have no problem with recommending you to others.