Since I started my business about 3 years ago, I’ve been fortunate to have a few high-value clients who have given me plenty of work. Of course, it was a bad idea to have all my precious eggs in so few baskets. However, with a constant stream of projects, it was difficult to find the time or the motivation to search for new clients. Also, working with new clients means spending time getting to grips with their expectations, their style preferences, and so on — all of which takes time. At least, that’s my excuse for not heeding the classic marketing advice — to always be looking for new opportunities, even if you have plenty of work.
So, earlier this year, when a couple of my eggs suddenly failed to hatch (I’m stretching the analogy here!), I realised that I needed to start weaving some new baskets. Happily, I like a challenge, and I’ve really enjoyed pursuing different ways to find work. Those that have been most successful for me are:
- having complete and up-to-date profiles on social media, and the freelance registers of professional organisations
- encouraging satisfied clients to recommend me to their colleagues
- where a company is advertising a relevant job, writing to that company to offer my services (even though I’m not applying for the actual job)
- asking colleagues to recommend me, if their own clients are looking for additional freelancers
- using any downtime to upgrade my skills (so that I can offer additional services to clients) and to look at ways to market my training courses.
Over the past 6 months, this approach has slowly but surely brought in some new clients. Several of the new projects are quite different from those I’m usually involved in, so I’ve gained valuable experience as well as extra work. It’s taken a lot of time and effort, but finally my eggs are distributed among a few more baskets!