Your Freelancer Friend

How to Find Freelance Clients Online: 14 Ways I’ve Done It!

Since starting my freelance career in 2013, I’ve learned many different methods for how to find clients online. I’ve used the following methods to get clients for freelance writing, social media management, videography, voiceover work, and marketing.

Below, I’ll share the details of how I found these clients and how much they paid me. Enjoy!

14 Real-Life Ways I Have Gotten Freelance Clients Online

#1 Craigslist

Yes, I got my first freelance client on Craigslist! This was back when I was offering freelance videography services. I posted an ad offering these services in the Craigslist “services offered” category. At the time, it was free to post, but I think now they charge $5 per post of this type.

Craigslist Client #1: Jewelry store owner

Service offered: Videography

Price: $350 for one short marketing video

Craigslist Client #2: Restaurant owner

Service offered: Website copywriting

Price: $450 for three pages of short web copy

Craigslist Client #3: Ecommerce store

Service offered: Writing and marketing

Price: $1,000/month retainer agreement for 20 hours/month of writing and marketing services

#2 Your former employers

Okay, now that I think about it, my FIRST freelance client was actually the employer I had JUST left to go freelance! I was working for a startup doing marketing, including making marketing videos, so when I went freelance, my supervisor asked if they could hire me to continue making videos.

It was so fascinating writing up a proposal for them and telling them how much I charged!

Client: Former employer

Service offered: Videography

Price: $180 for a one-minute marketing video (Note: I severely underpriced myself here. Don’t make the same mistake!)

#3 Friends

When you’re new to freelancing, never underestimate the power of your friends and family to help you land a gig! A good friend connected me with her brother, who was launching a Kickstarter campaign, and I wrote the video scripts and product description for his campaign.

Client Found Through Friend #1: Kickstarter creator

Service offered: Copywriting

Price: $220

Client Found Through Friend #2: Graphic novel publisher

Service offered: Blog post writing

Price: $200/month retainer for writing one blog post per month and managing Facebook and Twitter account

#4 CloudPeeps

Since 2015, I’ve found about nine clients through CloudPeeps, ona talent platform for freelancers. It’s like a much higher quality Upwork job board, where they thoroughly vet both the clients and the freelancers.

CloudPeeps Client #1: Online publisher

Service offered: Blog post writing

Price: $250 per 2,500-word blog post

CloudPeeps Client #2: App creator

Service offered: Ebook writing

Price: $1,200 for a 10-page ebook

CloudPeeps Client #3: Food startup

Service offered: Social media marketing

Price: $40/hour up to $500/month

#5 Skyword

Skyword is a content writing mill, but it is high-quality and pays pretty well. I worked with them in the first year of my freelance writing career. You have to apply and get approved to be added to their freelance writer pool. Then, they’ll invite you to programs you qualify for. Once you are inside that program, you have to snag writing assignments as they become available. This was the most stressful part for me because assignments went fast.

Skyword Client #1: Major credit card company

Service offered: Blog post writing

Price: $100 per 300- to 500-word piece

Skyword Client #2: Translation technology company

Service offered: Blog post writing

#6 Fiverr

Fiverr, as its name implies, allows freelancers to sell services for $5 each. But you can actually price for much higher if you want. The key is including lots of add-ons and making your base offer so limiting that clients really have to buy the add-ons for it to even be worth it for them.

Service offered: Voiceovers

Price: $45 per one-minute voiceover

#7 Small content marketing agency (connected with it via an existing client)

The great thing about freelancing is that as you get more clients, those clients beget more clients. They start referring you for other projects. In this case, I was working with an editor who had her own content marketing agency on the side. She recruited me to write for her agency.

Small Content Marketing Agency Client #1: Web designer

Service offered: Web copywriting

Price: $125 for rewriting her homepage copy

Small Content Marketing Agency Client #2: Major auto transport company

Service offered: Blog post writing

Price: $0.15/word for 1,000-word blog post

#8 AngelList

For more information about a little-known way to gain clients through AngelList (a platform for startups and investors), check out my secret AngelList hack.

AngelList Client #1: Food startup

Service offered: Social media marketing and Facebook ad management

Price: $1,000/month

#9 ProBlogger

ProBlogger is a blog about blogging as well as a job board. Clients must pay to post a listing to the job board. The key to winning these clients is replying to the post fast. To learn how to do this, check out my post on automating ProBlogger job notifications.

ProBlogger Client #1: Major online publication

Service offered: Editing blog posts

Price: $3,500/month

ProBlogger Client #2: App creator

Service offered: Writing blog posts

Price: $0.40/word for 1,000-word minimum blog posts

#10 Cold pitching companies

I am a big, big fan of cold pitching potential clients—especially when you’re just starting out.

Cold Pitch Client #1: Productivity app company

Service offered: Blog post writing

Price: $0.35/word for blog posts around 2,000 words each

Cold Pitch Client #2: Major web hosting company

Service offered: Blog post writing

Price: $150 per 1,000-word post

#11 Binders

Now, this one is highly specific because it’s limited to people who identify as women and have a Facebook account. Binders is a conglomerate of Facebook groups where women can learn about writing gigs.

You must have someone add you to these groups, and you are not allowed to share opportunities outside of that group. You’re also not allowed to share screenshots or otherwise give away information from the group.

#12 LinkedIn

Oh my gosh, I never thought I’d say this, but six years into my freelance writing career, I realized this truth: LinkedIn is a GREAT place to get freelance clients! And I don’t even have to go looking for them. By simply making a LinkedIn profile, filling it out completely, and including keywords in my niche, I regularly get approached by potential clients.

LinkedIn Client #1: Productivity app creator

Service: Blog post writing

Price: $0.30/word for 1,000- to 2,000-word blog posts

LinkedIn Client #2: People analytics tool

Service: Blog post writing

Price: $500 per 2,500-word blog post

#13 Blogging

I run several blogs, and on one of my old ones, I used to offer blog audit services. I charged $57 per audit. If you have a blog of any kind, it’s a good idea to advertise your freelance services on it as well.

An added bonus to running an independent blog if you’re a freelance writer is that it can also serve as a portfolio that shows what you’re capable of doing, even if that writing wasn’t for a client.

#14 Other freelancers (AKA networking)

I included this one because it can definitely work, though I never ended up following through on it. Networking with fellow freelancers is mutually beneficial. You can refer each other for client work. For example, when I went on sabbatical for a few months and needed someone to take over for my retainer copywriting client, I reached out to a freelance writer acquaintance and passed the gig off to her. That was paying me over $2,000 a month, so imagine she got the same amount.

Later, this same freelance writer found out about a startup writing opportunity, but she didn’t have room on her plate to take it on. She passed the opportunity on to me, but I later declined so that I could work on personal projects.

What’s Your Favorite Way to Find Clients Online?

I hope that this list of real-life ways I’ve found clients online will help you make more money this year, especially since we’re doing more and more things online than ever before.

Did I leave something out? Drop a comment below telling your fellow freelancers and me your favorite way to find clients online!

Amy Rigby

I've been freelancing since 2013, and throughout the journey, I've always wished I had a "freelancer friend" who could give me advice and support. Well, I'm going to be that friend for you! I've built a successful freelance writing business, and I'm sharing everything I've learned here on this blog.

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