How to Get Clients Directly: 4 Tips for Filipino Freelancers
A simplified guide on where to start or how to shift to being self-employed:
There are a number of reasons why you would prefer to get clients directly instead of limiting yourself to popular job boards and websites such as Onlinejobs.ph, Upwork, and Fiverr.
For the beginner, getting direct clients is a great way to test the waters to try niches you haven’t tested before. It’s also an excellent way to build your initial portfolio in case you want to migrate into a more formal online platform where you can showcase what you’ve already done for clients.
For the more seasoned freelancer, getting clients directly gives you even more control over your career path and bypass possibly inhibitive transaction fees that come with using online job marketplaces. It’s also a great way to start from scratch if you want to move away from the identity you’ve already built on your personal job homepages on said websites.
If you want to get clients directly, treat freelancing like how an entrepreneur would treat their business. Find where your clients hang out and market yourself in those places. Here are 4 simple tips on how to do just that.
Table of Contents
4 Simple Tips to Get Clients Directly
Tip #1: Use Freelance Social Network Pages
For the unfamiliar, Reddit is a network of communities that allows users to discuss almost any topic and vote on content and comments other users have posted. These communities are called subreddits or subs for short. They’re a great place to find job leads, potential clients, and colleagues in the freelancing world.
There are a ton of active Reddit threads for online freelancers and independent contractors where employers post their job openings or job requirements. You can also find supportive communities where other independent contractors and freelancers help each other find success by providing great tips and best practices in the field.
Before going into the specific Reddit links, be sure to read the corresponding rules that the moderators have put which can be found on the right side of the Reddit panel.
On the Reddit Mobile app, you can usually find the subreddit’s rules on the about tab.
Here are some active Reddit subs for client hunting:
As the sub name implies, you can find low paying jobs across almost online industry you can think of. Jobs can be as easy as basic as data entry and sketching of simple artwork to as complex as advanced video editing, coding, and animation.
Look for the tags [Task] for job opportunities OR create posts with the tag [Offer] if you want to promote yourself.
This sub reddit is very similar to r/slavelabour except that most job openings are catered to those who already have a good amount of experience in their respective industry or for specialists in their fields.
Because of the higher barrier of entry, more job openings here have higher pay rates than what can typically be found on r/slavelabour. Similar to how r/slavelabour uses the flairs and tags [Task] & [Offer], r/forhire uses [Hiring] & [For Hire] instead.
This community allows posting of items for sale, as well as services for hire and job postings from almost any legitimate industry. Because of the size of the community, it is a great subreddit to find opportunities to find clients.
Just be aware that unlike many other subreddit pages about jobs, this page includes classified ads for both products and services. This means that you post could end up getting buried and unseen if your post does not stand out.
This community is only around a tenth of the size of r/forhire. Though the community is relatively small in comparison to r/forhire, it is a very active community with several [Hiring] and [For Hire] threads being posted every day.
This community is a great support group if you’re looking for general tips about working remotely. Because this community has 417K registered members, it’s a great resource in case you have questions about specific employers/clients, where to find work for your specific industry, and work from home best practices.
A fast growing sub reddit group where Filipinos who are interested in earning a living online talk about best practices and shared experiences. The community consists of full-time and part-time freelancers, virtual assistants, startup founders, and newbies to digital earning lifestyle.
While this sub limits how you can promote yourself, it’s still a great place to network with other’s in your field.
Aside from Reddit, there are a number of Facebook groups where you can find online jobs being posted by companies and recruiters alike. Common topics discussed in these Facebook groups are current job openings, helpful tips on how to avoid scams, best practices with regards to handling clients, and more.
A lot of these groups will have leads to actual job openings or clients looking for freelancers who can do certain tasks or work for them. Here are a few very active Facebook groups that you can look into:
- Online Filipino Freelancers – 297.4K Members
- Startup PH: Jobs – 52.6K Members
- Filipino Freelancer Online Home Based Job (oDesk, Upwork, Elance etc..) – 202.5K Members
Tip #2: Use Job Marketplaces & Websites to Transition to Direct Hires
Job websites are a really popular choice for both freelancers and employers because they provide protection to all parties involved to avoid scams and other fraudulent activities.
Without a website that has a written record of your past performance or to act as an intermediary in case something goes wrong, you may be hard-pressed to convince clients to trust you enough to hire you.
A. Direct Hiring Through Online Marketplaces
Similar to how some former employees were able to directly connect with former clients when they were still in their 9-5 jobs, some online workers do the same. You can opt to initially build your portfolio and reputation through job sites such as Fiverr, Upwork, and Onlinejobs.ph.
If you are still a beginner, you might want to check out our guide “How to Get Hired on Onlinejobs.ph” to help you get started.
Once you’ve established a good reputation and have gotten to meet with multiple clients, you can eventually transition from using the platform to directly getting hired by the same clients you had using the aforementioned job websites.
B. Referrals From Your Current Clients for More Opportunities
Once you’ve established yourself as a reliable and capable contractor in your field, you can opt to ask your current clients for help to get you better opportunities. If you do a good enough job, chances are you could ask your current or past clients to refer you to other clients or at least be a character reference for you in the future.
From there, it’s up to you how you can further leverage the network you’ve built to find even more clients and charge at higher rates.
Tip #3: Showcase Your Skills Through Widely Used Media Sites (Youtube, Instagram, Podcasts, Blogs, etc...)
Showcase your skills on social media sites where you can be seen.
On average, internet users worldwide spend 7 hours online. That’s almost one-third of the whole day. Use this to your advantage and showcase your skills and talents through one of the many social media sites that people access on a daily basis.
For example, if you’re a video editor, graphic designer, or almost any kind of freelancer in the creative industry, you can showcase your skills by posting your work on Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, and even Reddit. You can use this as your starting point for building your own creative portfolio.
If you’re a professional or a consultant, you can post digital vlogs or essays on topics that are relevant to current events or client interests and post them on Youtube. By doing so, you’re giving potential clients a preview of what you can do for them so that they have a reason to hire you. By tackling very relevant topics in your videos, you can also increase the chances of them naturally finding you instead of you looking for them.
This arguably needs the most time and effort but it’s a great way to get a steady stream of people seeing your work.
Tip #4: Use Your Own Personal Networks (Family and Friends)
This may be one of the simplest, but it can also be one of the most effective ways of getting clients directly. It’s a great place to start because it is the easiest one to access.
Though there is no real guarantee, you can still rely on your friends and family to vouch for you and refer you to people who are less likely to take advantage of you.
Additionally, starting with people you know or are connected with can help build your confidence while improving your own skills in the process. This makes you better equipped for when you choose to look for clients outside of your own personal networks.
As a freelancer, you are a businessman and an entrepreneur in your own right. Your skills are your capital and your service is your product.
Always seek to provide better service and give value to your clients, much like how businesses improve the quality of life of people who use their products. Upgrade your skills like how a good entrepreneur upgrades his facilities and scales his business.
Remember both technical and communication skills are important when doing online work. Keep hustling to find better opportunities and more clients.