Jun 26 / Matt Saunders

How to Find Clients as a Freelancer (Guaranteed Strategy)

Discover the strategy used by the top 1% of freelancers to land big fish clients and do work they love.
Does your income fluctuate because you don't know how to consistently find new clients for your freelance business? Would you like to work with a handful of high-paying clients who regularly send projects your way so you can avoid the feast or famine cycle?

If so, I'm sharing a proven process for finding clients as a freelancer. This works for copywriters, coaches, web and graphic designers - pretty much any service-based solo business.

But before we begin, I must ask you to make the following commitments in order to ensure this process works for you:

  1. Be willing to drop being "busy" and get hyper-focused on these three steps
  2. Be willing to get uncomfortable and try things you may not have done before
  3. Trust yourself

If you're up for making these commitments, your freelance business will grow rapidly, and you could easily find yourself landing $10k projects like my coaching client Noah:
Thank you for helping me finally get some clarity and direction. It really freed me up to take massive action and land a $10k deal I would have missed out on if was still stuck in my own head - Noah, Designer
I have helped hundreds of freelancers get out of their own way and focus on generating leads for their business. Let me quickly expand upon the commitments so you know what you're letting yourself in for if you choose to follow this client acquisition process.

Let go of the "busyness"

Solo business owners wear many hats and fill their days with either fruitless activities or long-term projects such as creating complicated marketing funnels.


To get clients as a freelancer you must pause the urge to keep tweaking your website and posting on multiple social channels every day. Can a great website and social media bring you clients? Of course! But this is an unpredictable way to create a sustainable business. I will share my 3 step process with you soon. But for now, please stop doing all the things and focus on what is going to move the needle in your business.

Get uncomfortable

The vast majority of freelancers live in their comfort zone. They will happily spend weeks - sometimes months - creating a stunning website that they launch to the sound of crickets.

Let me be clear: doing what you've always done will not get clients. For this process to work you've got to try something new that might feel uncomfortable at first.

Trust yourself

A massive, huge problem I see in the freelance community is self-doubt. In fact, low confidence is the number one problem that my clients present on calls.

Let me ask you a question: what if you trusted yourself? 

What if you knew that whatever happened, you'd be successful? That you cannot possibly fail? Well the good news is that this is true! Failure only occurs when you stop trying. So if you're here, looking for new ideas on how to get freelance clients, I salute you. You're on the right path. You're already displaying the traits of a freelancer who builds true freedom and financial prosperity.

Now, let's dig into this 3 step strategy.

How to get freelance clients

  1. Determine your ideal client
  2. Talk to your ideal client
  3. Make your ideal client an irresistible offer

Step 1: Determine your ideal client

If there is one cornerstone of proper business building that freelancers tend to gloss over, it is ideal client definition. 

You can no longer ignore this. Your audience is most certainly not "everyone". If you are tired of working with anyone and everyone and feel clueless about who your ideal client is please go read my post on how to identify your ideal client.

If, however, you have "sort of" an idea about who your dream client is, you can use the questions below to rapidly narrow this down so you can take action. The point here is to get clarity so you can move forward to step 2 with ease. Answer the following questions:

  • What sectors or industries naturally interest you the most?
  • What companies operate in this space?
  • How important is your service to these companies?
  • Who are the decision-makers you need to be connected to?
  • Where are they most likely to be found?

Please don't feel you need to have 100% clarity on every question above - just seek to know enough about your ideal client so you can move forward. Just go with your gut and use your best thinking. The idea is to know just enough to answer the question "who do you work with?"

Because let me tell you: without that base knowledge, getting clients as a freelancer is much more difficult.

Okay. Time to move onto the stuff that makes most people uncomfortable...
Man sitting at laptop talking to a woman on a video call

Step 2: Talk to your ideal client

When launching a startup or adding new products or services to an established business, it's very important to validate your ideas with the people who will be buying from you.

And yet, almost nobody bothers to do this.

Most businesses launch without ever having spoken to a single prospect to find out what they actually want.

I won't lie to you - I've done this myself plenty of times. I've spent weeks thinking and planning and then I've launched only to discover my prospects don't need or want what I'd planned to sell them. Bummer.

But speaking to prospects about what you deliver is actually one of the most wonderful, untapped ways to get new freelance clients. Let me explain...

You can forget all about selling by asking your ideal clients to an interview. Your goal is simply to spend 15 minutes with them to figure out exactly what their pain points and challenges are so that you can respond to them with your service package. 

Reach out to 20-30 of your ideal prospective clients and send them an email like this:
Hi {name}, I’m building a {service} for {client type} to help them achieve {some goal}. I wondered if you’d be up for answering some questions about your challenges so I can create the best service possible. It’ll take no more than 15 minutes of your time on a Zoom call, and I’d gladly make a donation to a charity of your choice by way of thanks.
There are three reasons why this approach is great:

  1. It diffuses any tension because you're there to fact-find, not to sell
  2. You can actually improve what you offer based on what they tell you
  3. You can go back to them in a few weeks with a service offer that hits every pain point they told you about

In a world of spam and garbage, doesn't this approach feel refreshing? How many times has a service provider carefully reached out to you in this way?

Imagine if you did this at scale. The trust it would create. The opportunities it would generate. If you want to know how to get clients as a freelancer, this is a wonderful and frankly underused strategy. Give it a try, then implement the third step.

Step 3: Make your ideal client an irresistible offer

Let's recap: you have defined your ideal customer enough to know who to reach out to. You have sent a couple dozen emails or LinkedIn messages to the right people requesting an interview. In my experience, only a handful will come back to you agreeing to a call. That's cool, no biggie. People are busy. Now, after having spoken to a few people, it's time to consolidate what we've learned into a unique service package that those same people are crying out for. This is what some marketing gurus call your "irresistible offer".

"what is an irresistible offer?" I hear you ask. Let me explain by splitting what you do into three categories.

  • Skill set
  • Service
  • Offer

People at the low-end sell their skills. I don't say this to be cruel, but if you're in the business of just selling your skills, you're going to struggle to stand out. What I mean by this is that those who label themselves simply as "copywriter" or "PHP developer" are putting themselves into a box - and there are many, many other boxes that look just like this. In today's economy, you need to stand out.

The next level is service, which is what the majority of people tend to sell. They don't sell their skills alone; they offer a service around them. So a copywriter might sell an ebook writing service. This is a more compelling proposition than trying to sell the skill alone because the customer is buying a "thing" more than just a skill. Top enhance the appeal of a service, however, it's a good idea to package it into an offer.

The highest level, and the one that sets you apart from all other freelancers, is the offer. Your offer is a unique configuration of your skills and service put together in a way that makes total sense to an ideal client. A great offer to the right person should be irresistible. Let's take a look at an example.

Example of an irresistible offer

(This is a sample from my book The Dream Client Playbook)
The Six Week Website
£1,500 up-front
£1,500 on handover
£50/month ongoing support
6 weeks
New website (including copy)
Training session
Video tutorials
  1. Scope
  2. Develop
  3. Launch
More leads for your business
Greater confidence and pride in your own website
Time-saving because it’ll be easy to update and supported by us
Brand identity assets (i.e. SVG logo, colourways and type styles)
A website already generating traffic and revenue
Double your leads in the first 6 months or your money back
Free Acceleration Day with senior leaders in your business at website launch to identify opportunities
Woah there! That's a lot of information. Don't worry, I will break this down in a moment. But first I want to reconnect with the purpose of this article. You came here to learn how to find clients as a freelancer. Can you see how having a unique service proposition like the example above could help you win new clients? Remember, those people you spoke to in step 2 are waiting for someone like you to come along with something they cannot possibly refuse.

Let's break it down so you can build out your own irresistible offer.

Name: This is simply a catchy name for the thing your customers buy. It helps you stand out and gives them something to buy into.

Investment: This might vary, but if you think of an offer like a pre-scoped project, you should be able to deliver at the same rate every time. No more back and forth on scope; this offer is something your ideal clients can just buy.

Timescale: People love to know when something will be done. Remove the guesswork and give an accurate time to launch. 

Process: You don't need to go into detail, but it helps with the buying decision if the prospect can sense what specific steps are going into delivering the project.

Outcomes: This is the big one - clients are paying for you to help them achieve their goals. Therefore, when you put together your offer, you should be very clear on what benefits the project will bring to the client.

Requirements: What do you need from your client in order to carry out this work? List it here so they know what their responsibilities are. Again, this can reduce unnecessary back and forth before starting.

Guarantees: Before people buy, they like to have their mind put at ease. Can you make a bold guarantee that will get them over the line? 

Bonuses: What can you do to sweeten the deal? Throw in a free ebook? Run a complimentary check in call after launch? Think about the bonuses you can include in your offer to make it more appealing.

If you follow these three steps to determine your ideal client, speak to a handful of them then return to them with an offer, you will land more clients who pay higher fees. This is how the pros do it. 

Frequently asked questions

How to get your first client as a freelancer

The process outlined here is perfect for first-time freelancers looking to land their first gig. Spend a little time (but not too much time!) figuring our who you'd like to work with, ask a few of them to interview, then build out a basic offer based on what they told you. After you've done this, go back to them saying "hey, thanks again for your time, I've now put together this thing you might be interested in..."

This is a much stronger approach than simply bidding against a million other freelancers on sites like UpWork. Give it a try.

How to reach out as a freelancer

Below is a sample video from my freelancer course. In it I share some live examples of how to do cold outreach to prospective clients on LinkedIn.
Write your awesome label here.

How to get high-paying clients as a freelancer

The simplest way to get high-fee clients is to stop selling your time and price your work on a per-project basis. Forget about having an hourly rate or a day rate. Project-based fees are focused on value. This is sometimes called value-based pricing. When you speak with prospective clients you must work out how much the project is worth to them, either in terms of their perception or a projected ROI.

For example, if a client asks you to build a website or landing page, ask them "how much money do you think this will generate for your business?" If they can't answer, explore other ways in which this work will help their business. A new website might save them time or it might boost their brand perception.

To get high-paying clients, focus on value-based pricing.

Creative ways to get new customers

Recently a video producer sent me a message on LinkedIn. He'd taken one of my short videos and edited it to include captions and transition frames. It really enhanced the viewing experience and made the video much more impactful.

This was a very creative way to get my attention. I paid him $380 to edit nine more videos that very same day.

Think about this: how can you stand out from the noise? What could you do that will get the attention of your ideal client? Perhaps you could:

  • Audit their landing page
  • Rewrite their headline
  • Invite them to a live webinar where you share tips to help them grow their business
  • Connect with your competitors customers
  • Use a scorecard

If you're struggling to think of creative ways to get new clients, consider how you would love to be approached by a supplier.


We have covered a LOT of ground in this article. My suggestion is that you bookmark this page and return to it over the next few days to fully digest everything presented here.

Unlike so many other articles on this topic, I have shared my direct personal experience and that of my clients here. This is a proven strategy for finding new clients as a freelancer. If you apply it consistently you will never experience a shortfall in clients again. Your income will be consistent and scalable. 

If you found this helpful be sure to follow me on LinkedIn for more posts like and download my book The Dream Client Playbook to find out how this strategy fits into the broader picture.

Now go get 'em!
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