Online platforms help freelancers of all skill levels find clients. The platforms use matching algorithms that match freelancers and clients. Dating sites proved that the technology had merit.
After the success of dating sites and platforms, tech entrepreneurs applied the algorithms to other facets including matching employees with qualified candidates.
If you have ever seen an online dating commercial, you may have seen the one that encourages users to fill out their profiles completely to find the best matches. The same logic applies to freelancers searching for clients on online platforms.
Therefore, an art to finding clients on freelancing sites exists. Although the events of 2020 legitimized remote working and freelancing, freelancers must do some legwork too.
Clients still want to ensure that the professional they hire will meet their deadlines, turn in high-quality work, and require minimal supervision.
We help you decipher how to find clients using online platforms.
1. Complete Your Profile
To find clients online through platforms, complete your profile. It’s an essential step for anyone looking to start a freelance business.
Incomplete profiles send the wrong signals. Some clients might think that you have not fully committed to the platform.
Completing online profiles requires at least an hour. You must gather items such as:
- Professional profile photo
- Professional bio
- Elevator pitch
- Top skills
The good news is that once you have gathered the items, you can use them for all platforms. You don’t want to exactly copy and paste but you do want to maintain consistency.
Anyone who has joined a dating website knows that the algorithms can’t do their jobs properly if the profiles remain incomplete.
2. Get Verified
Verification has become an important facet of using online platforms to find clients. Plus, the verification goes both ways.
Freelancers benefit from working with clients who have a verified form of payment with the platform. This ensures that you will receive payment when you turn in your work.
Freelancer verification includes a video conference call with a platform representative. You will also send digital copies of government-issued IDs and fill out the pertinent tax forms.
The services must verify the identity of every freelancer. It prevents fraud and ensures that the correct tax paperwork reaches its destination.
3. Get Certified
After the platform verifies your account, obtain certification too. Upwork is one freelancer platform that continues to grow. Therefore, it continues to improve the certification process too.
Freelancers can take tests relevant to their niche and earn badges that show up on their profiles. The more credibility you accrue, the easier it becomes to find clients.
Clients go through similar protocols as freelancers. Thus, they learn how to spot the professionals with the highest possibility for success.
4. Complete Your First Job
The events of 2020 helped legitimize online work. Even though companies feel more comfortable hiring freelancers online, entrepreneurs must do their part too.
Now that your profile is complete and verified, complete your first job through the platform. It’s OK to start with an easy victory. Completing a simple task starts building your platform resume.
Some clients only work with freelancers who have completed at least five jobs, worked a minimum amount of hours, and have earned over a certain amount.
To attract them, start completing jobs, even small and simple ones.
5. Use the Search Features
Online platforms allow users to filter search results and set their preferences. Therefore, use both features to your advantage.
You can filter out clients who do not have a verified payment on file, have little to no platform experience, and less than a minimum amount of hires.
It’s also possible to filter clients according to pay, location, and contract type.
6. Maintain Your Rating
As you become comfortable with searching for clients and completing jobs, maintain your rating. Turning in high-quality work on time are two great ways to keep a high rating.
Since freelancer platforms use matching algorithms, the algorithms create an organic version of search engine optimization. When you obtain stellar ratings and reviews, your profile becomes among the first suggested to clients.
7. Connect Your Portfolio
Potential clients who land on your profile will see your ratings and reviews. Something else that they want to see is samples of your work. Therefore, post a few on your profile or attach your portfolio.
In addition to your portfolio, show that you exist in other places online, too. This strengthens your case as a viable freelancer. Add links to your website and professional social media accounts.
The search engines can also index and rank platform profiles. Therefore, clients can find you off the platform too. Then, they can contact you to discuss opportunities.
Sometimes finding clients is more about letting them find you. If you optimize your profile on online platforms and complete some jobs, the algorithms will start filtering clients in your direction.
Platforms must showcase their best freelancers. Thus, the process becomes a two-way street. The platform continues attracting viable clients for stellar freelancers.