Starting as a new freelancer is difficult if you have 0 clients. Ideally you should start working with an established company or another freelancer, and then commission some work from them. If you successfully get work from your peers, start working on building relation with your clients and then you will get new clients via referrals.

Growing a services business needs trust based relations and relations can’t be built overnight. So starting out as new freelancer is difficult to establish oneself.

Here’s why relations are important for growing your services business. As a client, I need to be sure of a service provider before paying for them. Unlike a product, that can be returned if you do not like, a service providers work cannot be undone, their time and effort has been invested so it is important to establish trust before start of the work.

Also, the work of a service provider generally has subjective result. Anything could be a logo but whether a logo is good or bad is subjective. Same with programming, a well written software is subjective analysis. So I need to be more certain of the capabilities of the person I am hiring for the work. In such cases, it is difficult to fruitfully argue whether the work was done as agreed or not. I need to trust the service provider before I ask him to work with me.

That trust for your work can only come from a testimonial from your existing clients. A happy existing client has the ability to grow your business. You need to focus on nurturing that client to make sure they remember you long after their work is done. lets you build and nurture your client and peer group network for you. By being in touch with them regularly and offering them the right incentive, you can get even long lost customers to vouch for you.

Cold calls or cold emails generally are not helpful in getting new clients as it is difficult to establish trust without a common connection. Showcasing your Portfolio is important but they do not tell the whole story.

Once you have a warm lead it is important to quote the right price to them to make sure they say YES. Read this to learn more about the right pricing for new customers.