Let's answer another one of the questions that comes up frequently in designer forums and groups online: "How do I get clients as a designer?". This question often appears in threads that describe a designers frustration with platforms like Fiverr or Upwork (I've actually written a whole blog article recently about why I don't recommend signing up for one of these platforms - you can read it here). Before I start I just want to say that I can only speak from my own experience and tell you what has helped me work with interesting clients and projects. Other designers and creatives might have had different experiences. So let's get started:
I can't say this enough: be visible online and be helpful in forums and in online groups. Has somebody asked a question that you might be able to answer? Can you help recommend someone for job XYZ or have a resource you can share that might help someone solve a problem? Definitely engage with others online (and offline) and help out when you can. People remember you, especially if you are a frequent contributor and might call on you when they have a project they cannot do themselves.
Yes, you should have a portfolio up with great work that you enjoy doing. However, don't forget to regularly release content that is useful and valuable to others. This could include YouTube videos, a podcast, blog articles, useful Instagram stories and posts... the list is endless. Having valuable, shareable content online helps you get found via search engines and also makes it easier for you to to be seen as an expert in your field.
Establish yourself as an expert in a particular field. This could be web design and/or development with Webflow, social media management, email design or search engine optimisation. Many clients are looking for a freelancer who is good at a particular task and don't want to hire an agency. This is where you come in and impress with your specific skills and knowledge. It doesn't mean you should also get some general knowledge and skills in other creative fields - these can help if your client ends up requiring additional services that might not be part of your core competencies.
All these strategies and approaches aren't things that will get you clients tomorrow, but that are long term strategies that help you get where you want to go in the long run. While you haven't got a steady stream of clients yet, make sure you have another source of income - maybe from a part-time job. If this job is closely related to what you offer as a freelancer - even better. You might be able to use this work as a reference for future clients (obviously check with your employer first).
Good luck and reach out if you've got more questions or if you'd like me to talk about a particular topic in one of my next blog articles.