Business Strategy

3 Ways to Get Clients without Relying on Job Boards

Brad Smith
October 26, 2011

Most freelancers start out by scouring

It’s an easy way to find new paying gigs.

But there’s a problem. Your career will never grow beyond

Becuase you’ll always be a commodity.

You’re automatically a commodity that competes on price.

Price Sensitive People are Not Loyal

Instead of wasting hours on low ROI activities like responding to job boards, there are a few activities you should be doing instead.

Stop thinking like an individual freelancer, and start thinking of yourself as a brand.

If you can master these next 5 steps, then you’ll never have to apply for another job again.

Focus on Business Development

If you want to succeed in (any) form of business, then you have to learn how to market yourself and sell your services.

Focus on brand-building activities and business development. Start attending industry events to get to know other successful or influential people in your niche.

Make a name for yourself by writing guest articles and columns for influential websites in your niche. Start speaking around your local community, and work your way up to larger industry events.

Invest time in activities like these that that raises your visibility within your industry.

Create a USP

What can you do better than everyone else? You need to come up with a unique offer that differentiates yourself from everyone else.

Create a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that defines (a) what you do, (b) how you do it, and (c) who you do it for.

Build a Steady Stream of Demand

Your marketing goal should be to build a pipeline of business. You want people to consistently visit your website or call you about a job. You could even use advertising to fuel the top of the funnel.

The most important part is to focus on consistently creating more demand for your services. Instead of ad-hoc marketing and applying to job boards, you should be focusing your time on lead generation activities.

Begin Using Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is all about making people find you.

So start creating content to display your expertise, use social media to connect with other important people, and read over an SEO tutorial to understand how to get people to find you.

Start Practicing “Takeaway Selling”

In the book No BS Sales, Dan Kennedy coined the concept Takeaway Selling. The whole premise is that instead of telemarketing and other low value tactics, make people come to you.

In economics, when you limit supply (availability), then demand (price) for that good or service increases. So make yourself more exclusive!

Stop taking low-paying jobs with bad clients, and start turning jobs down that aren’t perfect for you. Don’t be so eager to cater to clients. And don’t negotiate on price.