5 Mistakes Freelancers Make When Trying To Get Clients


When I first started freelancing, I had no idea what I was doing. That’s something I’ll be the first to admit! When it came to finding, pitching, and getting new clients, I made a lot of mistakes. Despite being a marketer, I had no idea how to market my own freelance business.

And now that I’ve been working with other freelancers for a few years, I’ve noticed that most of them make the same mistakes.

So, in this post, I’m going to share some of the biggest mistakes I made while attempting to promote my freelance business and attract new clients.

#1 Trying to be everywhere

You can market your freelance business in several ways. And trying to use them all is one of the biggest mistakes freelancers can make!

If you’re trying to promote your business with a podcast, a blog, a weekly guest post, an active Instagram account, 20 Facebook groups to comment in, stalking Twitter all day, and making elaborate TikTok videos… friends, you’re on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Just reading that list has exhausted me! Also, when will you have time to do any client work if you try to do everything?

Sound marketing entails building a relationship with your ideal clients over time, which necessitates consistent action.

When freelancers and solopreneurs try to be everywhere in order to reach a larger audience, they dilute their message and don’t go deep enough on any channel to reach anyone.

Spreading yourself too thin on the web is not the answer. Focus on quality rather than quantity.

Every social media platform and marketing channel functions differently and requires different approaches. You’ll be a lot more productive if you focus on just one or two, learn the ins and outs, devote the time necessary to truly expand it, and master the channel’s processes.

You can add more to your plate (or hire help!) once you’ve established traction and built systems.

Choose a marketing plan that appeals to you and commit to it for at least six months.

#2 Using marketing methods you don’t like

Just because you heard someone else was successful after using a marketing approach doesn’t mean you had to follow suit.

Using a marketing plan that isn’t in line with your interests will most certainly result in procrastination… and probably tears, panic attacks, and a bottle of scotch under your desk.

Okay, I’ll admit that I’m being a little dramatic. But the idea is that you won’t enjoy it! And if you don’t enjoy doing it, you’re likely to abandon it.

If you’re terrified of being on camera, creating a YouTube channel will be extremely difficult. So, you postpone to avoid the pain. You’ll convince yourself that you need to study more before you can begin. You’ll struggle to make any genuine progress no matter how many “I made six figures after beginning my YouTube channel” videos you watch.

The problem is that there’s a wealth of strategies at your disposal. Although you shouldn’t do them all, there’s no harm in testing one or two that work for you and align with your skillset.

#3 Relying solely on job boards such as UpWork or Fiverr

Listen, I don’t hate UpWork or Fiverr. I started my freelance business with Fiverr, and it was quite helpful in getting things off the ground and attracting my first dozen or so clients. UpWork, in my opinion, is a terrific platform to find clients who are ready to hire you.

But wait, there’s more. My UpWork account was terminated. They wouldn’t let me apply for jobs or view my profile since my profile photo wasn’t cropped correctly! You’ve got to be kidding me! This has occurred to me several times for various reasons, and I’ve heard numerous horror stories about freelancers being locked out of their accounts on comparable freelancing and job board sites.

(I was able to reclaim my account and receive my payments each time, but it was terrifying because the platform was responsible for most of my clients and income.)

My point is that, while UpWork is a terrific platform, you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket in this case. You could lose out and put yourself in a difficult situation if something goes wrong with the platform or if you are blocked.

This is why freelancers must have a marketing strategy in place.

You’re far better off having your own website and creating your brand for long-term success and higher-quality clients.

#4 Not selecting a niche

When most people first begin freelancing, they take any job that comes their way. Don’t get me wrong: this is a great place to start, especially if you’re unsure about the type of work you want to do or the types of clients you want to work with.

It’s fine if you do it for a while. However, choosing a niche is critical if you want to attract better clients, spend less time pitching or applying for gigs, and have the type of business where clients come to you.

Trying to appeal to everyone kills your message and makes it more difficult to make genuine connections with anyone.

It’s all about making connections with the right people when it comes to marketing your freelance business. And the best way to do so is to be extremely specific in your messaging – how you talk about what you do, why you do it, who you work with, and so on. It’s difficult to get specific if you haven’t defined a niche.

However, if you do have a niche, you can be very specific in how you communicate with your target audience. Consider the following scenario:

Freelancer A: “I work as a copywriter.”


Freelancer B: “I write sales pages for wellness coaches who are launching digital products or online group programs.”

Which person are you going to hire if you’re a wellness coach!? Which profile are you going to refer to a wellness coach if you know one?

That’s the power of niching down. By getting crystal clear about your target market, you’ll be able to:

  • Make all of your marketing efforts more effective when you know who you’re addressing
  • Learn how your audience communicates and thinks
  • Communicate with your audience more effectively
  • Write copy that converts and gets results
  • Increase the number of referrals in your niche
  • Select the appropriate marketing channels or networking events to focus on

Choosing a niche will lead to more recommendations, happier clients, and a healthier business over time.

PS: Choosing a niche doesn’t mean you’ll never work with anyone outside of that area or that you would have to turn down clients. It simply means that you focus your marketing efforts on the people you want to collaborate with the most.

#5. Not using processes or systems

Processes always sounded boring and corporate to me, so I didn’t implement any during my first few years in business. That was a major mistake, as I now see.

It doesn’t have to be like an outdated corporate manual or a formal plan that you follow while creating processes for your freelance business. It might be as simple as using a project management app like Asana to keep track of your projects or preparing scripted email responses to frequently asked customer questions.

It’s all about streamlining your workflow, managing your projects, and keeping your clients happy with processes and systems. And how does this help you get more clients? There are two options:


Happy clients will most likely talk about you on social media and spread the word.

Easy-to-follow processes, regular contact, and systems to keep your clients informed about your progress are all ways to keep your clients pleased.

Happy clients = More referrals

Option 2: Make time for yourself

Thanks to the processes for dealing with clients and optimizing your job, you spend less time on boring and administrative tasks, like answering emails. That means you’ll have more time to promote your freelance business and land new clients!

How do you incorporate systems and processes into your business? Use templates, automated emails, email replies, and an invoicing and CRM system.

Not having processes in place to interact with customers (or having inadequate processes) causes a slew of problems. In the end, it makes it more difficult for you to find clients as a freelancer.

You may avoid these typical mistakes that many freelancers make when trying to find clients now that you’re aware of them. Happy freelancing, friends.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Hey there!

I’m Imad, the content creator and online marketing strategist behind The Guemmah Freelance Hub. My mission is to help more freelancers grow themselves, their business, and their profits.

Related Posts