The freelancer’s life is an appealing one–you can work from home, set your own hours, and raise your rates as you please.

Although freelancing can be a great gig, the main issue is finding enough clients to support yourself—and then maintaining those relationships.

Although it may be tough, landing a new client when you’re freelancing is key to success. You have to show them that you are not only suited for the task at hand but also worth their time and money.

Implement these guidelines to make yourself more credible and attract clients that will help you build a profitable business. The better you adhere to these tips, the greater chance you have of landing freelance work.

1. Let other people speak for you

Consider how your potential client would normally go about finding someone reputable in your field. The best way to do this is by displaying references from past clients and allowing their satisfying words to speak for you. Even if you have to reference experiences that aren’t entirely related, it will boost your credibility nonetheless.

Request that your past clients leave you a review or testimonial for your website (we will cover this more in-depth shortly). Many people understand how challenging it can be to score new customers. If they were pleased with your work, they should have no trouble assisting you.

2. Make your website pop

We are currently living in an Internet-obsessed world, which means that nearly all actions and interactions happen online. This is especially true when customers want to buy a new product or hire a new freelancer—they will almost always do some digging around on the internet first.

Use your website as a platform to vet clients by presenting yourself and evidence of your work in the form of completed projects. A quality site persuades readers that you’re the right person for the job.

A quality website is one that will help you land clients by prominently featuring your portfolio and linking to showcase your work. Additionally, a good website will also promote your business to other professionals in your field.

Although your website does not have to be over-the-top, it should look polished. Check your content for any typos or incorrect formatting before publishing. People will form an opinion of you based on the quality of your work portfolio as well as their general feeling after visiting your site.

3. Show off your skills and training

Dedication equals credibility. Show clients that you’re constantly striving to improve your skills and experience in the field, and they’ll view you as a credible authority figure.

With the plethora of free online courses available, it’s easier than ever to further your skills.

4. Have your contract handy

Although not mandatory, having a signed contract helps you and your client set expectations and deadlines for the project.

A contract demonstrates that you are professional and trustworthy to potential clients, in addition to providing protection.

When you work on freelance marketplaces like oDesk or Freelancer, the system and your client offer guarantees for your contract. Although, you should be aware that you have to pay a fee for long-term projects (which can be quite expensive).

5. Be consistent and reasonable with your rates

Coming up with a price for your freelance services can be tough, especially when you’re just starting out. Make sure that the amount of effort you put into the project is equal to the amount of money you receive. Also, keep your rate uniform in all talks with clients, and see to it that it’s reasonable given the task at hand.

It is essential that you are clear with pricing for your clients and don’t waiver–this shows them you know how much your work is worth. No client wants to hire a freelancer who isn’t decisive. (Click here to tweet this thought.)

A website with testimonials, work displayed and knowledge of contracts and rates will put you on the right path to gaining more clients.

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