[Guide] How To Win GOOD Clients For Free

lacifitra

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Short Disclaimer:

As the title mentions, this will be a short guide on how I got most of my clients without spending a cent. I'm neither a guru nor talented writer, so I'll keep all information within this thread free instead of trying to sell you a course.

I censored the names & usernames of people in my screenshots to protect their privacy.

Who Will Benefit From This Thread?

I'd genuinely be surprised if there's something in here that seems new to an experienced BHW member, but if there is then consider myself surprised.

This guide isn't targeted towards any special audience, but hopefully the newbies and those who have been struggling to make money online with their service will find it useful.



Before You Start


Think about what you plan to sell. I know this sounds silly, but many people lack confidence and suddenly try to sell everything they've got which is bad. Being a Jack of all trades but a master of none has never been a good thing, the same goes for businesses.

So before you start reading, determine what that is.
It doesn't matter if it's PPC, SEO or Social Media Management.
You can use this guide to sell any digital service as long as you're sure what that is.
Let's start.

Reddit

I found this to be the most useful source for qualitative leads, all in all while you don't have to like the Reddit community, it's a great website if you want to make money.

I've tested the method mentioned down below on both reddit.com/r/forhire & reddit.com/r/freelance_forhire and found both subreddits equally profitable.

You may have guessed it, what I want you to do is start a thread.
Now, this wouldn't be a guide without telling you how to start your thread.
After testing for several weeks, I found great success with a combination that looks like this:

[What you are] | [Catchy phrase related to what you offer]

...continue phrase, end it in excitement !

[Who are you]

[What can go wrong if they don't hire you]

[Your Skills]

[Conclusion]

For instance...

Title: [For Hire] Experienced App Developer | Enterprise Solutions Don't Have To Be Expensive

first sentence of your thread: ... but efficient !

Who are you: My name is X with Y frameworks under my belt, and I'm here to develop your revolutionary app.

What can go wrong if they don't hire you: Ever seen those horrible apps that practically ate up the budget of their investors? Now, this can happen to you too if...

Your skills: Unlike most other developers, I like to take risks which is why I've spent learning X while others were busy fiddling around with old libraries, such as...

Conclusion: Sounds exciting?
Hit me up with a PM, and I...

Let's leave the hypothesis behind and see what it looks like in reality

iIe7lxR.png


Not too bad...

_____________________________________

That's basically it. The results speak for themselves, this was within 3 hours when I've done it for my service.

mp3yaSP.png

0JgqMcf.png



The Second Method

I like to call it "The Reddit Spy", what I've personally done is developed a bot to send me a notification whenever someone posts a thread with "How do", "help" and "question" on a certain subreddit.

However, this can be done without the help of a programmatic friend.
How? It's actually incredible easy. It just so happens that I'm really lazy.

1*. Go to smaller subreddits, in this case /r/SEO and /r/PPC instead of /r/marketing

2. Sort by newest

3. Done. You'll be presented with multiple threads asking for help, most of which aren't marketers, just small to medium-sized business owners looking for help. That's your opportunity to contact them!


Don't believe me?
oBdcs7v.png

A5RmOJn.png


Most of them are even being downvoted and must feel pretty bad because they're asking beginner questions that the "Pro Players" don't even see as an opportunity to make room for some great testimonials & additional cash. Go, cheer them up. ;)


____________________________________________________

* = It doesn't have to be /r/PPC or /r/SEO. Think of any niche, then a subniche.
Big subreddit, medium subreddit, small subreddit. It's all there.


LinkedIn

Now, I'm not a huge fan of LinkedIn... in fact, it made me feel pretty uncomfortable to put myself out there, because who the hell would decide to hire someone they've been approached by randomly, right?

Well, that's what I thought. But the reality was quite different.
On LinkedIn, it's important that you create an account named after your service or agency rather than your personal information. The response rate is high, and I cannot complain.

Once you've done that, do some research. Find out who you want to sell to.
Aunt May won't appreciate your blockchain knowledge...
Cool Kid Joe won't be interested in your My Little Pony store...
You get the point.

Once you've figured out who you want to sell to, think again.
A plain "doctor" has probably already been overrun with SEO and social media management offers...
A dentist too...
But how about our good old friend, the cardiologist, urologist and neurologist?
It's crazy how many people seem to forget how many subniches of businesses exist.

See this as a gift of mine. A list of the 25 most profitable niches I've worked with so far, both in PPC & general digital marketing:

Divorce Law
Electricians
Accounting
Excavation Contractors
Janitorial Services
Commercial Cleaning
Landscaping
Drug and Alcohol Rehabs
Podiatrists
Cardiologists
Urologists
Neurologists
Mold removal
Roofing – Residential and Commercial
Plumbing – Residential and Commercial
Nursing Homes
Assisted Living Facilities
Limos
Tree Removal
Lawn care
Pest Removal
Cash for Houses
Foundation Repair
Excavation Contractors
Water Proofing

Feel free to use them for yourself!


Back to LinkedIn

Is LInkedIn profile optimization worth it?
Definitely. This screenshot is from an account I created on Monday, I've not been working with any of those potential clients as of yet, but being approached instead of having to coldmail feels way more satisfying.


c9K4rgZ.png


How does LinkedIn optimization work?
Well, I found this nice little infographic and it got everything you need to know.
It's enormous, so I'll post the link instead of tearing the thread apart.
https://assets.entrepreneur.com/static/20160304113726-How-to-optimize-your-LinkedIn-profile.png


AdWords, Bing and PPC

My honest advice is to not start promoting yourself with PPC unless you've got 2 things.

1. Ad budget of at least 2K.
You'll need money for split tests, tracking tools and (if you're not good at design) landing pages.
Testing alone, if you want valuable results, should be set to at least 15$/day for 2 weeks in my experience. The data in that time frame is crucial and while it sounds expensive for people who are just starting out, it will save both your ass and wallet later down the line.

2. Proper education.
No, I'm not talking about graduating school or having a degree.
You need PPC education. And where do you get that?

https://landing.google.com/academyforads/#?modal_active=none
https://www.facebook.com/blueprint

Finish at least one of those, depending on which platform you're planning to use. It's important.
And by that I mean really important. You wouldn't believe how many mistakes can be made with a single ad campaign, I've seen budgets of 80K getting wasted because of simple mistakes, whether that's not knowing how to properly implement your pixel or targeting the wrong audience.

If you want some more insights, I recently finished my journey,
you can read it here:
https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/journey-road-to-stable-8k-month-until-november.1049307/



What You Shouldn't Do

I don't care if you're from a third world country. I don't care if you're a struggling college student from Canada. Do not work for peanuts if you're genuinely good at something and plan to start a serious career in it later down the line.

I know, times may seem rough – Upwork and Freelancer seem to be the only option, but as shown in this thread, it's not. Some people make a good living on Upwork, that is true.

But do you know why? They've been there for the oDesk and Elance days. They've got a good reputation from working for excellent clients, back then when it wasn't a race to the bottom. Go right now, look at a few profiles on Upwork. You won't find one person earning 90K/year that registered less than 5 years ago.

I've heard good things about Fiverr and don't have enough experience to give valid criticism. I tried it for myself years ago and had little success, so it's something rather neutral in my opinion.
But in the end, you're competing against already established sellers and some serious foul play.
After reading some journey threads of people who've made it on Fiverr (whitehat), I can only respect their determination.


So reconsider if you want to go the route of working for peanuts or being patient until a client comes in that understands your worth.

What's left to say...?
Go, put yourself out there and make some bank!
 
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iSmexy

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Man, this thread is golden, and that is coming from someone who skimmed through +1000 pages in the make money section :)
Thanks a lot.
 

Sherb

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In on the first page of what is one of the best threads I've ever seen on BHW.

This post is sponsored by LinkedIn.

LinkedIn | Connecting the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful
 

hiamlegend

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Bookmarked for later read. The first few paragraphs i read speaks volume!

Thank you for this OP
 

coldboot

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Thanks @lacifitra for this. The info will be of great use to my digital marketing agency startup.
 

mhtro

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Amazing guide! Definitely bookmarking this for when I need some start up cash by selling my services.
 

terrycody

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This is really "golden" like title described.
 

Topoki

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Great write up man! Been following your journey thread. Keep it up!
 

Gogol

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Wow awesome thread! Need time to grasp everything fully. Subbed!
 

John4life2017

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This thread is a gem! Bookmarked and going to take action on it asap!
 

EternalFun

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Thanks a lot for this :)

Also, so anyone starting new in UpWork or Freelancer don't stand a chance to make a good/stable income? And suppose I completed a gig today, so does UpWork immediately releases the fund or it holds?
 

hasan7707

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Thank you, OP for this great guide.

But could you please go a little more detailed about this one:

On LinkedIn, it's important that you create an account named after your service or agency rather than your personal information. The response rate is high, and I cannot complain.
 

deedee1whoa

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A really great post. Read it fast, plan to re-read it later again fully. Bookmarked! :)
 
D

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LinkedIn is working good for me, I am not that active on Reddit, though it's just my preference
Good guide!
 

lacifitra

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Thanks a lot for this :)

Also, so anyone starting new in UpWork or Freelancer don't stand a chance to make a good/stable income? And suppose I completed a gig today, so does UpWork immediately releases the fund or it holds?

The thing is...
Back then when Upwork wasn't "Upwork", it was absolutely possible to make a great income on there.
It was more or less nothing special if a client posted a job and was willing to pay 25K for it, they didn't even care because they knew that excellent quality isn't cheap. But once oDesk and Elance merged (and became what is now known as Upwork) it went downhill.

The people who made bank on oDesk/Elance already established themselves and got to keep their earnings and profiles, which is why you'll see some profiles on Upwork with more than 350K in earnings, but once you take a look at their job history, you'll see that 80% of it was made over 4 years ago and some haven't completed a gig in over 2 years because they either got a normal job or started their own business.

The reality of Upwork right now is that it's being overrun by people from third world countries who go as low as 2$/hour, making it almost impossible for anyone from a first world country to even get to minimum wage per month. Since this has been going on for years, companies became aware of it and actively use Upwork to get work done for as cheap as possible.

Companies who are willing to pay a good wage for freelance work? They go and look somewhere else.

You can literally see this in any industry on Upwork, it's at a point where it's rather upsetting than hilarious. People want an entire ebook with 500 pages written for 12$ (not to mention that Upwork takes 20% of that), 120 pages translated within 3 days for 20$, or even a highly modern web app in React + Django with design and backend development for barely 50$.

If you're planning to starve, then yeah. Upwork is still a great choice.
 
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