WAHM: Building Your Clientele

Jessica has been writing a series about work-at-home-moms. She’s covered countless topics already, including finding jobs, setting up your website, and many other WAHM must-know tips and tricks. I love reading these articles, and I’ve been itching for my own shot at a WAHM guest post, to share the tips and tricks I learned along the way. So here we go: WAHM, Christa style!

When you first start out as a work-at-home parent, it can be daunting to consider how you will build a clientele from scratch. How will you find clients? How will clients find you? Once you answer these questions, more questions pop up. How do you build from your initial base of clients? Thankfully, building your clientele is not as difficult as it seems. Let’s look at a few tips from the ground up.

Finding Clients

Jessica wrote an excellent post about finding clients. In the post, she details some websites available and some other ways to connect with people looking to hire freelancers, no matter what kind of freelance work they do. All of her points are perfect, but I wanted to add one thing here: you may have to start out with small bids. What do I mean? Let’s look at this in-depth.

Making the Bid for Work

When you find the work, most people hiring on freelance websites and most individuals hiring through other means will ask you to place a bid. To bid, you must tell your potential employer how much you will charge to complete the work posted.

As you are first starting out, you will most likely be bidding against numerous, experienced freelancers. Your competitors may have built fantastic reputations and may have excellent resumes. Many employers will be inclined to hire someone who has already proven herself in the field, potentially leaving your bid in the dust.

So what can you do to compete? Often, you may have to work for less than you’re worth, just to build the client base needed for recommendations and a resume boost.

This can be a little disheartening. Working for minimum wage when you have experience in other fields can be a blow, but remembering that you can increase your wages when you have that killer resume can save your ego.

Outshine the Others

Once you’ve landed your first gig, it’s important to do an excellent job. Don’t let the poor pay hang your chances to build a client base: work for the client like you’re getting paid beaucoup bucks.

When you think about it, you are being paid well. Maybe not in cash, but the potential reference can get you farther in your business at this starting point than any payday could.

Once you complete the task to the absolute best of your ability, ask your client for a reference. You may be surprised at how many clients love to recommend your services. Really, the worst they can say is no, and then at least you will know. So give it a shot and be surprised.

Building from Your Initial Clients

As you move forward in your business, make sure you update your resume as often as possible. Also, adding those references to your portfolio can help your services appeal more to new clients. All-in-all, showcasing a superb portfolio will help you land the clients you need to maintain your business, at the pay rate more suitable to your skills.

Working from home is possible with a little hard work and lots of client building. So get your name out there and land your first client!

Any work-at-home parents out there want to weigh in? How did you build your client base?

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Anonymous's picture

Ultimate Guide for How to Work at Home | MomVesting wrote:

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 21:48 Comment #: 1

[...] of the biggest challenges as a WAHM is finding new clients. These ideas will get you [...]

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