This question is so simple that a 2-year old would probably know the answer before you finish asking the question. Yes, it's almost as easy as freelancing online! You can make a living completely offline, freelancing locally. People were freelancing even before the internet was created.
Though the availability of several freelance platforms like People Per Hour, Upwork, Fiverr or Freelancer, have been known to make things easier for online freelancing, we all know there is still a largely untapped market offline.
A large market of potential clients that are yet to fully embrace the usefulness of the internet. There are still a large number of people who still prefer doing all their transactions offline.
I remember back then when I just started as an internet marketer, trying to sell some products through my first website and social media. I met so many classes of people that would so much love my product but wouldn't buy it till we met in person.
I guess the growing number of scammers online has a major contribution to that. Well, till now there are so many people who are still very much scared to use their credit cards online.
Are you beginning to see my angle? Yes, all these offline clients are yours to be taken if you know what you are doing. The real question, however, should be;
How do I get clients offline?
Gaining quality clients offline is actually easier than you might think. Most times the clients come to you. When you do some quality job for someone, any other person interested in such a job will likely hire you after seeing the ones you did for his colleague.
It's that simple. The quality of your job can speak for you. However, how do you get the first few clients? When I was freelancing as a web designer a few years back, it was indeed a challenge since not everyone was ready to consider the possibility of a larger market through the internet.
Most times, I had to move from one establishment to another in search of clients. However, all freelance tasks aren't done the same way so we should not expect to gain our clients the same way.
The only constant thing is the fact that you have to put yourself out there for your intended clients to hire you. Here are over 64 marketable skills you can use as a freelancing service right now.
As a web designer, I prepared a detailed but brief proposal containing the major key-notes, capable of converting a layman to my customer. I had to use quality sales pitches that give them a reason to work with me. In fact, the proposal was more of a sales letter.
The major sections included; my introduction and purpose of the sales letter, reasons why they need my services, reasons why they should work with me, what they will gain from me and my services, my portfolio containing some completed quality projects, my clients already enjoying my services, my commercial quotation, discount offers and guarantees, as well as a closing remark and my contact details.
Then, I had the proposal printed in attractive hard copies and made a choice to meet with as many `potential clients as possible.
I practically had to visit several institutions/establishments that were yet to own a website, including churches, hotels, schools, companies, etc. with a customized hard copy proposal and my laptop from which I did some presentation, showed them my works, gave instances of what their website would look like, showed them the benefits, and once I'm done, I drop my proposal with them and get the direct contact of the manager of that establishment, for follow-up sales pitches, promotional deals and any other messages that help in reminding them and make them buy my services faster (assuming I didn't close the sale the first day).
I didn't stop there. I started making deals and forming partnerships with people who are in a better position to link me with more clients.
Brand Identity consultants were one of the sets of people I didn't hesitate to inform of my services due to their ability to quickly recommend me to their clients, as the next step to take in making their businesses professional and credible, as well as getting their business out there.
Since the jobs of brand identity consultants were to help businesses stand out and recognized as a brand, it was only logical that they make their clients look professional with a logo and website. Most times, I didn't even have to share my profits with a third-party. I only had to return the favour by recommending them to my clients too.
Then, I always made sure I did a good job and made my clients happy. This alone usually gets me more clients since a satisfied client is more likely going to recommend me to other potential clients. I also didn't hesitate to leave a signature on each of my projects.
Getting clients for your services locally isn't that different from what I did above. For instance, if I was a photographer, I wouldn't only open up a studio and wait for customers to flow in.
I would also be ready to take my services nationwide through real-time partnerships with event planners/managers/organizers. I would take my time to build a broad network of people who are capable of taking my services along with them as though they are my marketers.
Simply put, an event planner will always need photographers for his events and this is where I will come in.
Most times, I would get recommended by event planners for pre-wedding photo-shoots and full event coverage which could generate more revenue in a day than you would have gotten in a month sitting in your studio.
I would also partner with Deejays, Cinematographers and even cattery personnel. This way, I will get informed of any good event in town and I would be there to offer my services in no time.
How about a graphics designer? You should consider getting a quality printer, do some graphic design samples, print them in HD colour hard copy and head to institutions known for doing lots of local hard copy campaigns or brochures for programs.
An example would be a church. Once you are able to gain a deal with establishments like these, they are more likely going to retain you as their graphic designer.
This means, you will be doing all their graphic design jobs and if it's a church and you do a nice job, then most of their congregation are likely going to hire you too. You just have to gain a few quality clients, do quality jobs for them and the rest will be easier.
Things you should take note of.
Learn to be a good salesperson – With no salesman skill, it will indeed be very difficult to convert people to customers. You need to learn how to convince people to pay for your services.
People mostly only want to get things that
Throwing discounts around is never enough to gain customers. Most people are very hard on their money so you need to be able to make them see how important it is for them to get your services.
Make good partnership deals – Owning a shop, an office or walking around finding clients isn't always enough to land you the kind of deal you want. It could also be very tedious. It's hard work.
Practice more smart works by networking with other professionals. A simple partnership deal (or even friendship) with a professional doing a different job linked to your services could be very useful in getting you closer to the quality clients you need.
And this time it's a lot easier since your partner has eliminated the conviction phase by recommending you and you have probably been selected to carry out the job.
Always do a quality job – Doing a terrible job won't gain you any favours. Doing a bad job wouldn't get you any contract. If anything, it sends a bad reputation about you out there that can literally destroy your freelance career even before it gets started.
You need to take customer satisfaction seriously, bearing in mind that an unsatisfied customer can ruin your business with bad reviews that are capable of turning potential customers away. Rule one: your customer is always right! Do the job according to their taste or forfeit the job!
Leave your signature behind – After every successful job, you should leave a means for admirers of the job to know and possibly contact you in case they need such services too. This will actually serve as an advertisement for you.
For instance, putting your logo, name and phone number at the bottom corner of your photography jobs, is a great way of helping people recognize your jobs and possibly contact you if they need such services.
With my little offline freelancing experience above, I believe I have added a few tips or at least encouraged you on how rewarding it is to have a good offline freelance habit.
Combining your online freelance tasks with a few offline jobs, I see no reason why you wouldn't have a great freelance career. If you have any valuable input, making use of the comment box below could really be helpful.