“Why clients don’t want to hire me?”

Getting a job as a freelancer used to be much easier a few years ago. But that was before it became so popular and every third American (35% in 2016, according to Freelance Union) wanted to enter the gig economy. Today, more and more freelancers are struggling to land a gig, especially those just joining the fray.

Today, more and more freelancers are struggling to land a gig, especially those just joining the fray.

Can you blame it all on the fact that there is too much competition? Sure, it’s a factor, but so are you. Let’s take a look at 10 things you are probably doing that are working against you and making clients avoid you:

Let’s take a look at 10 things you are probably doing that are working against you, and putting-off clients who were previously interested in hiring you:

1. You don’t have a portfolio

In order to know if they can trust you with their business, the client will want to see proof of your previous work. After all, why would they hire you without any proven experience?

Clients will always will look at your portfolio. Surprisingly, however, many freelancers never bother to create one for themselves.

If you don’t yet have an online portfolio, there are plenty of ways to do this easily. You can use your own website if you have one, or use sites like LinkedIn or Behance to host your work.

Tare also many portfolio sites that you can use, such as Contently, that can be used to show your previous work off to prospective clients.

Struggling to land new clients? Here are 10 possible reasons why clients aren't hiring you: Click To Tweet

2. Your rates are working against you

How much you charge as a freelancer can work against you in one way or another. Getting the right rate is a balancing act. On one hand, you don’t want to underprice yourself and on the other, you don’t want to seem too expensive to prospective clients.

If your rates are too low, you run the risk of looking unqualified. Cheap is not what clients are looking for (we’re talking about serious clients here, of course), and many will assume that by being the cheapest, you just undervalue yourself.

On the other hand, if your rates are too high, you might look unapproachable to many clients. Yes, you should be raising your rates to get paid what you deserve, but do it while having one ear to the ground. Listen to how clients respond to your quotes. If one or two here and there reject you, that’s okay, you can probably keep raising those rates.

However, if every potential client scoffs at your rates, might need to take a step back and see whether your rates are deterring them from hiring you.

clients not hiring me

3. Your online presence is non-existent

Clients will often take the time to look for you online. If your name and face don’t pop up anywhere, they might skip you and hire someone else with some form of online following.

You don’t have to be all over the Internet, but make sure that you at least launch a website and create profiles on the biggest social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.

4. Your social media profiles need cleaning up

Okay, but what if you do have an online presence, but it’s so bad that it’s working against you? When was the last time you checked your social media profiles to see if you look professional or not?

While it’s good to show personality, be wary that potential clients won’t be too happy with your party photos with friends. If you want to get hired for a freelancing gig, consider cleaning up your social profiles and binning anything you wouldn’t want a prospective client to see.

Don't forget to clean-up your social media profiles before pitching to new clients! Click To Tweet

5. Your freelancing website looks bad

If you want to get clients through your website, you need to clean it up. Make sure it’s clear that you want people to hire you and create a Hire Me page, with a contact where future clients can reach you. It’s also a good idea to include your niche.

Your About page is also important. This is where visitors and potential clients will go to learn more about you, why they need stay on your website and, most importantly, why they should choose to hire you. For that reason, it’s worth taking some time to write this page and show your personality!

Last, but not least, if you’re still using a default WordPress theme or a free hosting domain, this can also work against you. Switch to a WordPress.org domain and get a good theme if you want to be taken seriously.

clients not hiring me

6. Your grammar and spelling are atrocious

You can have the coolest-looking website and an awesome online portfolio, but if your proposals are full of grammar errors and bad spelling, this will all be for nothing.

Clients don’t want to hire someone who keeps writing “a lot” instead of “a lot”, can’t tell the difference between “than” and “then” and makes other grammar mistakes.

Particularly true if you’re a freelance writer, consider hiring an editor to get a second pair of eyes of your site. They might be more likely to spot errors with a fresh outlook.

7. You don’t have enough experience

Okay, this one isn’t so much on you, but it’s still one more factor that’s stopping clients from hiring you.

Freelancing isn’t about “overnight success” but is instead a long and bumpy road. As you grow in experience, this will be less and less a problem.

Combat this dilemma by trying to land as many samples as you can. Use them to fill your portfolio – and remember that guest posts are a fantastic way to do it!

8. Clients can’t reach you

I already mentioned how important it is to have a Hire Me page and a way for clients to contact you there. But what good is publishing your email if you take days to reply to a client?

You need to reply quickly to those emails, preferably on the same day; otherwise, someone faster will swoop in and snatch the gig right in front of you.

Set aside a few minutes every day to go through your emails and respond to enquiries. This will prevent you from feeling unorganised and rushing to put together a shoddy email.

9. Your references are poor

Here’s a good rule to follow as a freelancer: “Don’t make clients angry”. All it takes is one bad review or feedback from one client and three more to hear about how you screwed up his project for all of them to avoid you like a plague.

Clients will check your references, so make sure the work you do is of high quality and that you always conduct yourself in a professional manner with clients – even if they’re really annoying you!

Pitching without any success may mean that you're making one of these 10 #freelancing mistakes: Click To Tweet

10. You need to look harder

How often do you go online to search for projects? If you’re just waiting for clients to come to you, you’re going to wait for a long time.

You need to be active and invest more time into finding new gigs. Pitch prospective clients on LinkedIn and don’t be afraid to cold call (or email) potential clients either.

Clients can be very picky when hiring freelancers and there are many factors that will increase a likelihood of them hiring you or not.

For example, according to Hubstaff’s 2017 Freelancing Trend: Insights of Finding Clients, Setting Rates and Landing Gigs, 30.6% prospective clients will hire a freelancer based on referral, 21.9% will do a background check and 11.5% will look at your rating on freelancing platforms.

Some of the factors you can’t influence, but there are plenty of things you are doing that serve as “red flags” for potential clients. Work on them and you will see a lot more gigs coming your way.

Do you agree with this post? Are there any other things freelancers do that clients avoid them because of? Let us know in the comments below.

Vladimir Covic is a content writer from Belgrade, Serbia whose main goal is to bring quality, actionable and interesting posts to his readers. If he is not around writing or thinking about the next thing he will write, Vladimir is most likely off somewhere running or just chilling.  If you want to know more about him or you need a good writer, Vladimir invites you to visit his blog Vladimir Writes and to connect on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

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