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Building Freelance client base whilst working full time


New Member
Hi everyone,

I'm after some help on building my freelance graphic design client base whilst working 9 - 5 at the moment. My existing client base has come from word of mouth via various friend and family contacts but these avenues are running a little dry at the moment and I wanted to know of any practices that others in my situation have explored that have resulted in some positive outcomes.

As I am working full time there are aspects of self promotion that I do not want to pursue at the moment until I am somewhat more established on the freelance front i.e. openly posting on my own Facebook wall and Twitter pages are a little too risky at the moment. I do not have a website set up as yet for the same reason. My pdf and printed portfolio have served me well enough thus far.

A common enough situation to be in I know, but I want to exploit all the avenues I can to get any nuggets of information that will keep me heading in the right direction.

My questions are as follows;

1 - Can anyone who has been in this position offer up any tips on building a client base effectively?

2 - Does anyone have any tips on overcoming the restrictive constraints of only being available for contact or face to face meetings after 9 - 5 work hours?

3 - Once contact has been made with a potential client how have people in my position approached and aired the fact that you are a freelancer operating outside the regular 9 - 5?

For anyone who takes the time to respond, I thank you in advance,

Kind Regards,

Glynn :)
Hey Glynn-

First of all- you really really need a website. I know what you're saying about not wanting to rock the boat with your current employer, but really- unless you call it Glynnsdesignswhoworksatwherever.com no boss will ever connect the dots. Just come up with a company name, and if you're really paranoid- look or contracts in another country.

This way, if you're based in the UK and are working with Americans, then working outside of the 9-5 will help as you're clients will actually be awake. Plus- they'll know that a face to face meeting is out of the question and to be honest- so long as you're available for a skype chat, that really doesn't matter.

Also- don't tell them you work a 9-5 job as well. There is absolutely no need, and it cannot possibly help in any way. Give an honest idea of how long a project will take you, and if they ask why it is so long- tell them you're very busy. It's true after all, and they'll go away thinking you're highly in demand.

I've actually written a really comprehensive post about just this a few weeks ago, so I strongly recommend you to check it out here: http://www.thedesignrange.com/2012/08/21/how-to-get-into-freelance-graphic-design-with-no-risk/