Many freelancers chose a creative career because they enjoy the ability to create art. Many of them also happen to not be the corporate shark types of people, and the process of building a portfolio of clients can be an intimidating and difficult journey. It requires a combination of throwing yourself out there, creating opportunities, and dumb luck.
For those that might be a little scared of putting themselves in the way of opportunity and fostering business relationships with strangers, there are some key areas you can focus on to attract clients. Social psychologist Robert Cialdini selects six key areas of influence everyone uses to create new relationships, and Sarah Horowitz says you can use them to build a collection of clients.
The areas are ideas that would allow anyone to create positive relationships with others. Reciprocity and the virtue of sharing opens yourself to others’ goodwill. If you put yourself out there when someone is in need, for no purpose other than sharing or helping, it is more likely someone will go out of their way to help you later. If you help one person, you open yourself to a new relationship which can grow into a great business relationship.
Similarly, if you have a focus, be consistent and show exactly what your expertise is. If you have a niche that sets you apart from others, display it for others, and be a part of anything in that field. Clients and others in the industry will begin to associate you with your special area until your expertise is well established.
There are more areas you can pay attention to in order to begin creating new business relationships and start a freelancing portfolio, but the ideas are pretty general. Be a nice person and a good friend, put yourself out there to others, and display your value, and before long people will be coming to you for your work.