Many freelancers, especially those who are newer to the field, find that landing clients is one of the toughest parts of the gig. But that’s because a lot of people view client acquisition the wrong way.
You don’t have to hunt or pitch any specific client. Instead, imagine your clients are looking for you, and all you have to do is show them you exist and demonstrate how you’re perfect for them. If you’re actively developing and iterating on your personal brand, then it’s likely that you already have several potential clients in your audience.
They don’t even necessarily follow your social channels or subscribe to your emails yet. Given the way that hashtags, micro communities, Google searches and newsfeed algorithms work, your best content can speak for itself without you needing to write a single pitch. No matter what you’re creating, as long as you optimize it for discoverability, you should be able to leverage it to attract your ideal customers.
Of course, you do have to be savvy about what you produce and how you do it. This is where video comes in. Typically, video is used in the top off funnel awareness (67%) and lead generation (63%). There’s a good reason for this – video is the most engaging type of content, so much so that two out of three sales and marketing leaders plan to increase their investment in video, according to Vidyard’s 2019 Heinz Marketing Report. Maybe you’ve been put off because you feel uncomfortable in front of a camera, or you’re worried about the amount of work it will take to produce something, but no matter what your hangup is, there is a video strategy that will work for you.
Let’s get into three effective uses of video that can help bring your next client to you.
1. Put Aside Your Fear and Go Live
Going live is one of those nerve-wracking events that can feel like the most impossible thing in the world. The reason it’s scary is the same reason it works so well to convince people you’re actually the person you present yourself as: it’s raw.
In an age of altered media, live streaming is one of the few types of content left that is unedited, unrefined, unpolished and authentic. You’re vulnerable to messing up right in front of a live audience who are watching your every move. But that’s what makes it so powerful – whoever is watching is aware that this is the real you. And if you bring your A-game, you can impress your audience with your honest and obvious talent.
You can live stream directly on YouTube or Facebook. If you want to share your screen, feature audience comments visually, brand your broadcast, stream to multiple channels at once or invite other participants, you can use a third-party tool like StreamYard.
Live video is also a great opportunity to engage authentically. While comments on social media and emails are great for interacting with potential clients, a live stream is much closer to a real-life conversation, and is therefore much more persuasive to viewers. You have a chance to explain in person why you do what you do, and why you’re so good at it.
2. Document How You Make the Magic Happen
As much as you may want to pretend you’re a lean, mean, freelancing machine who spits out perfectly polished pieces of content nonstop, the truth is actually far more attractive to potential clients: that you work hard at your craft, and each piece you produce is a labor of love. Every creative has their own process, and showcasing the magic behind the curtain is a great way to break down what makes your work so special.
Whether you document exactly how you put together a new track, or you use a screen recording to break down how you created that awesome logo, creating a video of the step-by-step process is sure to impress potential clients. You can also use this as a chance to show work you’re already doing for other clients.
But just because you’re showing people what you do behind the scenes doesn’t mean it needs to lack sizzle. Videoleap is a great example of an app that allows you to edit and mix your videos, add voiceovers, and use effects like keyframe animations, blending and masking in post-production for added “wow.”
Regardless of the tools you use, the benefit is that documenting your creative process simultaneously showcases existing client work, demonstrates your talent in action, and doesn’t take too much extra time because you’d be creating anyway – it just documents the process and repackages it for maximum impact. No matter what you make, recording the process is a surefire way to win clients.
3. Create Persuasive Video Testimonials
It seems like no matter what website you’re on, you’ll find a written testimonial that reads something generic like, “We loved this! – Claire S.” While that’s a great start, the truth is that video is much more persuasive than a text-based testimonial when it comes to persuading new potential freelance clients to choose you.
While the written testimonials may be truthful, a passing visitor to your website is going to be much more likely to stop on a video testimonial and actually believe what they’re seeing. After all, if someone loved your work so much that they agreed to do a video testimonial, your content must be incredible.
Using Boast’s platform, for example, you can automate requests for video testimonials to go out to your best clients, collect videos using native tools and publish them as embeds on your landing pages.
But here too, you don’t need a ton of expensive equipment to get started. Just grab a minute or two of footage on your phone, and use your computer’s built-in video editing software (iMovie comes preloaded on all new Macs) to put together a compelling story for why someone should invest in you. The beauty of this strategy is that the video itself doesn’t have to be particularly sophisticated – just the fact that there’s a real-life client raving about your fantastic work will speak for itself.
The Final Cut
Ask any freelancer. Creating for existing clients is usually the easiest part, while landing clients is the trickiest, especially if you’re not great at selling yourself. That’s why it’s so vital to understand that video content is a truly important part of your client generation process – it lets you focus on doing what you love, while letting prospective clients see your impressive work for themselves.
Whether you choose to go bold and live stream yourself to generate a conversation with your audience, document the way you make your content, or let your existing clients show how much they enjoyed your work, video is a winning strategy to get new clients’ attention and investment. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of the author. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and can not investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the author to disclose. VIP Contributors and Contributors, amongst other accounts and articles, are professional fee-based.
Freelance ghostwriter, blogger and unashamed champion of underdogs. Hound for pop culture, marketing, media and social justice. And I’m in Brooklyn.