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Tips for finding clients?

I am struggling to find new freelance clients. I work in a rural area and I am trying to build my portfolio. I have tried twitter and instagram and it's hard to find clients that are actually serious and interested. Thanks, any help is appreciated!

Start close to home and work your way out. Reach out to your inner circle, friends friends of friends, family etc. Doing this approach will help you maintain a level of comfort if you are feeling anxious but may also be more nerve wrecking depending on the relationships and established working guidelines you put in to place with them up front. For example unless you are specific your best friend might think your work is a freebie and you might be thinking its a $500 task. Make sure you discuss all of that stuff up front. You don't want to ruin relationships or bring unnecessary tension. I've found that keeping that group of people as my cheer squad worked better than having them as clients.

If your inner circle is slim or for some reason you don't want to go with them then you will have more work ahead of you but it may pay off more with less "trade-offs" and "freebies" along the way. You have to network. Perhaps use your LinkedIn connections, go to Meetups or actual networking events where you can offer your services. Work small businesses -- go where they are. I used to network with the Chamber of Commerce, specifically with new businesses. If you aren't ready for something of that nature then maybe try a local shopping center or two or three or more. The key is going to be in playing your numbers and knowing that eventually you will get a yes.

There are a bunch of freelance sites on the net too but saturation is always going to be an issue there.

Make sure you remember your target customer and don't stray too far away from that when you are serious about seeking clients.

Good luck to you!