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TPE #51: How I got my first client (freelance)

Jul 17, 2023

Read time: 3 minutes

Hey, Miles here!

In today’s issue of The PPC Edge, I’m sharing the story of how I got my first freelance client while still working full-time at an agency.

I started working at a big agency in Amsterdam in 2018.

I heavily invested in my skillset and worked way more than I was paid for.

I was confident in my abilities after 2 years of grinding my ass off for +/- 50 clients.

In 2020, I wanted to leave to pursue a freelancing career and build my own business, so I decided to start freelancing on the side.

The only problem: I had no idea how to get clients. I had no LinkedIn following like I have now, and certainly didn’t have any inbound leads.

In this newsletter, I’ll show you the process of getting my first client by doing something nobody was doing.

I hope it inspires you to be creative.

Let’s dive in!

 

How I got my first client: job boards

I hate cold-calling and cold-emailing. It doesn’t fit my personality type. But I also had no idea how to get inbound leads.

I knew that if I wanted to get my first freelance client, I had to get creative.

I tried something nobody else was doing:

Back in 2020, it was very hard for companies to hire good Google Ads Specialists.

So I figured: why don’t I offer to work for them on freelance basis until they hired someone?

So that’s exactly what I did:

  • I went to Indeed.nl (job board)
  • I looked for jobs that weren’t getting filled
  • I offered to fulfill the role on freelance basis until they hired someone internally

 

I looked for jobs that were on the platform for at least a few months, because that indicated they had difficulties hiring for the role.

I figured it was just a numbers game:

  • I sent an email to 10 companies
  • Most of them ignored me, 3 replied
  • 2 didn’t want to hire me as a freelancer
  • 1 was interested in working with a freelancer

 

The last business was Ledstores (founded by Kemal Tas): a big LED lighting retailer with various webshops in Europe.

I was making more with my freelance client on the side than with my full-time agency salary, so 5 months later I quit my job.

I ended up working with Ledstores for more than a year, and I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity.

Since then, all of the clients I’ve gotten were either inbound via LinkedIn or through referrals.

I’m happy I no longer have to do cold acquisition.

But I’m also happy I took an unconventional route to get my first client.

That gave me the confidence I needed to quit my job, build a business and design my own life intentionally.

When you're starting out, you need to think outside the box.

Be willing to do what others aren't - and the world is yours for the taking.

I hope this inspires you to be creative in finding ways to get your (first) client.

Below, I’ll link the exact email I used to land my first client.

Feel free to steal it :).

See you again next week!

Cheers,

Miles (and Bob)

 

[Bonus: the email I used to land my first client]

Dear [client name],

I hereby offer my services as a Freelance Google Ads Specialist. I understand that you are looking for a permanent position, but I also know that finding good Google Ads Specialists in the current market can be quite challenging. Therefore, I would like to offer my temporary support until a suitable candidate is found to fill the job full-time.

First, let me tell you a bit about myself: my name is [name]. My core values are authenticity, continuous personal development, positivity, hard work, and dedication. Helping people is my passion, so I hope I can assist you as well.

 

What do I have to offer?

I am an experienced Google Ads Specialist who can provide strong support to Ledstores' marketing team. I have over 3 years of experience in online marketing and had the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the field at [agency].

I have worked as a PPC Lead on large, complex clients where I managed multimillion budgets (including [client names]). Through this experience, I have learned what it takes to be a good Google Ads Specialist: focusing on performance objectives, keeping the accounts in order, and always being eager to test the latest developments to maximize results.

Additionally, my experience with tools such as bGenius, GA, SA360, Tag Manager, and Channable allows me to directly manage campaigns. The aspects of Google Ads that I find most enjoyable are automation, leveraging feed-based advertising, content optimization (both on-site SEO and ad copy), and in-depth data analysis.

I would be happy to offer my services at a competitive hourly rate to demonstrate my value. We can agree on the number of hours together.

I would be thrilled to support [client name]’s marketing team as a Freelance Google Ads Specialist until the position is filled with a permanent employee. If you share the same enthusiasm, I would love to meet for a cup of coffee to further discuss my experiences and explore a potential collaboration. Of course, if you prefer not to work with a freelancer, I completely understand and respect that.

If you have any questions or need clarification, please feel free to reach out to me via LinkedIn. In the worst-case scenario, if things don't work out, we would have gained a new LinkedIn connection.

Best regards,

[name]

[email]

[phone number]

Let’s connect: [Linkedin URL]

​



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