Finding Clients For Short Term Projects

Hi, my name is Dan. I graduated from college a few years ago and I want to start offering freelance services online such as logo and print designs to people who need them. I am not sure what to try. I have tried Upwork and but I had no luck getting clients that way. So, I was wondering how you guys find projects outside Upwork and


Hi Dan. Welcome to the forum.

The forum software automatically blocked your first post because it mentioned the awful contest site that spammers often mention in their posts. For that matter, the forum software even blocks the name of that site and substitutes

You’re not a spammer, but now you understand how most people on the GDF forum feel about contest sites — they’re worse than worthless.

Upwork is a little different in that it’s not a contest site. However, most of the clients there are still cheapskates who know little about good design or working with designers.

Is your college degree in design? Are you a professional designer?

You find/attract clients through a strategic mix of marketing communication. Some vehicles to consider include:

  • Formal networking events
  • Informal networking
  • Trade organizations, trade shows, industry events
  • Public relations
  • A branded website designed utilizing the latest techniques for SEO
  • Third party portfolio websites
  • Social media presence to showcase your work
  • Active participation in social media groups to further raise your profile
  • Blogging on your own website, and as a guest author on third party sites, to position yourself as the go-to expert
  • Vlogging
  • Traditional advertising (space ads, direct mail, broadcast, and out of home)
  • Online advertising
  • Cold calling
  • Referrals
  • Public speaking

Oh, and you have to do killer work and have a great reputation.

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Couldn’t be more correct. I’ve seen people who did everything on the list, but forgot this one.

Here in California, it’s relatively easy to obtain contact info for new companies. County clerks have it, and it’s also published in newspapers. New businesses tend to need substantial design services.