I am currently working full time, but interested in doing freelance work.

I don't want to drop everything and jump right into it not knowing if this is what I want to do.

How can I go about finding my first client while keeping my day job?

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    -1: To make the question more constructive, consider adding details on your business area, location, and research you have already done on this matter. What have you tried so far? Asked friends? Asked your employer for a side project? Looked on freelancer sites? May 22, 2013 at 2:49
  • @bytebuster Good points. I won't edit this one and just let it close if it gets voted down. I'll be sure to be more specific in the future.
    – almostflan
    May 22, 2013 at 3:04
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    Low quality questions may harm your reputation if they harvests too many downvotes (as well as deleted ones). Especially while we all have initially low points. I suggest improving this one. Even if it gets closed before, it may be re-opened later. May 22, 2013 at 3:09
  • The problem here is that I haven't done enough research and haven't started looking so it's hard to get more specific. This question might be more useful/appropriate as a web search.
    – almostflan
    May 22, 2013 at 3:31
  • Fair enough. I hope a fair own research will help answering the question. Answers on own questions are encouraged here as well. May 22, 2013 at 4:23

4 Answers 4


This is always hard to find work at starting no matter how intelligent you are ... but you can get slightly easier if you have created any project to show , and contribute in some open source which would be good and you can tell about this either to client or to company(in case you want to do job )

and its easy to get clients by friends/family references

  • I've prepared portfolios for applying to jobs in the past, but I suspect a portfolio for a prospective client will have to be a bit more polished.
    – almostflan
    May 22, 2013 at 6:04

I got my first client by literally going door to door in local businesses introducing myself. It turned out that one of the business owners was an old family friend, and so I got a client. If I had it to do over again, I would probably start by making a list of friends who have businesses, and approaching them asking for feedback rather than work, and then see what I could do from there. You never know. One of them may want you to do something for them or they may know someone, but if not, at least you will likely get some constructive and local feedback.

This is part of the pattern of doing things for multiple reasons and being open to different kinds of benefits that may come from an activity rather than starting off and expecting that a single effort will make everything work.

  • That's interesting! As silly as it sounds, I like the idea of looking for problems and trying to solve them. Sometimes I feel as though I have a solution and I'm looking for a problem...
    – almostflan
    May 22, 2013 at 6:01
  • Door to door works for some areas of IT but not all. I wonder what other options there are for people who do things besides web site design. Dec 20, 2016 at 17:06

As others have noted, personal and professional networks are the most common sources for a first client.

And although you haven't asked for this answer, I'll add that if you are employed full-time already, make sure you carefully review the terms of your employment contract before committing to any freelance work. Many employment contracts contain terms that make all intellectual property created by you (regardless of whether it is done on company-time or your own time) belong to your employer. In such circumstances, you could be putting yourself and your clients in a very difficult position by selling or licensing intellectual property created by you but owned by your full-time employer.

  • Good call. I'll be sure to look over my terms.
    – almostflan
    May 22, 2013 at 6:02

In my case, I got my first clients by my friends' references. Depending on what you want to do as a freelancer it's good idea to gain some experience and reputation. It's also very helpfull to enhance your portfolio - one of the most important things, when you want to get your clients from the internet, because it is your portfolio that represents you on-line.

And don't forget to post some ads on websites, that are freelancer-oriented and you may get a commission from and also on websites related on what you want to do.

  • Do you have any suggestions on websites that are friendly and effective for these types of ads?
    – almostflan
    May 22, 2013 at 6:09

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