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Tinder couple on a date

I wouldn’t be surprised if you read the blog post title and asked yourself how Tinder, a dating site, could help anyone get more clients as a freelancer?

The truth is that both sites aren’t as different as we think they are. Yes, both platforms have different purposes, but the science behind how the work is the same.

This article covers:

  • Similarities between Upwork and Tinder
  • 4 ways to get clients as a freelancer
  • Tips for finding clients online

So let’s get started.

Similarities Between Tinder and Upwork

Tinder couple on a date
Tinder couple on a date

Upwork and Tinder are online platforms with one major thing in common- they bring your target audience to you.

When you’re in the dating scene, having to go to different places (bars, concerts, etc.) to meet a nice man or woman with the possibility of going on a date is a stressful task.

Tinder makes it easier. From the comfort of your home, you can sit on a couch and scroll through the profiles of other people who are also looking for someone to go on a date with.

This the same way Upwork operates. Its platform works as a middleman between freelancers and clients, making it easier for them to contact each other and work together.

Here’s another thing both platforms have in common, your profile speaks for you. Before someone is moved to message you on Tinder, the first interaction they have with you comes from your profile. And the same thing happens on Upwork.

Before a client is moved to start up a conversation with you or even go through your proposal, they’ll have a look at your profile. If all they see on your profile is a grumpy picture of you (or no picture at all), with a bio that only talks about you and nothing about how the client can benefit from working with you, then you shouldn’t expect anyone to get back to you.

When people go on a date, and all their date does it talk about themselves without showing interest in their partner, it’s safe to assume there won’t be a second date.

So what are the things to keep in mind when trying to find clients with freelance platforms such as Upwork:

  • Upwork is a good place to start if you’re starting and can’t afford the money needed to find clients directly. It’s cost-effective and convenient because it brings your clients to you.
  • When creating your Upwork profile, be sure to use a photo of you with your best smile. Clients want to see who they’re working with, and they’ll be more willing to hire you if they think you’re approachable.
  • Your profile shouldn’t be about you but rather about how clients can benefit from you. Show them that you understand their challenges and can help them solve them.

How to Get More Clients as a Freelancer:

Smiling freelancer
Smiling freelancer

Online Freelance Platforms

This is the easiest way to get clients as a freelancer, especially if you’re starting. Many freelance platforms, such as Upwork, Fiverr, Toptal, etc., exist to make the process easier for you.

A major disadvantage of using these platforms is dealing with their high commission rates, which is understandable because they did all the work of bringing clients to you.

Direct Clients

You may decide to source for clients directly and avoid the hassles involved with freelance platforms and their regulations.

To do this, you need to have samples of your best work readily available online. A graphic designer or photographer has an online portfolio, a writer has their own blog, a web designer has their own website, and the list goes on.

You must have these things online because the world has evolved into a global village. Having your work easily accessible online portrays you as someone who is moving with the times and also requires you to invest in your business.

The advantages of working with clients directly mean charging your rates and working on your terms. Not to mention getting paid without delay without commissions being taken out. The major disadvantage of working with clients directly is the amount of money spent on marketing as people are not going to find you online unless you are sending traffic to your website.

Work with an Agency

Working with an agency is another convenient way to get clients as a freelancer. The agency scouts for clients and then assigns work to you. When working with an agency, you are always sure of getting work, without having to be the one searching for clients.

Another advantage of working with an agency is that whenever an issue arises with a client, they take up its cost. Meaning that you will almost always get paid whether things worked out with the client or not as long as your work was completed according to the brief.

Agencies do the leg work of finding clients and communicating with them so their rates will be slightly lower than if you were to work directly with clients.  Balance that against what you save by not having to set up a website or portfolio and market yourself, you will often find that it works out more cost-effective. Especially if you are new.

Ask for Referrals

People care more about what others have to say about you than what you have to say about yourself. Asking for referrals from your past clients is a great way to get more clients on board.

One way to encourage your clients to refer you to their colleagues is by giving them incentives to do so. For every successful referral, you could give them a certain percentage of the money you made from that project, e.g., 10%

You could also offer them discounts or free services for a limited period of time. E.g., one week of free social media management.

Bonus Tip: Have More than One Client


Freelancers with several clients have someone else to fall back on if one client’s work is quiet or they are taking a break from their business. We have seen in 2020 some industries flourish while others are out of business so experience working with different industries is also an advantage.

Want to learn how to find, pitch, and get hired by International Clients. Our next training starts on 10 February 2021. Sign up here.

Reach out to us if you have any questions and if you found any of these tips helpful, be sure to give some feedback on how it helped you.