There was a time when electrical engineers worked their entire careers for one company chosen primarily for the benefits package offered to new hires. Unfortunately, those days are long gone because so many corporations are downsizing and typically only a handful of upper-level management positions come with perks. Today’s electrical engineer is either seeking to start their own company or to freelance in the field based on their areas of expertise. Are you seeking to find clients as a freelance electrical engineer? If so, here are some tipsto help you begin building that all-important client base.
1. Build an Online Presence
As a freelancer, the one thing you can count on is that a majority of the work you contract will be found online. This means that you should build a website where potential clients can find information about who you are and what you do. Here, you might want to set aside a marketing budget so that your site will begin to rank in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).It is no secret that most individuals and companies find new business contacts online. A well-crafted website is an absolute must.
2. Attend Industry Trade Shows
Although a major portion of your new business will be captured online, never underestimate the power of networking at industry trade shows. Here, you can attend any industry trade show reliant on electronics or you can target a specific audience. For example, perhaps your forte is gaming systems and/or components. It probably wouldn’t help to attend an aeronautics trade show, so pick and choose the shows and conferences you attend.
3. Create and Update Your Portfolio
Keeping your portfolio online can be one of the biggest benefits of all. Each client you serve should be added to your portfolio at the completion of a project, and the more in-depth you can detail, the greater your chances will be of capturing clients needing your expertise. For example, you were tasked with creating anew PCB for USB connector footprint Altium design circuitry. Add that to your portfolio! Being proficient in the Altium design software suite will go a long way in impressing prospective clients.
4. Seek Referrals
Never be afraid to ask satisfied clients for referrals in their industry. Word of mouth is still one of the leading ways to build a client base and when it comes to electronics, a satisfied customer’s stamp of approval goes a very long way.
5. Join Online Forums and Social Pages
Finally, this is the age of the Internet, so take advantage of cyberspace! Join as many social sites and industry forums as you can handle but remember that keeping them active is vital. Yes, it’s important to be social, but this means time spent posting. Take on only those most important to your industry and stay active, by all means.LinkedIn should be top of the list for professionals.
In today’s job market, freelancing has become the new norm for professionals from all fields. If you simply aren’t into working the 9 to 5 corporate lifestyle,then freelancing is probably the path you should pursue. These tips should get you started building that client base, but remember, keep your online portfolio updated to showcase your crowning achievements. With just a little effort you will have all the work you can handle.