Find Freelance Clients

Find Freelance Clients

Guides for freelancers

How to Find Freelance Clients on Instagram


If you're not quite an influencer, or a brand, or an agency... but you're kinda all three; we know exactly how you feel. Lots of PeopleMap subscribers are in this category. We're talking about Podcast hosts, Chefs, Physicians, Photographers, Illustrators, Designers, Writers, Fitness Coaches, Course Instructors, and super slashies (eg, Photographer/Model/Stylist). We'll call them Freelancers to keep things simple.

This type of account is looking to become an industry expert, collaborate with like-minded professionals, and grow their client base. We've put together a few workflows below to help you get the most out of PeopleMap. We also encourage you to read through the other guides; even those that don't seem to be targeted directly to you. Looking at things from different perspectives can spark your creativity!


Content Creators — Pitching Work to Agencies

The best way to get consistent work is to make sure that agencies know about you. Back in the day, Photographers, Directors, and Illustrators would send their portfolio book to agency Creative Directors and Art Directors. Why get paper involved when your portfolio is your Instagram account? An authentic email to the right person is always the best way to cut through the noise. Do your research!

  1. Search for @adweek or a brand you dig and click Analyze. Maybe search for a trade publication or a podcast that hires industry experts as contributors/speakers.

  2. In your Analyze results, search for agency and set Followers Low to 1K.

  3. Click Filter.

  4. Create lists for the different types of agencies you find: Agency - PR, Agency - Social Media, Agency - Branded Content. Get organized!
    TIP: Segmenting lists early will help you get more specific later on.

  5. Go back to step 2 and search for founder.

  6. Continue with steps 3-4.

  7. Create a lead funnel list: Agencies - Pitched (for when you DM or email these agencies).

  8. Create a lead funnel list: Agencies - In Talks (for when you're negotiating details).

  9. Create a lead funnel list: Agencies - Hired (for after you get work).

  10. Rinse and repeat.



Illustrators — Build Word of Mouth & Referrals

Let's say you're an illustrator and you're looking to collaborate with artists like yourself. Building a network is a great way to generate referrals, since we all know most service-based work comes through word of mouth. PeopleMap can help you find your creative community. Some of these creatives will be your Instagram friends and some you'll get to know IRL. Not everyone has to be a competitor. We all have slightly different styles, and because of that, there's room for everyone.

  1. Search the account username of an artist you like and click Analyze
    TIP: A great way to find other like-minded accounts is to first look up that account in the Instagram app. Click the arrow-down button next to Follow. Analyze those accounts in PeopleMap.

  2. In your Analyze results, search for Los Angeles (to find people who live near you), and sort by Engagement: High or Average Likes: High. This ensures an authentic community base.
    TIP: Don't worry about follower count initially. More often than not, if someone lives in the same city, you'll want to connect regardless of how many followers they have.

  3. Click Filter.

  4. Let's say a content creator and photographer in Los Angeles shows up first (with 3.3K followers and 15% engagement). Create a list: Los Angeles Creatives, and add this account. You can maintain the contact, but since you aren't looking for a content creator at the moment, keep them on reserve.

  5. Add any illustrator accounts you find to a list: Los Angeles Illustrators.
    TIP: Also add them to your list: Los Angeles Creatives. This allows you to combine and segment lists later on. Get as granular as you'd like. (See our Lists guide for how to combine lists).



Photographer — Side Projects with Influencers

We all know cats are the most likeable content on Instagram. So why not collaborate with Influencer kitties? A side project that utilizes social influence is a great way to create content and get some exposure to potential clients. 

  1. Search for a popular account (cat, dog, or otherwise).

  2. Add this account to a Cool Collaborations - XX Month List and click Analyze.
    TIP: Make a list for each month so you can set a goal of executing one collaboration every month. Social growth, FTW.

  3. When your analysis is ready, set Followers Low to 5K and sort by Average Likes: High to see accounts with highest engagement regardless of follower size.

  4. Click Filter.

  5. Once you find a few accounts you vibe with, add them to your Cool Collaborations - XX Month list.

  6. Within your list, search your city, and click Filter. This will help you find local accounts, making collaborations easier.
    TIP: You can also go back to step 3 and search your city to get even more specific with your result from the original filter.  




Podcast Host — Finding An Influencer Niche to Pitch

Let's say you're the host of a business entrepreneurs podcast and you decide to interview conference creators and attendees to help market your tickets. Or maybe you hit up the speakers from the conference. Your goal? To become an industry expert by strategically swapping audiences. How do you do it? Through cross-promotion!

  1. Search a conference account like @createcultivate and click Analyze.

  2. In your Analyze results, set Followers High to 50K, Followers Low to 5K and sort by Engagement: High.

  3. Click Filter.

  4. Add accounts that you like to a list: Conference - Leads.

  5. Go back to Step 2. Search for speaker, set Followers High to 100K, Followers Low to 3K and sort by Engagement: High.

  6. Click Filter.

  7. Add accounts that you like to a list: Speaker - Leads.

  8. Create lead funnels with your lists and begin outreach. 

    TIP: A lead funnel helps manage your communication. For example, a lead funnel might have lists that look like this:

    • Conference - 1 Leads

    • Conference - 2 Pitched

    • Conference - 3 In Talks

    • Conference - 4 Confirmed


Don't forget!

Track Cross Promotions to See Follower Growth

Now that you have your cross promotions confirmed, we can help track your follower growth behind those collaborations.

  1. In the Campaigns tab, click New Campaign.

  2. Type in the name of your campaign. Click Save Name. You can always go back and edit this later.

  3. Next to Track when, add the conference / speaker accounts you have confirmed for cross promotion.

  4. Next to mentions, add your account username.  

  5. (optional) Next to or uses, add up to three hashtags associated with your account that conferences/speakers might use when mentioning you.
    TIP: Set up campaigns 48 hours in advance of any posts going live to get more accurate analysis results.

  6. Click More Settings.

  7. Check the box that enables email notifications. As posts go live, emails will be sent to your inbox. You can get directly back to this campaign from those emails.

  8. Scroll down to see stats for your campaign. These will continuously update as more posts go live.

    TIP: To show your influence in these partnerships, and prove your value, swap steps three and four. For example, next to Track when, add your account, and next to mentions, add the conferences/speakers you'll tag in your posts. This will help you build case studies in your favor for future use, especially when new cross promotional opportunities come up.