Whether you’re a freelancer looking to secure more gigs, or a full-timer on the hunt for some side hustles to gain extra cash or experience, securing your next job can take a lot of time and research. Luckily, the proliferation of the internet and social media have made the job search easier and more accessible. Keep these four tips in mind when you’re looking to land your next job so that you plant yourself in the right direction and stay motivated.
Tap into your personal network
Similar to a traditional job search, leveraging your personal network can be a highly effective way to find freelancing work. In fact, a 2016 study conducted by LinkedIn and the Adler Group revealed that 85 percent of jobs today are filled through networking. When done correctly, networking establishes relationships and builds connections that often lead to new opportunities. There are a few ways in which you can leverage your personal network to land freelancing gigs:
- Send an email to friends, family, and colleagues (both past and present) that outlines your services and the types of work you’ll be taking on. If available, link to relevant examples of your work and encourage those you share with to also send to their networks. Side note: only do this with your contacts that you regularly stay in touch with! If you haven’t reached out to an individual in a while, try a coffee date first to rekindle the relationship vs. being so direct with your ask.
- Share a post on your personal LinkedIn and Facebook pages making your network aware of your services and asking friends to spread the word. Be sure to include photos or videos that exemplify your work in the post to maximize engagement. Take this a step further by posting your services to Facebook groups and LinkedIn job boards.
- Attend local networking events or join industry-specific organizations to expand your network. Meetup is a great resource for discovering and connecting with likeminded individuals in your industry, as is joining local organizations or associations that focus on your trade or passion.
Search job boards
Dating back to the inception of Monster.com in 1994, online job boards have become a great resource for researching and comparing employment opportunities. The use of job boards doesn’t appear to be slowing down with the rise of social networking, either. A hiring study by LinkedIn discovered that 60 percent of job-seeking individuals currently use online job boards to look for new opportunities. One of the most popular job boards today is LinkedIn Jobs, which curates job recommendations based on your LinkedIn profile. With sites like Indeed and LinkedIn offering filters to find freelancing positions, it’s easier than ever to search for specific types of projects you’re looking for and receive instant results.
Earn word of mouth referrals
Consistently delivering freelance work that exceeds client expectations is a reliable way to bring in new leads. At the start of your relationship, define what going above and beyond means to your clients and set SMART goals for yourself that position you to achieve those successes. A few noteworthy projects will get the ball rolling, and the larger your network, the farther the ball will roll.
To quote Paul Jarvis — entrepreneur, best-selling author, and freelance designer at PJRVS — “I’ve never cold-called, put my services on job boards or marketplaces. It’s been 100% word of mouth and referrals since I started…[my clients] became my sales force.”
In addition to delivering great work during a project, you should carve out the time to follow up with clients after your gig is over. You don’t have to compose long emails or newsletters, but thoughtful gestures like sending an article relevant to the clients’ interests or industry will keep your name top of mind.
Use freelancing tools
While there are plenty of freelancer connection tools out there, not all platforms are created equal. When searching for the best freelancing tool to find new gigs, first evaluate what you want and need, such as HR services, invoicing templates, customizable user profiles, and legally binding contracts. Many reputable platforms offer a few of these services, but you should vigilantly research your options to find the best fit. If one tool doesn’t have it all, don’t be alarmed: there are a plethora of supplemental tools that can do the trick.
(Hint: AND CO is a great tool to manage your freelance business from contracts to invoices, time tracking and beyond!)
Freelancing is serious business, but it should also be a fun and impassioned addition to your life. By researching and identifying the right gigs for you, you’re setting yourself up for lasting success.
Loom takes a freelancer-first mentality to the on-demand services economy to ensure that freelancers get the opportunity to build (and a fair stake of) quality products they can stand behind. Explore the many benefits Loom delivers to freelancers at Loom.co