The increase in freelance-specific job boards and communities has made it easier than ever to find freelance work, but there are other ways of hooking clients that you can start doing immediately. These five techniques will help you find more work much sooner than you think.
Scan job postings for full-time gigs that line up with your experience.
Career networking websites like LinkedIn can help you find more freelance work. Do LinkedIn research to find out who the hiring manager of the full-time gig is, and send a personalized note explaining why a consultant might be able to fit the role.
Pro-tip: It’s relatively easy to guess at or look up the standard email conventions at most major companies. There are even email verification sites that will tell you if the email is active before you hit send.
However, depending on workload and company, hiring a consultant could be an easy sell in terms of overall cost. On the other hand, the worst case scenario would be that they still have your contact information for any opportunities in the future.
One pro-tip: set up automated alerts and sign up for curated lists so you don’t have to do as much time digging around the boards. These sites are convenient and simple, and you’ll be receiving opportunities for freelance work in your email each day.
Looking for #freelancework? Set up automated alerts and sign up for curated lists. Click To Tweet
Use your LinkedIn headline to reflect your bandwidth.
LinkedIn is helpful for freelance work also because it gives clients an idea about who you are. If you’re looking to take on new clients, put an ask out to your network and update your headline.
Potential clients aren’t mind readers, so the more you promote that you’re available then, the greater your chances are of having someone forwarding your info to someone who could use your freelance work.
Maintain a wish list.
Create a spreadsheet of “dream clients.” Maybe these are the people you see in the news doing cool things. Or maybe they’re interesting individuals in your space that you’d like to work with.
Once you have this list, spend time each month catching up on what they’re doing. If you’re an SEO strategist or UX designer, peek at their websites to see if they are lacking anything you offer. Use LinkedIn research and free email verification tools online to find and save their emails.
From there, you can reach out to the relevant hiring managers. Make sure outreach is always one-to-one and personal. Although mass emails seem faster and easier, sending a mass email is actually unhelpful. It hurts your chances of building a relationship down the road and is less likely to elicit a response.
#Jobsearch pro tip: make sure outreach is always one-to-one and personal. Click To Tweet
Go to the source.
Any type of company that “holds” a portfolio of other companies is a great place to start your search for freelance work.
For example, if you are a programmer specializing in iOS apps, you can find venture capitalists or incubators who manage these types of portfolios. Introduce yourself as a resource! These organizations or agencies are always looking for ways to add value to their own relationship, and having relationships with outside collaborators is a great way to show that value.
You can be your own Public Relations person. If you have expertise or insight in a specific area, share your thoughts on Medium. Commenting on relevant news on Twitter can be good, free promotion as well. Even better, you can find events to speak at and participate in local meetings, and if you’re feeling super ambitious, you can craft a newsletter and begin building a CRM based on regular insights you share.
Promoting yourself is one of the best steps towards more freelance work. According to research done by AND CO, 91 percent of freelancers find work by word of mouth and by referrals, and 69% market themselves by in person networking.
Promoting yourself is one of the best steps towards more freelance work. Click To Tweet
In the end, finding freelance work is getting easier by the day, but you can jumpstart your career by taking these five techniques and reaching out to potential clients. The relationships you build and recognition from self-promotions will only help you in the future.
Hit us up with some more tips on finding freelance work in the comments below!