Finding Freelance Work
Setting up as a freelancer and finding the right freelancing clients and jobs, and keeping them, can be a minefield.
So how do you find new freelance clients if you’ve just started your freelance consultancy?
And what's more, how do you keep finding regular freelance work. Well, if you’re reading this article then you’re already combining the two best possible tools at your fingertips … networking and the internet.
Social and profile networking is absolutely key in order to advertise your services and locate new freelancing business. There are many sites out there and it won’t hurt to register on as many as you can. The sheer volume of subscribers however has meant that four sites have emerged as key players.
Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Pinterest all have incredibly strong social aspects to their business model but each have an ever-growing business community, making them a valuable addition to your networking scope.
In your profiles and pages add as much relevant content as you can. Make sure it’s geared toward what your ideal client will want from you and balance that with not trying to be everything to all people.
Subscribe to as many like-minded freelance groups, businesses and other freelancers’ profiles and pages as you can. Very often the gesture will be reciprocated helping you to form and grow your network.
Don’t just register yourself as a self-employed freelancer, type a few bits about yourself and then leave it. Post recommendations and testimonials. Offer helpful advice to others in your network asking questions.
On Twitter, retweet something someone in your network said that was interesting or post helpful or interesting links. The more active you are there the more you will get noticed.
Setting up a blog is a great tool too. You can host your own or get a free one such as Blogger or Wordpress. You can still network within the blogsphere by sharing feeds, subscribing to other blogs and engaging in reciprocal linking. And, if you’re feeling particularly dynamic, you can create and host advice videos or podcasts.
Winning new clients and finding freelance work is potentially made quicker by going direct to the source. Sites such as PeoplePerHour, Freelance UK and Elance are filled with people in need of freelancers. They do tend, however, to also be filled with freelancers vastly outweighing the demand.
Check out iHubbub's free blogs to see the kind of thing you can blog about in your industry sector or topic of passion.
Be Realistic, Reasonable And Respectful
When bidding against other freelancers for a job, make sure you have thoroughly read the brief and that you remain a competitive contractor. Price the job realistically and fairly and, as you become more established, you will have the confidence and the testimonials to warrant increasing your costs.
Keep in mind though that drastically undercutting your fellow freelancers’ bids doesn’t do anyone any favours in the long run. It undervalues your expertise and devalues the market in general.
Always research other projects and their winning bids and price accordingly.