Writer, designer, web developer, musician… no matter your chosen niche, it is important as a freelancer that you know how to successfully source work so that you can keep a steady income coming into your bank account.
Below are our top tips for finding freelance work so you can build up a strong and impressive client portfolio:
- Freelance job sites – these platforms are a good starting point as they’ll allow you to determine your experience/expertise level amongst other freelancers and research average hourly rates (so you know how much to charge for a project based on your knowledge). Good ones include People Per Hour, Upwork and Fiverr as not only will you have access to a worldwide client base; you’ll also be able to browse through projects and place bids/applications on the posts you’re most interested in.
To get started on these websites, you’ll first need to create a ‘seller’ profile before adding on a portion of your portfolio (especially when you first start out). This profile will allow potential clients to check out your skillset and contact you about potential work.
Things to note: before bidding you can use the projects message board to ask the client questions about the task i.e. expected timeframes, what is required, etc. Similarly, when bidding you’ll have to prove why you are the best person for the job. Clients will then either accept your bid or decline it, before launching a discussion with you about the work.
When the project is done, the client will be asked to give you a review. These are useful for building up credibility and increasing your chances of winning future bids.
NOTE: these sites will take a cut of your profits, so please bear this is mind when placing a bid as you won’t receive the total amount.
- Blog/post to your own site on a regular basis – while you may not rank 1st on search engines such as Google, having an online presence that is regularly updated will give you the advantage of building up a reputation as an authority figure on your subject. At the same time, it will give prospective clients the chance to see your work, read your reviews and see how you operate. We recommend creating content that provides valuable advice/information and sharing them on your social media account.
Another strategy you can try is to supply guest posts for other blogs/ podcasts (by making arrangements with likeminded individuals). This cross collaboration will prove mutually beneficial for you both and will create good backlinks to your own blog.
- Review regular job sites – it is possible to find freelance work on regular job sites such as Indeed.co.uk. Just make sure to use the right keywords when performing job searches e.g. remote, freelance, work from home, etc. In some cases, you’ll be offered a temporary contract to come work in their office, but in a freelance capacity.
- Reach out to agencies you wish to work with – emailing or cold calling clients/agencies that you are interested in working with might sound risky as you don’t want to feel like you’re pestering them, however, with the right approach you can open doors to new opportunities.
TIP: contact agencies that you know are looking for freelance help and offer to send them your CV, as well as some of your portfolio so they can determine if you are the right fit for the job.
TIP TWO: offer a special rate/discount for new clients.
NOTE: make sure your contact method doesn’t breach GDPR.
- Ask for referrals/recommendations – word of mouth is powerful so don’t be afraid to contact industry professionals and let them know that you’re available and willing to work. Even if they don’t personally need your assistance, the fact you’ve alerted them could lead to them telling others in their network i.e. contacts/connections, of your availability. Likewise, consider asking your friends, family and former colleagues to post recommendations on their social media accounts. This will broaden your reach and boost your audience base.
- Join social media groups in your niche – across Facebook and LinkedIn you will find groups of likeminded individuals who can help to promote and find you jobs. For instance, you can join freelancer job boards on Facebook and use them to build up a rapport with new clients and network with other freelancers. Getting your foot in the door is not as hard as you may think. Even as a freelancer, it is possible to source work from a variety of avenues and build up a client base which will keep the pennies rolling in.
For more advice/tips on how to broaden your freelance skillset, visit our site and view our range of online courses.