5 Ways to Get Freelance Work
There are a whole bunch of reasons as to why Freelancing has become increasingly popular in recent years. Obviously the challenging jobs market has meant that there are fewer permanent job opportunities around so freelancing can seem to be the perfect ‘interim’ or stop gap solution between jobs. For many people however. it’s more a lifestyle choice. Juggling personal and family commitments with a standard full time 9-5 job can become pretty frustrating and stressful at times. Therefore, the flexibility that freelancing brings can in turn help alleviate some of those work-life balance issues. Whilst there are lots of things to consider before committing to a freelancing career, one of the first of those is of course how can you actually do it. Here are 5 Ways to Get Freelance Work.
Use your Social Networks
Like them or loathe them, Social Networks can play a big role in getting freelance work. Updating your profile or bio on Twitter or LinkedIn to reflect the fact that you undertake freelance work is in effect advertising your services. Obviously a status update will do the same. This could potentially lead to work opportunities offered by those people within your own group of connections as well as those people who search the profiles or bios looking for a freelancer.The reverse is also true – you may be able to find organisations who use Social Networks to advertise their freelance requirements and offer your services directly.
Real Life Networking
Admittedly not everyone is comfortable with networking events, however for many freelancers, they are a real necessity. The thing is to think carefully about the events that you go to. Don’t simply attend an event and hope that someone will see you and immediately hire you for a freelance project. Be prepared. If possible, find out in advance who the other attendees are likely to be so that you can create a ‘hit list’ of sorts of prospective clients that you would like to engage with. Your primary focus for being there is to promote yourself and what you so, so make sure that you do it properly. Be proactive, approach other people, don’t simply sit in the corner with the one person that you know. You want to get work? Go out there and get it.
There have been a plethora of websites created over the past few years dedicated solely to freelance work. We have previously outlined some of them. Some highlight global or UK based freelance opportunities that exist, others simply act as an advertising platform of sorts for freelancers to promote their services. They have come under a lot of criticism recently due to the fact that no matter how competitive you may feel you are being with your freelance fees, you are more likely than not going to be undercut by a freelancer from another part of the world, willing to work for mere pennies. The reality is though that whilst this does happen and is far from being a good thing, many people do manage to find quite decent freelance opportunities on these sites and get paid regular fees. They may not be the best source of income for you, but perhaps don’t rule them out altogether.
Contact Previous Employers
Provided you left your previous employer on good terms, there should be no reason why you should not contact them to enquire about freelancing opportunities. Many organisations may not be able to commit to hiring someone on a permanent basis, however may have short term project requirements where the services of a temporary worker in a freelance capacity would more than suffice. The big advantage of course is that they already know you, they are familiar with the quality of your work and provided that is good enough, you have technically already ‘sold’ yourself to them.
Getting referrals and recommendations about your services can bring more work opportunities than many of the other methods we have listed. If someone is aware of what you can do, previous employer or otherwise, why not ask them to refer you to anyone they know who may need to avail of your type of expertise or skill. Whether it’s design work, writing or marketing, having a testimonial from a previous client who can effectively vouch for your services can be a real advantage. Also, if you do decide to create a website promoting yourself as a freelancer, you could (with the client’s permission of course), add their testimonial to your site to further enhance your credibility and hopefully increase the work opportunities that may come your way.