If you’re an established freelancer, chances are that finding work comes quite easy to you by now.

Word of mouth and referrals are probably the best way to source new clients and find new projects, but if you’re just starting out, trying to break into a new sector or finding it a bit of an uphill struggle to keep the work rolling in, you might need a nudge in the right direction.

 

Here are six fool-proof tips for finding work as a freelancer:

1. Traditional networking

It almost goes without saying but putting yourself out there and making friends and potential contacts is a good place to start. Check out your local chamber of commerce or comb the local business pages and groups on social media, and find out which events, seminars, presentations, and networking events might be beneficial to you.

Training is great for improving your skill set and knowledge, but it’s also a good place to chat to fellow freelancers who might be able to point you in the right direction for work or refer projects your way.

Chatting to small business leaders is also a great idea. Many startups, SMEs and scale-ups might not know that they need you yet, so a well-timed chat over a coffee or glass of wine at an event can help put yourself in the picture.

2. Social Media

Professional platforms such as LinkedIn are a great place to start, but joining Facebook groups of fellow freelancers, creatives or even local business networks will help you to find relevant work.

Don’t just be a lurker though, introduce yourself, join in, answer questions, share info, ask advice, comment on posts and pool your knowledge. Work is often pitched and shared on these platforms so be bold and make sure you don’t miss out.

3. Approach companies within your target sector

If you have a particular specialism, there’s nothing wrong with reaching out to a few cherry-picked companies that might be in need of your help. Do your research though, rather than adopting a scattergun approach, and send the MD or founder a thought out, personal note.

Nobody likes being sold at, but sharing information about yourself, your skills and your previous work will do wonders, especially if you have spotted a potential gap that you can fill to add value to their business. Send them your portfolio and tell them you’d be happy to chat or meet for a coffee if they ever want to discuss their needs. Simple, and not salesey.

Agencies are a great starting point as they regularly use freelancers, so pick out your top 5-10 and go from there. You can usually find contact details for the right person on LinkedIn and again, adopt a personalised approach to that agency and their clients, values, and ethos.

4. Job sites and job ads

Many companies hire freelancers now to fill temporary contracts or pick up specific projects, and lots of them use standard job sites to advertise the work.

Additionally, you might spot maternity cover or contract work on job sites that would fit in well with your other clients, or you may even be able to persuade a company to use your skills and flexibility rather than hiring a permanent member of staff. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know! 

5. Freelancing platforms

Since freelancing and flexible ways of working have increased in popularity over the past few years, platforms such as PeoplePerHour.comand freelanceuk.com offer smaller and larger projects to get stuck into.

Additionally, don’t forget to look out for industry-specific platforms. For freelance PR and comms professionals, the recently launched PR Cavalry (prcavalry.com) offers the chance to build a profile so brands and companies can view your skills and day rate, before they ask you to pitch or pull together proposals for work.

6. Showcase your skills

Work on your personal brand, and you’re guaranteed to convert the effort into work. Sometimes, your most important client is yourself. Invest in a website, make sure all your social profiles are up to date and share your successes as you go along. As a freelancer, nobody will blow your trumpet for you, so you may as well get used to blowing your own!

Another great idea for working on your personal brand is writing a blog. Not only will this help with your SEO, it will also position you as an expert in your field and give a platform to talk about your business and how it can help others. Blogging will also provide you with bespoke content to share across your social media platforms, expanding your reach within your industry and area. Long form content works particularly well for LinkedIn and by posting regularly, you will start to position yourself as an expert on your chosen area of skills or sector.

Additionally, if you’re brave enough, run your own how-to events or seminars for fellow freelancers, or put yourself forwards as a guest speaker at regular events.

Remember, fortune favours the bold, so don’t be shy – you have skills and knowledge that will be hugely beneficial to some companies or brands, so try and make sure that you’re in the picture! Good luck.

 And lastly, it goes without saying that you should use The Freelance Kit to stay on top of all your lovely new leads. 😉 There are planning templates to organise client work, prospects lists, project management and specific templates for social media and content planning.

You can join our FREE private members group where you can find support and guidance from an established freelance community here. 

And grab your FREE Ultimate Freelance Guide here,The Ultimate Freelance Guide 2020 with 45 top tools and tips from our community.

About The Freelance Kit

The Freelance Kit offers unique digital products, support and community for freelancers, including a 150 page high-quality and beautifully designed template kit. 

Inside the digital kit, you’ll find templates, planners and spreadsheets for every aspect of freelance life including a 15-page contract worth £300, financial planning documents, social media planning templates and ideas for content, blog topic ideas and much more. 

Along with digital products, The Freelance Kit has a private community and a soon to launch membership option. The platform was created by experts to help freelancers thrive and our hope is that the products and support will empower you to succeed, and help make your freelance life that bit easier.  

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