Freelancing has always been an uncertain but coveted work environment to be in. And, there are so many ways that you can make money from home now too. Almost all skills can be translated into online content. From copywriting to instructional videos on how to fix your plumbing problems. But after a while, you want to grow, and grow big.
In fact, in the early days of putting your business plan together, you will probably have imagined your business exploding and needing a 24 hour answering service, a virtual assistant, and a large number of staff. That should always be part of the plan where possible. The thing is that when it comes to freelancing, there are different methods to drum up work, and not all of them are applicable to every situation.
Being in complete control of your career means finding what works for you, playing around with variations of your working day and hours, and picking and choosing your clients too.
Each year there is an increase in the number of people who move to freelance fulltime. Upwork and Freelancers Union released a study that looks at the economy, and in 2019 it was reported that more people now see freelancing as a long-term option. This is great news because the shift means that there has been a positive change in the freelancing industry.
With the increase in the use of technology and the internet, it is now easier to find and pitch for work.
So while there are more people freelancing, there are also many more options in terms of work too. Keeping it a healthy competition space, rather than a saturated market.
There are some tried and true ways to find work, and most freelancers will stick with what they know. However, sometimes leaving your comfort zone, to see what else is available can be very beneficial. Here are some options that work well for most freelancers, though you might need to try a pick and mix approach.
Have you ever been surfing the web and stumbled across a company that you have to work with? Well, take a look at what they do, check out their portfolio, and think about what you can provide them with. The only way that cold pitching is really going to work is if you are selective with who you contact, and why you are contacting them.
When you write the email, make it interesting, and show that you have researched the company. Make sure that you show them what you can do too. Make it obvious that you and their company could do great things together. You can even throw in some suggestions for projects, and talk about other work that you have done.
LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can be hotbeds of opportunities. There are many groups that are dedicated to sharing freelance positions. Almost all companies will add their current openings and projects on LinkedIn, and if the company doesn’t, then whatever headhunter and/or recruiter will.
You can do a quick search like ‘freelance copywriter’ and check what the latest job postings are.
While this was included in the general social media, it deserves it’s own mention too. LinkedIn is a heavy hitter in terms of a networking one-stop-shop. There are countless groups that you can join in your industry, many valuable contacts to be made, and you can create and share content too. You have the ability to turn your profile into something interesting, but that will also show people your best work.
Get smart here and make sure that you are using all of the right keywords in your summary. This will make sure that you are showing up in the searches. The more targeted your keywords, the more likely it is that you will show up for more specific searches.
You can embellish your profile with design work, links to websites and videos that can plump out more about you.
There are a lot of spaces online that post freelance gigs. Here is are some that are highly recommended:
- People Per Hour
Make sure that you spend the time to flesh out all of your portfolios on each of these platforms as complete as possible. This will give people who are quickly browsing the potential freelancer the opportunity to pick up all of the skills that are applicable to the job.
Your own website should be dripping in detail. You need to make sure your ‘about’ page gives people exactly the information they need about you. Who you are, what you do, and why you enjoy it are great places to start. Your professional experience should be woven into the copy.
A project page where you can highlight your most exceptional work and projects that you are particularly proud of. A cross-section of the most recent, and some the obscure can give an excellent overview of your style. And give mention of your clients to date if that is applicable.
If your clients are able, then give them the opportunity to leave you a testimonial about your work. Ask them to highlight why you were right for the job, or how impressed they were with the work.
And of course, your contact page. But play around with the style and layout. Make it easy for people to fill in the right boxes, but use the space wisely. Add witty copy or some exciting design features. It will be your last chance to show off your style.
One of the most challenging things when it comes to freelancing can be the number of scams. Companies that ask for more than a single, watermarked sample. Or ones that want to see a whole strategy or plan before taking the conversation further. As well as those that don’t adhere to initial payment structures. Over time you will get a nose for those issues, and when you use regulated channels and have your client base steady, the risk reduces massively.