Practical Ways To Find Freelancing Work For Beginners
As with every career path, there is no one universal way to get where you want to go. That’s half the fun, right? Trial and error, A/B testing, even blind luck will play a part in the journey. Putting yourself out there in the face of certain rejection is going to be far more productive in the long run. After spitballing a few ideas around the ‘water-cooler’ (nineties Zoom meeting) these are some of the top field-tested, practical ways to find freelance work for beginners.
1. Market Your Website
Create a stunning website that showcases your portfolio and the services you offer. We are all professional stalkers now 😉; potential clients will almost certainly want to search you before they speak to you.
You will literally be able to highlight your talents whether graphics, SEO, development, videography, or copywriting. Include your process, add testimonials, and links to your Social Media. This is your stage, put on a show!
2. Email Marketing
3. Freelancer Newsletters
Subscribe to a plethora of freelancer newsletters. This will show you how the professionals do it, plus keep you up-to-date about your own niche.
5. Guest Posting
6. Social Media
The benefits of Social Media are exponential for freelancers. Just like having your own website, you need a Social Media presence. You don’t need Influencer status or paid sponsored posts and thirsty ads, just choose the most brand appropriate platform and make a contribution. The linking potential to your business is worth the effort alone.
- LinkedIn – the professional networking platform. The LinkedIn Job Search page is essential for suggestions, searches, and applications.
- Facebook & Facebook Groups – build communities, find clients, make connections
- Instagram – Visually dynamic platform with valuable Follower potential
- Twitter – This massive forum gets your content in front of (potential) thousands
- Reddit – Subreddits offer the most abundant and idiosyncratic job options
- Medium – A hybrid collection of amateur and professional journalists for writer types
7. Job Boards
Freelance job boards like Fiverr, Upwork, and Ozlance are dedicated to pairing freelancers with clients. It’s a great way to get a foot on the ladder, get an understanding of the work involved, and bring in the necessary coin while learning some valuable lessons.
Be mindful as these sites are inundated with newbies so wages are often set lower than anticipated. No one wins the ‘race to the bottom.’
Stop rolling your eyes! Everyone says they loathe networking and yet we do it all day, every day. It’s become such a tired buzzword, it’s probably due for a rebrand. If we take it down a notch, networking is simply communication around your business.
Engage in informal, entertaining (off or online) conversations about your job or the industry and by the end of it, if you’ve been unassuming and compelling, people want to work with you. Voila! That’s a done deal minus the business cards, handshakes, lanyards, and interviews. If you make people feel supported and understood, they’ll likely want to reciprocate.
Networking opportunities can present themselves through:
- Conferences and Meet-Ups
- Inter-Agency Partnerships
- Supporting Local Businesses
- Old Bosses and Colleagues
- Friends and Family
- Your Hairdresser etc.
- Other Freelancers
- Your Side Hustle
- Social Settings
How often do people ask, ‘How are you?’ It’s so easy to incorporate your freelance pursuits into the conversation, as long as you’re subtle and not doing the hard sell. You don’t need to blatantly ask, ‘Do you know anyone who needs my services?’ Just keep putting the word out that you’re enjoying life in your specific freelance field.
9. Cold Calling
Quite a retro concept (but let’s leave no stone left unturned), this can be a dynamic situation if you’ve done your homework on the client and is a great opportunity to land a big fish. Take a look at 10 Dumb Cold Pitch Email Mistakes before you pursue this avenue.
As a freelancer, every experience is a valuable one, even the ones where you are laughed out of the room. After the humiliation subsides, you can analyse where you went wrong and make it right. Not all of these ideas will work for you or work 100% of the time, but trial and error is tried and tested and will ultimately narrow down how you personally succeed at landing work. To quote the classic Field Of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.”
Join A Community
There are many communities to join that can assist you in networking or just to use for researching. Why not start on the front page of the internet (A.K.A Reddit) and join the FREELANCING or DIGITAL NOMADS groups. Want another suggestion? Head over to Nomad List. These are great resources and there are many many more out there. Pro-tip: Google is your friend!