The 5 Best Places to Find Freelance Work
Freelancing is a rewarding career and offers a degree of independence while doing something you love. Getting a job as a freelancer can be daunting at first. You might find yourself doing badly paying gigs or working with annoying customers.
Fortunately, there are plenty of places to find work. Although you may have to break through the bad gigs initially, getting your foot in the door is important.
Here is a selection of places to help you take the first steps on your path to success as a freelancer, whether you are a writer, graphic designer, programmer, or something else.
As a popular B2B social media network, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that LinkedIn is a great place to find freelance work.
The way you can use it Jobs Tab to search for full-time positions, same goes for contracts and other gigs. To filter out full-time positions, select Part time, Other, contract, and Temporarily under Order type.
However, if you see a full-time position advertised, don’t hesitate to contact the recruiter and see if they are open to freelance work. This is especially true if the job happens to be removed. They often don’t accept freelancers, but it never hurts to try.
You can also use LinkedIn to find freelance work by using hashtags and checking your feed for people who might need your services.
2. Job boards
There are plenty of other job boards to find work. And often they will compensate you much better. But again, there are some bad paying customers here – so you need to read the descriptions carefully.
Job boards where you can find great gigs are:
You can also use larger job boards like Indeed and Neuvoo. Sign up for their newsletter to get the best roles in your inbox.
To get the most out of Facebook Groups, consider joining a mix of groups specifically designed for posting jobs and groups designed solely for networking. Often times, freelancers with too much work will transfer some of their gigs to others this way.
Here are some helpful Facebook groups that you can join as a freelancer. Remember, these groups are private so you will need to ask to join in order to become a member.
You can also find freelance jobs by using hashtags related to the service you are offering. Granted, you may have to scroll through a lot of background noise (and spam) – but you’ll be rewarded if you’re persistent enough.
Both tips work if you don’t have a Twitter account. You can just use the search bar to search for hashtags and profiles. Of course, however, you can’t follow accounts.
When you think of email pitches, you probably think of annoying salespeople. And yes, email pitches are irritating sometimes. But they’re only annoying when you do them that way.
Emailing companies you want to work with or companies that you think would benefit from your services is a useful way to get your foot in the door. Before you do, however, it is a good idea to have a portfolio to show them – especially if you don’t know the other person.
You have various options for sending e-mails. The first is to send a letter of recommendation. In that message, simply state who you are, what you do, and how you think you could add value to this company.
Letters of recommendation are more of a long-term game. Instead of getting work straight away, build a relationship so the company will keep an eye on you if there are currently no open positions.
If you’re a writer, you can also send pitches via email. When you have a few article ideas that you think would look great on a company blog or magazine website, send a brief description of your topic and why you think the article would be interesting. Regardless of how you send email, it’s important to treat the recipient as a person.
More tips to be successful as a freelancer
In addition to the job search methods outlined above, there are a few things to keep in mind if you are serious about getting started landing gigs.
The phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is particularly important in the freelance world. Often the best roles are hidden. And if you don’t have a strong network, the risk of stalling is higher.
If networking events sound like a nightmare to you, don’t worry. You have many options for building your network. For example, you can:
- Comment on other people’s social media posts
- Join groups on LinkedIn
- Participate in channels on Slack
You don’t necessarily need an extensive network; just a group of people you know well enough to help you out.
Don’t let yourself go when things are going well
The worst time to lose vigilance is when things are going well in your freelance career – and right then you may find that the tank is starting to dry out.
While it’s important not to burn yourself out, it’s a good idea to keep your momentum going. Even if you have a healthy customer base, keep sending out letters of recommendation and networking with new people.
When you have a stable base, you may also want to focus more on your marketing. That way, you can start attracting customers instead of getting the job done.
Offer free value
In order for others to trust you enough to spend their money on you, you must first provide free value. However, that doesn’t mean you have to work for other customers for free (although in some cases it can be worth it).
Offering free value simply means sharing your knowledge with the world. You can post how-to posts on LinkedIn or blog regularly on your website.
Here, too, you can get creative. For example, have you wanted to start a podcast or YouTube channel for a long time? When you share your skills this way, you can get customers.
Freelancing isn’t as scary as you think
Regardless of what some may tell you, you can enjoy a successful and sustainable freelance career in your field. However, you have to make an effort.
Diversify your job search and market yourself. In the meantime, focus on offering your insights and building your network. You will eventually find yourself in a healthy position and may find that the work comes to you (rather than the other way around).
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About the author
(85 published articles)
Danny is a freelance technology writer based in Copenhagen, Denmark who moved there from his home UK in 2020. He writes on a wide variety of topics including social media and safety. Outside of writing, he’s an avid photographer.