Finding freelance work can feel like a full-time job. From finding opportunities within your niche to gigs that pay your competitive rate, the search sometimes seems like the hardest part about being a freelancer.
With content needs on the rise, many companies are eager to partner with talent who can tell their brand’s story through compelling content. Yet, just because the opportunities are plentiful, doesn’t mean you can kick back and wait for the work to come to you. Here are some best practices for proactively finding freelance work as a content marketer.
Search the right places
Freelance Writing Gigs is one of the legacy resources, and they’re still constantly improving. They’re a job board that is updated daily with organized freelance writing and blogging jobs. The roles here differ—from script writing gigs to technical writing, fitness blogging, healthcare, and of course tech-related writing jobs. As an all encompassing freelance job site for all technical and creative writers, it’s an important place check periodically when looking for freelance work.
Thanks to Elance and oDesk merging, there’s now a booming community for freelancers of all industries on Upwork. Hosting more than 10 million users, Upwork offers a variety of short-term or long-term projects and freelancers can actively apply as well as get selected by employers. Pro tip: their active community rewards a thorough freelancer profile, so maintenance is key!
Hosted by freelancewriting.com, this weekly e-newsletter curates a great list of freelance writing and editing opportunities from around the web, with original gigs of their own. All their jobs tend to offer competitive rates, so happy browsing.
ProBlogger is one of the longest running freelance networks and their authoritative job listings are no different. Jobs listed here vary in industry and length, so you’ll undoubtedly see opportunities from reputable companies. Gigs tend to be long-term and long form but if you’re looking for a few bigger clients and a portfolio boost, this is the place to look.
Scanning job boards is a necessary activity for most freelancers, but sometimes the good stuff just falls into your lap. AND CO scours dozens of job sites each week to curate The Gig List, which features ten of the most interesting or unique roles posted that week. You can sign up for free here.
Focus on your direct pitch
“It doesn’t hurt to ask.” As cliche as this is, it’s exceptionally relevant to freelance work. A direct pitch, one that’s well-informed and relevant to a prospect’s needs, is one of the more strategic approaches to getting new clients.A direct pitch is one of the more strategic approaches to getting new clients. Click To Tweet
If you’ve already built an online portfolio, or have optimized your LinkedIn profile, you’re already halfway there. That said, you can’t expect a single URL will land you a new client. It’s imperative to position your abilities in the context of your potential client’s own challenges and objectives. A big piece of this rests on learning what a prospect is passionate about and finding where they are trying to move the needle for their own business. If you’re able to help them in these efforts, you’re on your way to locking in a new partner.
(If you’re a freelancer writer, check out these tips from editors on what they look for in quality pitches.)
Use LinkedIn to your advantage
We often think of LinkedIn as the go-to job searching site, but it can also act as a community for freelancers to find new gigs and offer opportunities throughout an individual’s network.
LinkedIn’s job board allows you to set your preferences for Freelance or Contract positions only. This can offer a very tailored and comprehensive tool from which freelancers can begin their searches.
It’s also vital not to downplay the networking aspect of the platform. Recruiters are always posting to their network looking to fill certain roles, which is a perfect chance for you to start a one-on-one conversation and leverage that direct pitch you’ve been sending through email.
There’s a strategy to finding freelance work as a one person show and it starts with taking a multifaceted approach. Direct pitching, leveraging LinkedIn, and searching the top freelance job networks can help you secure a steady stream of clients.