— July 12, 2018
What are freelance gigs?
“Freelance gigs” may be interpreted differently by different people. Basically, a freelance opportunity is contract work done for clients or businesses. Freelance gigs allow professionals to complete various projects short-term, which in turn allows many people to control their own schedules and workload.
Corporate environments often hire freelance employees for big projects; in this case, a freelancer (or contractor) may temporarily work a 9-5. This means some freelance jobs may feel like a full-time gig, only without the same responsibilities and benefits.
For others, freelance work is as simple as doing hours of work for multiple clients each month.
How to find freelance work:
- Market yourself as a freelancer
- Email people you know
- Do passion projects
- Offer discounts
- Establish a portfolio
Market yourself as a freelancer
If you’re having trouble finding freelance work, it may have something to do with your marketing technique. Use social media to establish yourself; you can do this by listing yourself as a freelancer on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networking platforms.
Additionally, consider writing posts to tell others you’re available for work. For instance, you might do a countdown to the day when you begin taking new clients. This will put you at the forefront of your followers’ minds.
Another way to market yourself is through sponsored posts and ads. You may want to sponsor a post on Instagram, or pay for a blog post on a popular site. If you’re not active on social media, you can concentrate your efforts on one of the most popular forms of marketing: word-of-mouth.
Email people you know
Consider emailing your professional connections to let them know you’re offering freelance services. This shouldn’t feel uncomfortable, but rather friendly and helpful.
In order to do this, message people appropriately. So, for instance, let’s first discuss the wrong way to contact someone:
Hope you’re well. I know we haven’t spoken since high school, but you may have seen I’m a freelance writer now. Please take a look at my website. I’d love to have you as a client.
No one wants to feel ambushed. Contacting people you only “sort of know” feels inconsiderate; you’re trying to make the sale without putting in the work.
Since Facebook is a place for personal lives, focus instead on LinkedIn or email. Contact people you actually talk to on a regular basis, or people you’ve worked with closely. Connect it to them:
I loved the article you posted on business blogging. You’re always sharing great reads, and I wanted to shoot over a quick message and offer my writing services in case [Name of Jan’s company] ever needs any editing or articles. I’m working on my freelance business and would love to have you as a client some time.
This feels much more relevant to the person and far less pushy. You’re showing you pay attention, and you’re offering services the person can actually use.
Do passion projects
Unlike assigned projects, passion projects show your personality in its truest form. Your personality is important, because people often hire based on a strong cultural fit. Something as seemingly simple as your style can attract top talent.
So, for instance, if you’re a wedding photographer by trade, but you love capturing wildlife, seek out opportunities to photograph your passions. Most importantly, share that work. What begins as your hobby may become something more.
You may market yourself as a freelancer among your professional network, but do your friends know about the work you do? Consider telling your friends (in person) about the services you offer. It’s likely people in your life aren’t even aware of your skill-sets, even though they may need them.
Consider providing discounts for these friends and acquaintances, or creating a referral program. People love deals, and most of us want to hire someone we know and trust. Discounts on your services will encourage those around you to hire and recommend you.
Pro bono work is also a great way to connect with your community. For instance, you may offer to help a local nonprofit or charity with their branding or marketing, or you may offer your services in a local raffle or auction.
Establish a portfolio
Describing your work experience is one thing, but a tangible portfolio allows your projects to be accessible to anyone. This is why an online portfolio featuring examples, photos, and samples of your work can be extremely beneficial to those considering you for a role.
You may want to purchase a domain, or you may consider displaying your work on a free platform such as Tumblr, Etsy, Instagram, or a social media site that fits your product.
If you’re still wondering how to find freelance gigs…
Start small. Pursuing freelance work may seem daunting. If that’s the case, ask your friends and family if they know of freelance opportunities. Professional chances can often come from knowing the right person at the right time.
Above all, pursue a pace comfortable for you, and choose projects you like. Even if you start small, your business could go big.