When I first started freelancing, my biggest question was how to actually find work. As a beginner, it’s difficult to know where to find gigs, what was legitimate, and how to market myself. Luckily, I was able to find freelancing work pretty quickly, and I’ve been (relatively) successful ever since as a full-time freelancer.
However, I still remember how difficult it was to find freelancing work as a beginner. This is especially true when you don’t have a lot of experience, like if you’re trying to freelance in college. Regina wrote this awesome guest post below about 10 different ways to find freelancing work as a beginner, and it’s super helpful to freelancers of all levels!
Freelancing work has skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years. This is first due to the digital age and the demand for working flexibility. Additionally, it’s also thanks to the growth in cross-border interactions. Now, due to the pandemic, it’s sometimes the only available option for work.
That being said, getting started as a beginner freelancer is not always easy. To help, I’ve lined out 10 simple tips and tricks to get you on your feet as a baby freelancer. Finding freelancing work doesn’t have to be complicated.
1. Master the Cold Pitch
As Jenna Markle, a business writer at Write My X and 1 Day 2 Write, explained, “Cold pitching is one of the hardest things to do as it involves going out on a limb and being incredibly open to rejection, but even if you are not successful, it allows you to get your name out there.”
Cold pitching is basically marketing yourself to clients, telling them what you could do for them and why you’re the best person to do it. Cold pitches could be a simple email with a bit of your work attached (or a link to your freelancer website). It could also be a letter sent to their head offices. Either way, it’s a great option for generating some buzz around your new business.
2. Use Your Existing Network
Like starting any business, the easiest people to reach out to for initial support are people already in your network. Family, friends, co-workers, and other professional contacts which you already have are great for getting your name out there initially as they will be more likely to help you get off your feet than a stranger or random company.
In other words, exploit your pre-existing connections! If you have a strong relationship, they’re likely more than willing to help you find freelancing work as a beginner. Bonus points if they’re already familiar with your work and skills.
3. Showcase Your Work on Your Website
If you already have a website where you blog or post, use this platform to share your work and market your entry into the freelancing world. However, if you don’t, it is so easy to start one. Many websites, such as WordPress allow people to create their own websites either for free or for cheap.
If you don’t want to create a self-hosted website, you can also use a tool like Wix, Medium, or GitHub to host your portfolio. It’s essential to have somewhere to show off your skill to potential clients when you’re trying to find freelancing work.
4. Utilize Job Boards
There are both free and paid job boards, and these are some of the most opportunity-rich options that you have as a beginner freelancer. This is how I started out personally! These connect you with many people and allow you to find work for yourself quite easily.
Some great ones to start with are the ProBloggers Job Board, Upwork, and Fiverr. While these might take a bit of time to get the hang of, they’re a great way to find freelancing work no matter your skill level.
5. Create Guest Posts
This is a loss-leader, as you will be offering up your services for free. However, offering to guest post on popular and important websites will get your name out there as a beginner freelancer, and it increases positive word of mouth.
Though not every company will respond, going out on a limb and contacting the most popular and public websites may get you some really great opportunities. Sharing your expertise for free is the best way to build trust with potential clients.
6. Interact with Facebook Groups
As the digital age grows, freelancing work changes and grows with it. Because of this, Facebook Groups have grown in popularity for writers and other types of freelancers.
Try and do a little bit of research into the Facebook Groups you may be suited towards, and try to enter different groups around this interest This is basically cold calling for the digital age, and it may not always be successful, but it is never a bad idea. Just make sure you follow the rules for each group.
7. Leverage Referrals
Once you served a client, it never hurts to ask for a referral (if things have gone well!) Referrals always bulk up a freelancing application, especially if they are from reputable sources that people know and respect.
Your current clients’ feedback will increase your future contacts and business growth. You can also use these referrals and testimonials on your portfolio or freelancer website to show you’re both professional and trustworthy.
8. Content Agencies
Contact agencies are a little bit hit and miss, and if you are starting out for the first time I would suggest looking for a smaller marketing agency. Small marketing agencies will be more focused on you, and they tend to pay more for beginners than large ones.
These agencies will look for work for you and provide you with support as you are starting out. While you will pay them a percentage of your fee (or they pay you a flat-rate), this experience is super valuable when trying to find freelancing work.
9. Check Craigslist
Craigslist is a bit out of left field, and sometimes can be a bit sketchy (so definitely vet anything you find), but you can still find quality job opportunities on it. Give it a go, it never hurts.
Like other job boards, check the postings on Craigslist to see what’s needed on a local and national scale. You never know what you might find, so keep an open mind.
10: Specialize in a Niche
Last but not least, don’t try to be a general freelancer. Doing “it all” doesn’t get you clients. No company is looking for someone that is trying to please everyone. Find your niche, preferably in a field you already know. Ben Redding, a recruiter for PhD Kingdom and Britstudent, noted, “Trying to be everyone’s cup of tea is not effective in the freelancing world.”
The freelancing world is full of opportunities if you know where to look. As a beginner, however, it can seem super intimidating and difficult to enter. Hopefully, this article has given you a bit of insight into the possibilities for finding work in the freelancing world and provided you with some useful tips and tricks for kicking the freelancing door in.
About the Author
Regina Wheeler is an online learning consultant at Dissertation Writing Services and Case Study Help. She is constantly traveling around the country for different projects. She enjoys writing about advancements in technology and the business world. She also writes articles for Next Coursework.
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