Freelance Success: A Number's Game
No matter what type of freelance work you are looking to do – writing, voiceover, web design, transcription – submitting yourself for lots of jobs is key to keeping the work rolling in.
Don’t quit your day job
While your first instinct might be to pack in your 9-to-5 it’s better to dip your toe in the water before you make the leap. It isn’t easy being a freelance writer/coder/actor/fill in the blank. There are dozens, often hundreds of others vying for the same gigs as you so you’ve got to keep putting yourself out there – a lot. But don’t let that discourage you. There are lots of successful freelancers out there and you can be one of them.
Find work online
The first step in going freelance is identifying where you can find work – sites like Upwork.com, PeoplePerHour.com, Freelancer.com are a good start, or you might find there are sites specific to your industry. It will take time to figure out which sites have the most opportunities in your field, but eventually you’ll find which ones offer the most (and best paid) work.
Apply for jobs
Numbers, numbers, numbers. The only way you’ll find work is to ask for it. Put your best foot forward and take the time to tailor each application as best you can – it will help you stand out among the crowd. Once you’ve established yourself you’ll find it easier to find work in the future.
Don’t forget your offline network
While looking online is a great place to find work, don’t forgot about the people you’ve worked with over the years. If you’re thinking of going freelance drop a note to your previous colleagues and clients to see if they are looking for someone at the moment for freelance work.
Be professional – get the job done right
So you’ve applied and booked a job, now you’ve got to do it to the best of your ability. It’s often said you’re only as good as your last job so make sure you aren’t bidding/applying for jobs that you don’t have the capability to do. Stretch yourself from time to time, but make sure you aren’t biting off more than you can chew. If you start with site like Fivver.com you can try out your new freelance field with lower stakes and see how you get on.
Make sure you’ve got the right tools
Being your own boss means it’s up to you to invoice and keep a handle on your workload. Check out Contently's 10 Best Project Management Tools for Freelancers to help keep yourself organized.
Follow up with clients
Make sure that after you finish your job you drop a short note to the client to tell them thank you for working with you and what a pleasure it was. This way you’ll build up your client base and be the first one they think of next time they need someone.
Cyd Casados is a freelance health and wellness writer.