The freelance life looks like the perfect balance of work and freedom. Freelancers can make their own schedules, determine how many hours they want to work, and they can work from just about anywhere, thanks to modern technology.
The lifestyle isn’t all glitz and glamour though. Freelancers can have a hard time transitioning out of work mode and into leisure mode, meaning working a little here and there turns into working around the clock. One of the most challenging aspects of the freelance life is finding consistent work.
Freelancers are often in a state of feast or famine when it comes to income. This can be avoided, though, with a few tricks. Here are some well-tested ways freelancers, no matter the profession, can find work:
Marketing is easily 90% of a freelancer’s business; the problem is not many of them realize this. Generally, freelancers hate the idea of marketing themselves. It seems too much like sales and takes away from the work—the photography or graphic design or writing—they’d rather be doing.
In order to do this work and profit from it, though, you have to have clientele. And clients come from marketing. Here are some ways to market your services:
- Make a list of local businesses that could use your services and send an email
- Leave business cards in businesses around town
- Use social media to connect with prospective clients and reach out through those channels
- Tell everyone (literally everyone) what you do—you never know who could be looking for the service you provide
Consistency with marketing is the key to finding consistent work. Even when you’re bringing in great income, keep marketing. This can help minimize the periods of limited income.
Another great way to market yourself is the Letter of Inquiry (LOI). This short, informative letter introduces you and your services to the businesses (or people) you send it to. LOIs should be personalized and concise. They are a popular way for freelancers to find work.
Though daunting to some, in-person networking events are a great way to meet area professionals who might make use of your work. You can find a meet-up group, local LinkedIn group, or local professional group with a simple Internet search.
Join a Group of Your Peers
Are you a writer? Find a local or online community of your peers to join. Learning from other freelancers in your niche is one of the best ways to find out about jobs, current rates, and learn about methods you might use to sign new clients.
Joining a group of your peers is also a great way to stay accountable and make friends who understand how the freelance life works, as it is markedly different from the traditional workforce.
Are you a freelancer? What methods do you use to find work?