Freelancing offers an enviable lifestyle, working from home and making great money to take care of your family. But to make it work, you need a system for finding a regular stream of freelance jobs.
The Best Places to Find Jobs
Undertaking online freelance jobs can be a great way to make a living. The work is rewarding, you can do your job from almost anywhere, and the pay can be excellent. But to make the most of this opportunity, you need to find the right kind of work.
After all, you don’t want to find yourself slaving away for 60 hours a week in order to scrape by on a couple of hundred dollars. You need to find the big money online freelance jobs that give you an excellent quality of life, as well as putting nice sums of dosh in your bank account. So how do you separate the low-quality work from the high-quality work? How do you find a steady stream of online freelance work that you are happy to take on board?
Here are ten simple tips to help you find the best online freelance jobs without fail:
1: Build a Great Portfolio
Your portfolio is the foundation of your freelance career. Sometimes freelancers underestimate the importance of this, and overestimate the importance of their resume.
In most cases, potential clients don’t really care too much about what’s in your resume, or how many qualifications you have. They simply want to see examples of work you have done in the past, to reassure them that you have the skills they are looking for.
For this reason, it is essential to invest some time and effort into building a great portfolio. Even if you are new to freelancing and haven’t done much business yet, you can still put together a portfolio of examples that show what you are capable of.
This must be presented in the most professional manner. If you get this part right, then a single glance at your portfolio may be enough to win you a great client.
2: Create a First-Class Website
We live in an online world, and if you want to pick up online freelance jobs, you will need a website to showcase your portfolio and to make it easy for clients to find out more about you and your skills.
The good news is that thanks to technology like WordPress, it’s easier than ever to put together an outstanding website that impresses clients from the first moment. Don’t be tempted to cut corners here – your website will be the foundation of your marketing efforts for many years to come.
3: Set Up Impressive Profiles
Freelance marketplaces like Freelancer.com and UpWork have come a long way in recent years. They have now developed into advanced systems for connecting clients with freelancers, and can be a great source of new business.
Be sure to great top-notch profiles at each of these marketplaces, so that you are well positioned to win business from them. If you are seeking freelance writing jobs, for example, include examples of your previous writing work.
4: Market Pro-actively
One of the biggest mistakes that freelancers make is do the above three steps, and then sit back and wait – expecting the work to roll in. Sadly, this is not likely to happen. You are operating in a competitive market, and you need to be ahead of the game if you want to win business.
This means you need to keep marketing pro-actively in order to find new clients. Stay active at the major freelance marketplaces, looking for new projects you can bid on. Add content to your website to help generate search engine traffic, and be active on social media. You never know when a big client is going to happen across your activity across the web.
5: Value Yourself Correctly
One of the biggest mistakes that new freelancers make is to undervalue themselves and their work. Their perception is that winning work is all about undercutting other freelancers, and so they bid low on every project in order to win business.
This is a big mistake on several levels. First of all, by lowballing every quote, you are naturally attracting the cheapskate clients with no budget and no commitment to quality work. You risk trapping yourself in a cycle of doing low-paid jobs for low-quality clients.
Also, freelancer selection is certainly not always about cost. For most clients, getting work of the right quality is the most important criteria. Good clients expect to a pay a decent rate for decent work, and may well avoid freelancers who bid too low.
Remember that you are a professional who does quality work that has real value – and price your services accordingly. Sure, higher prices mean that you will lose some clients, but they are the kind of client you don’t really want anyway. Set your sights higher, and go for better quality business.
6: Focus on the Corporate Market
While it is good to have a mix of clients, a few big corporate clients can completely transform your freelance business. For one thing, budget is rarely an issue for the big players – quality of work is far more important than anything else. Secondly, they have the potential to bring you big projects on a regular basis.
Although you should be wary of having too many eggs in one basket, it is not unusual for one big corporate client to provide a freelancer with a full-time income. You may well find that your name gets passed around the corporation, and you end up doing work for several divisions within the organization. Go for it!
7: Never Stop Marketing
Another classic freelancer mistake is to market intensively when there is no work on the table, and then to stop dead when a rush of work comes in. It’s easy to understand why this happens. After all, if you are inundated with work, you want to focus on getting it done – not on finding more work.
The problem is that when this rush of work dries up, you are once again back to a blank diary. When a new project comes up, you may be desperate to win the job in order to fill your schedule, with the result that you bid low in order to secure the job.
On the other hand, if you keep marketing when you are busy, you will tend to quote higher prices. Some of these quotes will turn into jobs, and you will have a steady stream of work at higher rates.
8: Keep Following Up on Leads
Leads for new business don’t always work out first time around. Perhaps the project got postponed, or there was a temporary budget cutback, or something else happened to stop things going ahead. But that doesn’t mean you have lost the client.
Be sure to keep in touch with your leads. You don’t want to spam them, of course, but you can occasionally send them links to relevant articles they may find of interest, or find other reasons to get in touch. You will be amazed at how often this can translate into new business further down the track.
9: Look After Your Best Clients
When you find clients that give you regular work and pay well, be sure to look after them! Don’t be tempted to get lazy and cut corners on jobs. Maintain the highest quality of work on every job, and hit your deadlines every time.
One good client can be an absolute gold mine and make a huge contribution to your cash flow. If you have several good clients, then you are well on your way to a highly-successful freelance career. Don’t blow it by being complacent. Remember that your competitors are always snapping at your heels if you let your standards drop…
10: Ask For Referrals
This is one of the very best ways of expanding your freelance business, yet few freelancers take real advantage of this opportunity. If you are delivering high quality work that your clients are satisfied with, they will usually be very happy to refer you to other potential clients – either within their own business, or within their circle of influence.
However, you must be prepared to ask for referrals. Ask each of your clients if they can refer you to three other people who might want to take advantage of your services. A referred lead is a high-quality one, and can lead to some very good new business.
Take Action To Get Results
So there you have it – ten easy ways to find the best online freelance jobs. Put all of these into practice, and you can expect to see plenty of highly-paid work coming your way. Start taking action on these steps today, and you could see your income increasingly significantly in the next few weeks. So what are you waiting for? Just do it!