Do you need to expand your freelance job search to find more work and clients?
Carving out a freelance career can be more difficult than it may first appear. Competition is high and there are a large number of freelance writers, graphic designers, and web developers clamouring for the same jobs.
So what can you do?
Standing out from the crowd may not be so easy, especially if the rest of the crowd is more established than you are. Getting ahead of freelancers that are already firmly planted in their niche can be a challenge.
Think about it from the client’s point of view. If they have a freelancer that provides quality work, delivered on time, at a reasonable rate, why would they use you?
And neither would you if you were in the same situation, would you? Be honest!
What can you do to expand your freelance job search?
First, you have to find your ideal market. Agencies and sales companies do this by using what’s known as a buyer persona.
This is a tool that helps you to identify your customers and understand their wants, needs, and motivators.
If this sounds a bit too technical for you think about it for a minute. You already know who your client is, generally speaking, you just haven’t put it down on paper.
Once you start to assess the kinds of clients you are providing work for, you will likely discover more commonalities than your first thought.
When you have a picture of what your client looks like, you can target your advertising and promotional efforts to them.
For example: if you are a UK freelance copywriter that focuses on fitness and weight training your perfect customer may be male or female, with an interest in health and self-improvement, between the ages of 23 and 45.
In this situation, you would not design promotion content to target the elderly that have health issues. Get the idea?
Go in search of clients
There is an old saying that says ‘people buy from people’ and it is absolutely true. All the ads in the world cannot compete with a human connection.
When you want to expand your freelance job search, find out where your client lives and go looking for them.
Not literally, don’t track down their home address and go knocking on their door, but do a bit of research and find out where they live online.
If they have an active Linkedin account, make a connection and engage with them.
If you see the kind of client you would like posting comments in a Facebook group, respond to them.
Even in this age of technology, it is amazing how many deals are won and closed by engaging in simple communication.
Search for freelance jobs using your connections
Take advantage of the past goodwill that you have accumulated.
If you have worked for many years in a career before deciding to go freelance then you will have a number of colleagues, past clients, and business associates that you have worked with.
Reach out and contact those connections that you had a good working relationship with and explain what you are doing.
Ask if they can put you in touch with anyone that may need your freelance services.
Work of mouth is one of the best forms of marketing there is, and using this method can often bring surprising results.
Search freelance job platforms
As freelance working has moved into the mainstream a good number of platforms have popped up to connect clients and freelancers.
While sites like Fiverr and Freelancer can be used to find work, they are also saturated.
Other sites focus on bigger geographical regions like the USA or India, leaving UK freelancers a bit out in the cold.
But there are not just freelance marketplaces that can be used to expand your job search.
Along with job sites and platforms, there are non-commission charging UK based sites like GigLeads that provide their members with up to the minute job monitoring and deliver them in a convenient daily email.
As a freelancer, you can leverage these platforms and the tools they provide to expand your freelance job search and keep ahead of the latest job listings.
Actively applying for freelance roles will pay dividends in the long run. While you may not win every job immediately, building a presence and maintaining a professional business attitude will be remembered.
It’s a fact that clients seeking to work with freelancers will frequently reach back out to alternate applicants if their first choice didn’t work out.
Make a pitch to clients
Nobody can use your services if they don’t know exactly what it is you offer.
Armed with your buyer personas and knowing what kind of industry or niche you are targeting can help you design a pitch.
Pitching your services means that you identify a problem your customer is having, and show them how you are the solution.
Your pitch should be short and to the point but packed with relevant information. Think about what you want to say and make every word count.
Once your pitch is designed you can tweak it and use it multiple times for different clients.
Leverage reviews and testimonials
Assuming you have already done some work, ask your existing clients to leave you a review or write a testimonial that you can display on your website.
Clients look for validation before committing to a purchase and while word of mouth is undoubtedly the most powerful form of advertising, reviews and recommendations from other clients are a close second.
Especially if they are within the same industry.
So don’t be shy about requesting a review or asking your clients to write a few lines for a testimonial.
Finding work is no doubt the hardest part of being a freelancer, especially if you are new to the game. Establishing yourself as a professional in your field can take time but it is entirely possible with a bit of consistency. Make connections and look in unlikely places. You will be surprised what turns up.