Whether you specialise in graphic design, copywriting, photography, web design, digital marketing or any other freelance work, nowadays, it is possible to seek out as well as create your own freelance opportunities. The freelance domain is more varied and bigger than ever, making it a great time to start and grow your freelance business.
In this digital age, most of the working millennials are freelancers. Given the economy’s constant flux, most people believe that leading a freelance life with diverse income streams is more stable than sticking to a traditional job.
As with anything in this world, creating freelance opportunities requires patience and dedication. However, the point is it is possible to launch a career that works for your lifestyle and enables you to hone your skills. In this post, we are going to delve into the seven primary ways to create your own freelance opportunities.
1. Get an Array of Skills
The adage ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ often makes sense, but this should not stop from any skills that are appealing to you but seem unrelated to your field. Having many skills as a freelancer is one of the best ways to ensure you are available for opportunities. This is especially advantageous when you are starting out.
As a matter of fact, Slash Workers conducted a survey and found that 61% of the participants have at least two or three skills that they depend on to score gigs. To give you a better perspective, I’m going to share some of my experiences and skills as examples:
I was also a proctor for a while in university. A bit of art education, in conjunction with Photoshop, gave me the ability to do small graphic design jobs for clients here and there.
All these seemingly random skills have landed me an array of full-time and freelance opportunities in journalism, editing, marketing, technical publications and even e-learning. While it is beneficial to narrow down to a specific niche as a freelancer, it is ideally helpful to get into varying gigs, particularly when you are starting out. This not only helps you score jobs and make the process less frustrating, but it also allows you to experiment and know what you are really good at.
Also, those seemingly unrelated skills end up tying into each other, leading to even better opportunities. Ultimately, you will hone in on your most valuable skills, naturally narrowing down the scope of work.
2. Create a Robust Portfolio
When you come across a gig, the first thing the clients will ask for is a portfolio. So, if you are yet to create one, it’s high time you did so. To create a robust portfolio, it is essential to keep track of your completed jobs and add whatever makes you stand out. There are several ways to share your portfolio. An example is creating a public portfolio which includes an overview of the work you are allowed to share. You can also create a private, specialised one that’s tailored to specific types of clients and industries.
3. Connect with Agencies and Create Partnerships
This is one of the best ways to get freelance opportunities. Agencies usually subcontract projects to freelancers, project managers, photographers, social media managers, graphic designers, copywriters and developers being just a few examples. Additionally, building partnerships with agency owners, small business owners, as well as other freelancers, can be very beneficial when it comes to attracting and sharing work opportunities.
4. Schedule In-person Meetups
Networking and meeting with clients, prospects and colleagues in person, and on a regular basis can be a great way to land freelance work. Face to face meetups means a lot to the relationship you nurture in the industry and adds a layer of trustworthiness. Also, sharing your expertise in-person tends to elevate you as an expert in your niche.
So, whenever possible, schedule for in-person meetups with individuals in your network. Additionally, you may want to attend professional events and conferences with the aim of expanding your circle. Ultimately, your efforts will be rewarded.
5. Seek Referrals
For most people, their first several freelance opportunities were scored through word of mouth referrals. Even people who have been in the industry for years still get the majority of their work in this manner. Freelancers like me tend to work on recommendations. However, there are ways to find opportunities, including cold pitching, looking for local clients and even online job boards.
As you may have guessed, getting referrals that are worth it depends on your ability to create a robust network and deliver high quality on time. If you are just starting out, you’ll want to focus on building a strong network first. It is great to have both mentors and colleagues in your circle. Once you get strong referrals, you can officially start your freelancing career.
6. Job Placement Services
Job placement services sometimes can be an excellent source of freelance gigs. These are great when you are a new freelancer or need help matching with clients in your field. If you do great work, these gigs can really help hone your skills, build your network as well as portfolio.
I remember when I got into freelance marketing, I scored an SEO role with a construction company. This company matched me with several great clients, and this helped me learn the ins and outs of digital marketing, while still getting on-the-job experience. Ultimately, I chose to build out my own as a freelance digital marketing consultant. The connections and relationships I created along the way certainly helped me establish the business I run today.
7. Leverage Social Media, Gig Sites and Job Boards
Many freelancers have also been successful at scoring jobs thanks to platforms like job boards (FlexJobs, Remote.co), social media sites like LinkedIn and gig sites like Fiverr and Upwork.
In addition to job boards, you can also make direct connections with prospects or find opportunities posted on social media groups and main feed. To be successful, however, you need a complete detailed profile that puts your best foot forward.
Tips to Retain and Replicate Freelance Opportunities
To retain the work you have and be able to attract new clients and projects:
– Ensure you provide high quality work all the time
– Do not go missing in your brand marketing or social media
– Keep your portfolio up to date
– Do not stop looking for the next opportunity
– Focus on giving clients a positive experience
– Check with existing clients to gauge their satisfaction and make changes where needed.
– Aks for testimonials from clients and don’t forget to share
– Keep in touch with your network
By being consistent and persistent, you can score and even create freelance opportunities for yourself as well as build a solid brand or business. Freelancing might seem out of the norm, but in this digital world, people are leaning more to this space as it has more accessible opportunities. With the tips mentioned in this read, you should be able to launch and build your career with this path.