Freelancing can be a big money maker. However, you will only make money if you manage to escape the never-ending job search cycle. For many, the process of finding employers, writing proposals, and negotiating with clients takes more time than the actual job.
The questions is: how can you simplify the job search process? And once you find the jobs you want, how can you make sure you’ll beat out all the competition?
Here are some ways to make the job hunt easier.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media is the ultimate digital networking opportunity. First of all, make sure your accounts are in tip-top shape. Both your LinkedIn and Facebook profile could make or break potential employment opportunities.
After you are sure you are putting your best foot forward, get out there and network. Networking should be a never-ending process. This is the best way to combat the vicious circle that is job searching. Put yourself out there and let the jobs come to you.
Use Job Boards
There are tons of job boards specifically target to freelancers; however, not all freelance job boards are created equally. Some are specific to a particular task (web design or writing services, for example) while others run the gamut of employment opportunities. Some job boards require a fee while others provide their services free of charge. Poke around and see if you can find one that meets your needs. Here are some suggestions:
Pro Blogger, Freelance Switch, oDesk, Krop, Go Freelance, Elance, Freelancer, iFreelance, Smashing Magazine, SitePoint Market...
Some people swear by the success of job boards. Other people find success in other places. If a job board isn’t working for you, try searching Google. Here are some tips for making your search more fruitful:
- Exact Matches: Use quotation marks to
find exact word matches.
- Example: “academic writing” jobs.
- Wildcard: An asterisk is a wildcard.
- Example: “custom * writer” jobs.
- Results could include custom essay writer, custom paper writer, etc.
Forgo exact word matches for a list of synonyms.
- Example: ~academic writing jobs.
- Results could include essay writer jobs and research paper writer jobs.
- Exclusion: Avoid repetitive domain listings.
- Example: “finance writer” jobs –site: monster.com.
Once you’ve found the perfect job, the battle is half over. Now, you just need to make sure you actually land the whale! Here are some tips to help you stand out in the crowd.
Have a Precise Proposal
You might have the best proposal in the world, but it won’t land you the job if you aren’t what the client is looking for. In order to remove any doubt the client might have, only include the most relevant information.
Make your proposal easy to read. Write what you would want to read. Would you take the time to digest a ten page proposal? Probably not. Get to the point – quickly. The client will appreciate you didn’t waste his time bragging about yourself.
Clients say the number one thing that can set a freelancer apart from the competition is following instructions. If you are asked to include a keyword in the subject line of the email, do it. If you are asked to include two writing samples, don’t send ten.
Do Your Research
Don’t blindly apply to every opportunity you come across. Take the time to research the company. Then, you can supply work samples that are specific to the company’s niche. Plus, you’ll get a leg up on the competition; find a way to mention your research and the client will appreciate the extra effort you gave. The client will assume you will give the same attention to detail when it comes to finishing the project.
Stand Out in a Crowd
Clients are looking for freelancers who have a clear love of their craft. They want a final product that will be jaw-dropping, earth shaking, mind-blowing wonderful. The client won’t be convinced of your skills if you provide a generic, cut-and-paste, run-of-the-mill proposal. Show passion and find creative ways to set yourself apart from the competition.
The job application process can be tedious. Once you get a few solid clients under your belt, the process will be much less painful. Good luck!
About the Author:
Steve Aedy is an in-house writer for Fresh Essays, a company that provides professional essay and research papers writing services. He specializes in writing on literature, freelancing and social media related topics.