Getting Started as a Freelancer
We all know how difficult can be to get enough freelance work to cover our living expenses. We all want to connect with potential clients. Sometime we get lost in the world of complaints about not getting what we need or want.
I’m going to tell what I did one day. Instead of complaining I started to do something about it and I asked myself. Why I don’t get enough freelance work?
I was reading a lot of articles about freelancing and being successful, but I was kind of lost, so with all the information that I got, I created a list or things that I have to do in order to get more freelance work.
Be organized from the beginning.
Find your Target/Niche
Sometimes we want to do a lot of stuff as a freelancers. We love to offer several services, it is not bad but you need to focus on some skills. So you can find/create a target to offer your services.
There is no possible way that a studio or agency will think that you are really good a something if you send your portfolio with a lot stuff that you do. Instead show your best work in one or two areas/skills that you are better at. This will create the target that you need to focus on.
Having a target will save you time when sending your portfolio
Work on your Portfolio
After you choose your main skills or main areas of work. Now you have a perfect target. What’s next? Well it is time to make or improve your portfolio. Find the skills that you want to promote and look for the best work related to those skills.
Do not send all the work that you have done in the past. Focus on the best work that are related to your main skills/experience. When you do this people will think about you when they need someone in a particular job.
Design a great PDF Presentation or Online Portfolio and add all the information related to that project. Clients wants and love to know what you did in the project. Make it clear and showcase everything that you were in charge.
Be creative when showcasing your work
Get Started with Networking
This is something that I hear a lot from other fellows artists/designers. They say to me: I don’t like to participate in events, meetups, challenge, etc, and my response is: How do you pretend to meet new people and potential clients if nobody knows who you are and what you are capable of doing?.
First of all, in order to be known, you need to be part of the community. Share your work, comment, share your critics in a good way. Participate in events and go to meetings about your work field.
Join Facebook groups about your work field, follow fellow artists in different social media channels, comment their work, help other beginners. Networking is a powerful tool if you use it correctly.
Don’t be a hater when commenting online.
Create a Professional Public Profile
This is something that everyone need to do in order to get more jobs. You need to setup your public profile in all the social media sites and websites related to your industry.
Why? Well if a client look out for your name and he finds a lot of information and work about you, will be more easy for him to hire you and trust a project to you. So create a Facebook page with your work, the same with Instagram and other social media websites.
Create an online Portfolio and CV with your skills and experiences, recent works, etc.
Use the same photo in every website to help your branding
Time for Action – Connect/Reach New Potential Clients
Now that you have a clear path and know your niche, created your portfolio, people in the community knows who you are and you have a public profile. Now it is time to connect or reach new potential clients. Start sending well written emails to new clients.
Do a Google search and find studios/agencies/firms related to your main skills.
Go to the jobs/careers page (if they have one) and see what they are looking for and study the profile that they need at the moment.
Create cover letter, even if you want to offer freelance services, explain what you do and what you offer, attach your portfolio and cv.
After sending 100 emails, maybe you will get 3 response, and that’s fine! The next thing is to send more emails to new clients, and at the time pass you will receive some response, believe me.
It happened to me with a client, they replied to me my email after 4 months, we start talking about a project and without notice they stop talking. After 3 months I got a email from them asking me to get started in the project asap. This was perfect to me, because I was doing nothing. The work was good, no revisions and payment was on time! ha.
When I thought everything was lost, I received the call (or email), but you have to work on that all the time, reach new clients, send professional emails, offer excellent customer service, and they will come back to you.
The key to success is being persistent
Take Advantage of Job Boards
One of the best way to find new work is in job boards. Send your email to those companies looking for a new employee. Find a way to offer your services to them. Maybe they will be in need and may contact you.
Don’t forget to specify that you are looking for freelance work or full time. Do not waste other people time and be clear from the beginning.
Being a professional freelancer is not an easy task, it is a everyday learning curve, to improve your skills every single day.
Learn and practice everyday, learn about sales, business, internet marketing, advertising, etc. Those tools will help to promote yourself and be a successful freelancer.