Whether you consider yourself a consultant or a freelancer, working independently is a fantastic way to make the most of your schedule and skills. This lifestyle is even more critical as businesses have moved away from in-house full-time work in fields like graphic design, writing, and programming.
Finding jobs isn’t hard, but some companies will take advantage of your trust to pay you less than what you’re worth. You’ll need to use your self-promotion savvy in combination with tools from Indy to get leads that give you sustainable work. Here are the best places to find work and methods for making the work come to you.
Limits of In-Person Outreach
Some independent professionals have success leveraging in-person connections and local knowledge to get work. This works especially well if you have skills or industry knowledge relevant to a high number of small businesses nearby. You may also be able to maintain connections with people you met in college.
However, this task is more difficult than it seems, especially if your portfolio is small. It becomes even more challenging if you live in a suburban or rural area where in-person connections are limited.
Always keep an eye out for job opportunities online in addition to potential in-person networking. It’s common for small businesses to be interested in your work but not have the budget for it yet, so you might have to return to them later. Keep in touch with them by making honest and meaningful connections with them in ways that aren’t related to asking for work.
Avoiding Scams on Job Boards
Large online job boards tend to attract a variety of individuals, small companies, and startups that are difficult to vet for trustworthiness and financial stability. Some offer bottom-tier rates because they know they can hire people from regions where the cost of living is lower.
You deserve to get paid what you’re worth and negotiate your rates instead of accepting an entry-level rate that ends up being around minimum wage. You also need to locate jobs that will pay you for each of your hours worked.
Showcasing Your Skills and Networking
Depending on your field and niche, you may have various online profiles, social media, and portfolios. While it’s good to have multiple points of access for your clients to get acquainted with your work, managing messages and connections across all of them can be a hassle.
Ensure your social networking efforts link back to a profile with lead forms that clients can use to get in touch with you even if they don’t use your other social media networks. A static profile page with a basic lead submission form is perfect for this. This page shouldn’t just highlight your skills but should also make your interpersonal communication skills and sincerity clear.
Then you can make genuine organic connections with potential clients on any social media platforms they also use. As long as your profile links back to a single professional-looking page for collecting leads, you’ll lay the groundwork for great jobs.
Letting Clients Come to You
Although you have to reach out to find new work, sometimes the clients come to you, especially if you already have a decent amount of work experience and are in an in-demand field.
Like with any job hunt, you’ll want to do your research on clients to make sure they’re legitimate and pay you for the work. However, most professional clients will work with you fairly to maintain their reputation and positive relationship.
Clients consistently returning to you or recommending your services is a sign of major success as a freelancer. As long as you maintain excellent communication and use your organization skills to their fullest, you’ll be able to have a great career as an independent professional setting your own hours and work rules.