Yep, I’m going to throw you into the deep end. You have a list of your skills, now it’s time to find potential clients.
The Two Best Places For New Freelancers to Look for Work
There are two places that I recommend new freelancers look for work: your personal network/previous employers and at the freelance platform Upwork. Here’s why these two places are great for new freelancers.
Why you should look for freelance work on the Upwork platform:
- It’s free.
Creating an account and looking at job postings is free. You just need to invest your time.
- The job postings will help you learn more about freelancing in general.
If you browse through the job postings, you will learn about the types of skills companies are looking for and the kind of projects that are available for freelancers.
- Upwork guarantees payment.
As a new freelancer, one of my biggest fears was that I would do the work and not get paid. That has never happened to me, but Upwork makes it even easier to put that fear to rest by offering payment guarantees.
- Clients who post on Upwork are actively looking for help.
You can search through postings knowing that you’re not wasting your time.
I’ve said this once before, but it bears repeating, Danny Margulies is an expert on getting high paying jobs on Upwork. If you find a gig you want to apply to at Upwork, then sign up for Danny’s email list and get some free tips.
Upwork has a great guide to getting started and plenty of tips on setting up your profile and writing bids, so I’m going to send you on your way. In an upcoming post, I will show you how to write proposals that win jobs, but you don’t need to wait for me. If you see a job that interests you, then submit a proposal. Freelancing is all about experimenting, and the worst thing that can happen is that someone says “No,” which isn’t so bad.
Why you should start by looking for freelance work from your professional network or previous employers
- You are more likely to get hired.
If you have done great work for a company before, you have proven your worth. They will be much more likely to hire you than someone who has never met you.
- You have insider knowledge about this company.
There are huge benefits to having insider knowledge about a company. First, you know what type of projects they need help with. Second, you know exactly who to send your pitch to. Third, you know exactly which of your skills can be used to help this company.
Brainstorm a list of the people or companies who might be able to use your services. My list included two former clients, one was a solo entrepreneur who runs a test prep business. The other client was an ed tech company. If part of my plan involved writing curriculum or lesson plans, I would have listed the schools I used to teach at or some of my old teacher friends. If my goal was to do editing, I would have listed the client whose e-book I edited a few years ago. Notice that my plan isn’t to find any work from all of my contacts. I’m only looking for work at places that help me achieve my goals.