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4 Expert Secrets to Make Freelance Job Boards Work for You

Freelance job boards tend to get a really bad rap for being full of terrible writing gigs offering peanuts, or worse, exposure. I remember at the very beginning of my freelancing career when I thought $4 for 500-word articles on the mating habits of spiders was a pretty good deal. I was naive and didn’t know any better, so I mozied right along writing about spiders.

Fast forward a few years and I’ve learned a thing or two about finding good gigs on freelance job boards. They are few and far between, but with patience and the proper systems you can find some pretty cool gigs. For example, a couple of my blog writing clients turned into video content content clients. One of them even flew me to Orlando recently to film a class and I found them on a job board.

Learn to negotiate.

A job board may quote a specific price, but if you can portray how much extra value you bring to the table you can definitely negotiate your way up. For those gigs that ask you to send your rates, aim high in case they haggle. It really is that simple.

It’s up to you to portray your value to a potential client. A job board can’t decide that for you.

Find your niche.

As soon as you start to specialize, you’ll start to see your income increase. It also helps you become very strategic on freelance job boards.

Often times, people make the mistake of applying for any job they can get (hence, I ended up writing about spiders), but if you become strategic and stick to a select few that are within your niche, you actually increase your chances of finding a good gig.

Systematize the process.

Part of the difficulty of freelance job boards is the fact that there are so many to keep track of. Additionally, you can spend a whole lot of time looking at terrible gigs. This points to the importance of creating a system to help you keep tabs on the boards while weeding out the duds.

The first thing you can do is use a system like If This Then That (IFTTT) to create recipes that automatically send new job board postings to your inbox. You can then have a virtual assistant look through the gigs for you and weed out the bad ones.

The second difficulty is that you need to be quick in sending these pitches. Again, you can systematize the process. You can create templates and have your virtual assistant send them to the jobs that make sense.

Create a follow-up process.

There’s a saying in sales that goes, “The fortune is in the follow-up.” That’s because most people probably won’t hire you right away. It’s a common misconception that you can simply pitch a place and score a new client by the end of the day. Sometimes, depending on the prospect, it can be a while before they are ready to hire you.

Additionally, life sometimes gets in the way. Sometimes your email gets lost. Sometimes they are inundated. Sometimes the client needs to figure some stuff out and lose track of time. That’s why it’s paramount that you create a follow-up process where you check in with prospects regularly.

Final Thoughts

Freelance job boards can be a good place to find good gigs, you just need to have patience and know how to work them. Use some of these tips to help you out and watch your income increase.

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