When you’re running a freelance business, finding clients is one of the most important aspects of your success. I’ve been freelancing for more than 10 years, and that couldn’t happen if I couldn’t consistently find clients for my business.
It’s not always easy to find clients for your freelance business, though. When I first started, I spent a couple hours a day doing nothing but visiting job boards and applying for gigs. Happily, there are more places to look for online freelance jobs today — and more gigs to go around.
The first place many new freelancers go is a marketplace or exchange. These are bidding websites that usually pay horribly because you are competing against people who are willing to work for peanuts. While you can go to these places if really, really need the work, I try to avoid them.
You don’t have to stick with those websites, though. There are content providers that offer slightly better pay, with set rates for article production. Content Runner and Text Broker are two examples. You won’t make a lot of money, but you can make consistent money. This is the sort of work I did to start, when I just needed grocery money.
Job Boards and High-End Content Brokers
You can also find clients for your freelance business by visiting the online job boards. There are sites that aggregate positions. Freelance Writing Gigs and 1099 Mom are two sites that aggregrate writing jobs. You can also go to job boards provided by sites like Problogger and Media Bistro to find solid gigs that pay reasonably well.
High-end content brokers can get you an in with major brands, though. Clear Voice, Sky Word, News Cred, and Contently all offer higher-paying freelance gigs and connections to major brands that need help with content. Through these websites, you can make connections that can benefit you down the road.
Networking and Word of Mouth
Most of the work I get for my freelance business is the result of building my reputation over time. I’ve worked hard and focused on the personal finance niche, and that has provided me with numerous opportunities. I’ve become somewhat well-known, and that has led to higher-paying work — and the ability to set my own rates for the most part.
Networking can also be a good way to find clients for your freelance business. I attend conferences where I can meet potential clients and speak with them face to face. As a result, there is a connection that can be called upon later. Many of those I meet these days are at least vaguely familiar with my name, and putting a face to it makes the impression stronger. Being able to connect and network is a big help when building your freelance business.
This networking also includes your online efforts. I have landed gigs through LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. During the heyday of StumbleUpon, I even got gigs through my efforts on that network. Develop applicable social profiles so that you are accessible, and you might be surprised at how quickly you can find more gigs and build your freelance business.