Almost two years, ago I did something surprising. I accepted a remote position with a startup company. I kept some of my freelance clients, but I let go of the majority of them.
The remote company offered a good salary and good benefits. Plus, I got to largely keep to my own schedule. I still lived the freelance lifestyle — but with a regular salary and benefits.
That’s changed. The startup was acquired, and I decided to go back to full-time freelancing. But how do you get back into freelancing after taking a break?
Here’s how I’m doing it:
Start with Your Network
Rule #1 anytime you need to do something about work: go to your network. Let people know you’re looking for work. I went on Facebook and let people know I was hoping for work. Within hours, members of my network had offered to introduce me to others.
I also worked off my network of former coworkers. Many of my coworkers had great tips for places looking for writers. I was able to secure enough work to move forward with my plan to return to full-time freelance work.
Your network is a valuable resource because it includes people who are interested — and invested — in your success.
Look at the Job Boards
My next step was to spruce up my resume, update my basic cover letter, and hit the job boards. Even though my network was enough to cover me, a full-time freelancer has to be ready to be on the hustle all the time.
You never know when you’ll lose a big client. Besides, some projects are just temporary. You’ve got to be ready to go with the next project.
So I did a little searching on the job boards and returned to the Freelance Writers Den to see if there were some small projects or if I could get a long-term gig or two. I applied for a couple jobs and heard back, and began working on sample articles.
Now I’ve got a little insurance as I dive back into full-time freelancing.
Update Your Website and Online Portfolio
Lastly, I’m working on updating my websites and my online portfolio. I was kind of lax about my websites during my time as a W-2 employee, so they aren’t really up to snuff. So I need to get back on that. Additionally, I plan to change things around with my online portfolio page, highlighting links to author pages that I’m especially proud of.
Updating your online presence, from your social media pages and LinkedIn profile, to your websites and online portfolio, is an important part of putting your best foot forward — especially if you’re trying to woo new clients.
In the end, though, your network is likely to get you the farthest. Spend some time building a reputation and creating a network of people that you can count on to connect you to potential gigs and other work.
Even if you step out of the freelance world for a little while, maintain those connections. The more of them you have, the easier it will be to get back into full-time freelancing.