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How to Find More Freelance Work During a Famine

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The feast and famine cycle that happens in the freelancing lifestyle is real.

One moment you’re inundated with work and the next minute your email is completely bare.

I can’t lie, during freelance famines I give myself some time to mope around and even worry that I’ll have to work for free or that I’ll never find paying work again.

Fortunately, this is never the case.

There’s plenty of work (and good paying work) for freelancers. Here are some tips on how to find it:

1. Dabble in Packaging

If you’ve been doing one-off assignments, consider moving to a packaged based strategy. Using this approach can help you sell out services in advance to avoid another famine.

Sarah Layton, The Real Estate Writer, has taken this approach with her writer site and is a good example of the possibilities.

She has specific knowledge in the real estate industry, so she put together premium content marketing packages related to the niche.

By being a specialist, she attracts a particular type of client, and her site states the deliverables she can create and for what price.

Instead of hunting for one-off assignments (which leads to famine when you take a break from pitching), she can book long-term clients and ongoing work with this method.

2. Take a Leap from Your Comfort Zone

Freelancing is generally thought of as something that you do remotely.

But you can find new opportunities if you close your laptop, leap away from your comfort zone, and get out of your house.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Go to your next Chamber of Commerce event
  • Check out local small business meetups, seminars, and workshops
  • Search for volunteer opportunities related to your niche
  • Join local small business and entrepreneurship groups

Be completely honest with yourself if you’ve been having trouble finding clients thus far.

Have you tried every possible way to get new clients?

Have you done things you’ve never tried before?

3. Up Your Referral Game

Asking your current clients and friends for referrals is one of the easiest ways to add more work to your calendar.

Keep in contact with your past clients and peers.

Ask if they have any more assignments for you and explain the type of work you’re looking for so they can keep their nose to the ground. 

4. Cold Pitch

When you exhaust all warm leads, cold pitch your heart out.

Cold pitching is when you reach out to businesses or other potential clients without prior contact to see if they’re in need of your services.

Trust me, cold pitching at first is awkward, and you may even get some unkind responses.

But what can result from cold pitching is a bunch of work lined up.

Jordan from Writer’s Revolt has a no fluff blog post on how to cold pitch here.

Final Word

The feast and famine quagmire happens because of a cycle.

First, you go really hard marketing yourself and pitching which leads to a lot of work.

Then you stop actively marketing to work on these projects.

Try to add pitching into your regular calendar to avoid the famine again. Maybe commit to pitching 5 to 7 potential leads each morning.

Ultimately, proactive freelancers are the ones who get the jobs.

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Personal Finance Writer
Taylor K. Gordon is a personal finance writer and founder of Tay Talks Money, a personal finance and productivity blog on hacking your way to a happier savings account. Taylor has contributed to MagnifyMoney, The Huffington Post, GoGirl Finance, Madame Noire, and The Write Life.

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