So, you want to start freelancing. Isn’t that why you are here? OK, just kidding. I have been getting questions about freelancing from some of my readers as of late. I figure they do that because freelancing is how I make most of my side income. I have been freelancing since I was in college, but really kicked it up a notch when I was in debt. I have learned a lot over the years about how to freelance and how much I can actually accomplish in my spare time. The key to freelancing is time management. Well, that and having a skill that you can sell. There are so many things that you can do as a freelancer that it is one of the best ways to earn side income. Who doesn’t love making extra income? Anyway, I am going to divulge how to find freelance jobs for those that wish to get started.
Identify Your Niche
It is impossible to start freelancing without understanding your skills worth selling. What are you good at? Can you write articles like a champion? Do you like to code? Are you a designer? Can you assist others with their tasks? These are just a few questions that you can ask yourself. You should also think of tasks that you enjoy doing.
When you try to identify your niche, you should look around to see if people are asking for your services. You can’t freelance if people aren’t paying for your niche services. You can only supply if there is demand. That is the basics of economics.
For example, I do a lot of Excel data work for my regular job. I have been doing it for years and now I am the one people go to for certain things. While I do sell these services to others, it is not a big niche for me. I wouldn’t be able to make the money that I do with just Excel consulting. For that reason, I am also a freelance writer, but also deal with blog security and maintenance. I handle a majority of the technical stuff for many different blogs out there. It is a bigger market with much more demand.
There are a ton of job boards out there. It can be hard to weed through all of the available jobs, but if you know what you are looking for then you can make it easier. Job boards are by far the easiest to search, but they can be difficult to actually get a job from those boards. You have to realize that many people go check on these boards for similar positions. You are competing with many more.
There are so many job boards out there. Depending on what your service is should dictate where you go. ODesk and Elance are two big boards that have a wide range of jobs available. You can post your services up there with your own profile. Some of the best boards will allow you to receive the latest job openings right to your email. You can filter how you wan to receive the new openings and then they will come right to your inbox. You can only complete with others if you know of the jobs.
Get Your Network On
Let me give you a word of advice. The number one way to get jobs is word of mouth. It might sound cliche, but that is how I get most of my jobs. I work hard to provide a quality service for each and every one of my clients. No matter if it is just a quick job or a more involved one, I care about each and every one of them. I get emails all of the time from other site owners looking for my services. Why? They get my name from a previous or current client. When you treat your clients with respect and make sure they are satisfied, then they tend to share your information with others. Networking is so powerful and should never be overlooked.
Freelancing is all about getting out there and getting it done. You have to be a hustler in order to be a good freelancer. If you don’t take the time to push it, then you might not get many jobs. Another way to get jobs it to reach out to places that you would like to work for. Do you frequent a site and would like to write on it? Head over to their contact page and reach out. You never know where it might lead.
When you reach out to a site or company directly, it is like throwing up something against a wall and seeing what sticks. You will get “no” many times before you get a “yes.” This is just the nature of the game. Sometimes you can find places that are looking for services, but they only talk about it on their site. Those are usually warmer leads. Direct contact jobs are few and far between, but they do exist.
Own a Website
This is a late addition* that somehow slipped my mind. I can’t believe I didn’t add this here. Creating your own website is an awesome way to drum up freelance work. I created a Hire Me section on my website and that brings some good leads. Owning a website is great to show off your current and past work along with provide testimonials. There are so many things you can do when you have your own website. If you want to create a blog for your website, then check out my “How to Start a Blog” guide.
*Thanks to my readers for helping me remember about owning a website as a way to get freelance work. I don’t know where my head was at!
Where do you look for freelance jobs? How long did it take for you to identify services that you could sell?
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