If you are an aspiring freelance professional, you may be wondering how to get freelancing leads without using the services of Upwork, Freelancer or Guru.
Since these services can take up to 15% or more of your revenue, building your personal freelancing platform is essential to putting more money in your pocket at the end of the project. This definitive guide will teach you the ins and outs of getting freelance leads without using a job board.
Social Media – The Easiest Way of Getting New Leads
One of the fastest and easiest ways to get leads for your freelance business is to become active on social media. Show pictures of yourself working and talk about ongoing projects (as long as you aren’t under an NDA).
Becoming active on social media could help you connect with potential clients that aren’t aware that the traditional freelance job boards even exist. You’ll reduce the competition associated with job boards while exclusively being able to pitch your prospective client on your specialized services.
Be sure to sign up for all of the popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others.
Craigslist – The Original Online Gig Economy Website
Some suggest that the “online gig economy” originated with Craigslist. When you use Craigslist, you can freely reach out to other entrepreneurs in your community and directly pitch your services.
Many businesses may prefer to work with a local freelancer. Use these opportunities to cultivate a relationship with your client. If the client likes your work, they may be willing to refer you to other local businesses that may require your services.
Consider Using Contently
If you’ve set your sights on becoming a freelance writer, Contently is a website that provides freelancers with opportunities to write without having to pay any fees. Best of all Contently pays you as soon as you complete the assignment, which helps to ensure that you always have a steady cash flow.
Contently has streamlined the freelance writing process. The company has partnered with some of the most important corporations to provide high-quality freelancing opportunities to qualified contractors.
Contently’s platform is different than a traditional freelance job board in the sense that a freelancer gets more control over the project. One of the biggest downfalls of the freelance job board ecosystem is that they take away all of the leverage from the freelancer.
Contently attracts the best freelance writers because the platform balances the relationship between the client and the writer. Seasoned freelancers say that this balance is essential to becoming successful over the long haul.
Create a Blog about Life & Freelancing
One of the best ways to capture new leads is to start a blog detailing your freelance endeavors.
By regularly writing blog posts, prospective clients have a clear idea of your capabilities while you get the ability to talk actively about whatever is on your mind. Additionally, your blog posts will be listed in search engine results, providing even more free exposure for your services.
Try to keep your blog focused on your core strengths. For example, if you are a techie who wants to become a full-time tech blogger, stick to tech blogging and refrain from drifting off into other topics.
If you do choose to talk about personal views, do not talk about anything on your blog that you wouldn’t bring up on a first date.
The People You Meet in Everyday Life
How many times do you get asked –
What do you do for a living?
If you are always meeting new people, you’ve probably become accustomed to fielding this question within the first few minutes of meeting someone new. Rehearse a short blurb about your business and be ready to give it flawlessly to anyone who asks.
You might say –
I work for myself, my business is called ACME Freelancing, and we provide businesses with virtual assistants, graphic design, software development and online marketing. Some of our clients include Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.
You most likely won’t be able to land Google, Facebook or Microsoft as clients, so just replace these company names with the names of your most popular clients. Use this sentence as a way to transition into the services that you provide for these businesses.
You’ll likely be able to gauge whether or not someone is interested in the services you offer and you can navigate the conversation accordingly from there.
Nevertheless, you should always offer to provide a business card after you’ve explained what you do for a living. They may not need your services, but they could always pass your information on to those that do.
Targeted Ads to Your Website
We’ve already covered why you should start a blog to get more freelancing leads; you should also focus on setting up a website that helps inbound visitors rapidly learn more about your services.
Depending upon the type of services that you offer, you may want to consider setting up a Google AdWords account and begin buying targeted traffic directly to your website.
You’ll pay Google on a cost per click basis. Depending on your services, it may be worthwhile to pay to be at the top of search engine results for keywords that you decide to bid on. There is an entire industry built around AdWords optimization, so it’ll likely take some time and money to tweak it correctly.
Start Networking with Marketing Companies
Cold calling marketing companies may not provide you positive results. However, if you send a short email to a marketing company with a link to your portfolio, there’s a chance that you might get a response.
Marketing companies commonly utilize the services of freelancers to meet their internal deadlines. When you contact a digital marketing firm, be sure to highlight the strengths of your skillset. These firms regularly use freelancers to write articles, create digital presentations or perform virtual assistant related tasks.
Find “Write for Us” Opportunities
If you are a looking for freelance writing opportunities, many popular blogs will post a “Write for us” link on their website asking you to contact the webmaster for a chance to guest blog on the site.
Believe it or not, these opportunities can pay upwards of $50 to $100 per article. When you compare these rates to the ones found on freelance job boards, you’ll understand that seeking out these opportunities will help you earn more money over the long run.
Another great way to find Write for Us opportunities is to search message boards related to your particular niche. For example, if you enjoy writing about financial topics, you’d want to search finance related message boards to see if any of the members are posting ads seeking writers or freelancers for their projects.
Some Write for Us opportunities may not pay anything. However, if you can get your name on a reputable website, you could use this opportunity to get a link to your website while simultaneously obtaining recognition as an industry expert on the particular subject matter. This small investment of time could pay huge dividends down the road.