6 Tips for Finding Work as a Freelancer

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Working as a freelancer can offer many benefits. You can often set your own hours and fit your job around other commitments, away from the stresses of the 9-5 and the knowledge that your livelihood is in the hands of someone else. However, it is not as easy as it may seem. Freelancers live a bit on a tightrope, not knowing where their next piece of work will come from and this can bring its own share of pressures. If you work as a freelancer, you can’t just sit around and wait for work to come to you, you need to get yourself out there and let people know who you are. These tips should help ensure you are doing as much as you can to find regular work.

Web Presence

It is really important to have an online presence, as this is your shop window for displaying your skills and experience. It is worthwhile investing in a decent website and to ensure that it states you are available for commissions/work. You should use your website to showcase your work, if possible and ask for recommendations from previous clients. Your website will always be running, so it is important to make sure this is a priority.

Marketing

Not only do you need a website presence, you also need to keep on top of the marketing of it. If this isn’t something you have the time to do yourself, get some help from an expert. Add fresh content, as this will help you get found through an organic search and make sure you use social media to promote yourself. Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other social media platforms to let people know you are available for work.

Keep in Touch

If someone contacted you with the potential of some work and you didn’t hear back, don’t be afraid to follow up with them later on to see if they need any assistance. Contact old clients you have worked for and ask if they need any assistance. You never know where this can lead and it puts you back in their minds for any future work. I have done this and ended up with work, so don’t be too embarrassed to make contact. You never know, they might be really pleased to hear from you!

Anyone for Coffee?

Many people don’t like the idea of networking, especially those events which appear to be a bit ‘stuffy’ and awkward, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get involved in networking. A lot of freelance work is done online and it is a good idea to make an effort to meet up with clients or anyone who you think may potentially be interested in offering you work. If your clients stay further afield then it will impress them even more if you arrange to go and see them. I have a lot of clients in London and have travelled to meet them to put a face to the name and they do appreciate the time and effort. You can organise a quick casual chat over a coffee and just let them know what you can offer. Always remember to take your business cards along with you. This is an enjoyable and easy way to network, without the stress of formal networking.

Join Freelance Sites

There are loads of sites available for freelancer, so make sure you register with as many of these as possible. Upwork, People Per Hour, Elance, Freelancer, Guru, Freelance Writing Gigs and SimplyHired are just some of these.

Meet and Exceed Expectations

Many people believe that freelancing is easy but in many cases, it is much more difficult than a stable job. In other jobs, a lot of people get paid just for turning up but this isn’t the case when you work for yourself. In order to get more jobs and further recommendations, you need to make sure you deliver each piece of work within the set timescales and that you exceed expectations. The more you do this, the more work you will end up with.

Do you have any tips for finding work as a freelancer? We would love to hear from you!

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Tips for Using LinkedIn to Find a New Job

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LinkedIn is a social networking site which is used for professionals to interact together and although it can be highly useful, many people don’t really know how to use it effectively. Most people will have some sort of presence on LinkedIn but that will often be as far as it goes. If you are currently looking for work and are tired of trawling through job sites, LinkedIn can be extremely beneficial, much more so than other social networking sites. These tips should help you to use LinkedIn to land your next dream job.

Networking

LinkedIn is used for networking and you can easily use your contacts to your advantage when looking for work. Take some time to consider the companies you would like to work for or those you know are hiring. LinkedIn diminishes the need for phoning around HR departments, as you can usually find a way to link yourself to the right contact. If you find a link from one of your contacts to the person you are looking for, ask for an introduction (there is even a button to allow you to do this.)

LinkedIn Headline

Make it clear on your headline that you’re available for work, i.e. ‘currently seeking administration work’. If you are looking for freelance/contract work you can keep this running so you find something else before your next assignment ends. If you can think of a headline which is eye catching then all the better. As a Head hunter, I find it useful to know if someone is looking for work and this allows me to find that information quickly. It would definitely make me more likely to make contact, than making contact with someone who doesn’t look like they are on the job market. Don’t be afraid to use the comment box to let people know what you are looking for in terms of work, you never know who might notice it.

Follow Relevant Groups and Companies

If you are interested in working in a particular field or with a specific company, make sure you follow the relevant groups or companies. You never know what opportunities you might come across by doing this. Also, take time to get involved in discussions, as it will make you more noticeable and may lead to interest from recruiters.

Build Network

The more people you have in your network, the more useful it will be for job opportunities. Make a list of friends, family, colleagues, ex-colleagues, acquaintances and anyone else you know who may be of interest and add them as a contact. It is also a good idea to add recruiters you may have met up with in the past.

Get Involved

As with any other social networking platform, you won’t get anything from it if you don’t get involved. LinkedIn may be for professionals but it is no different in this respect. Get involved in discussions, ‘like’ and ‘share’ things which are of interest to keep yourself active on the site.

Job Search

LinkedIn also has a job search function, so just like any other job sites, you can look for roles you might enjoy. Jobs are situated at the tab at the top beside connections.

Upload CV

You can upload your CV onto your LinkedIn profile, so that recruiters can find out more about your skills and experience, as soon as they visit your page.

Get Endorsements and Recommendations

Ask your contacts to provide some endorsements and recommendations, as these will help make your LinkedIn profile stand out. You will often find that contacts will add endorsements without you having to ask, but you may have to request a recommendation. You can access this by going to privacy and settings, ask for recommendations and select the job you want one for and the contact to give it. You can also recommend others.

Add Skills

There is a section on your profile where you can add your skills, this is useful for recruiters who are looking for certain qualities for a role they are looking to fill.