Find freelance work using your existing network

Find freelance work using your existing network

It’s coming up to the end of the year as I’m writing this. December and January are usually quiet months for freelancers and it’s a time of reflection and a time to hone your business skills. I’ll keep this post short and sweet – I just want to share some freelance marketing activity with you that I saw this week. Perhaps it will act as motivation and inspiration to you while you look for more work.

Use Twitter to find new freelancing clients

The marketing example that struck me this week was this tweet from @Jake_Hanrahan:

Find freelance clients on Twitter (Jake Hanrahan)

At the time writing, he’d gotten 19 replies, 107 retweets and 200 likes. That’s a lot of eyeballs on his call to find work! Hey, I even retweeted it, even though I’d never heard of him – simply because I enjoyed his pro-active approach.

The moral of the story: When you need freelance work, use your existing network!

Jake above used Twitter to spread his message (perhaps he also emailed his friends and colleagues, I wouldn’t know).

What networks could YOU utilise to find more freelance work?

More networking ideas to find freelance work

  1. You’re probably friends with a lot of colleagues on Facebook. Send a message to them asking for overflow work or referrals. This also works well at meet-ups or similar events, where you meet a lot of people in the same line as work as you. [while you’re at it, ask them for their best tips on finding new clients!]
  2. Are you connected to your clients on LinkedIn? Send them a direct message to say that you are available for more work.
  3. Do you maintain an email list of your clients and potential clients? Send them an email with upcoming availability.
  4. Are you a member of LinkedIn Groups and Facebook Groups connected to your line of work? I mean groups where your clients hang out, not groups where other freelancers hang out. Post a message on those groups asking whether someone needs help.

What could you write to make this more effective?

Jake did pretty well in his tweet – he wrote a clear message of the type of work he was looking for, he also mentioned his 3 years work for VICE news to add credibility and he included a direct call to action.

When you’re contacting your clients directly, you have more control over who is reading the message and what to write. What tends to work really well is to offer something specific, that you know they need or that you have delivered recently for another client.

For example, I’m a member of a local community forum. A gardening company advertises their services on there on a regular basis. The direction they use is to suggest specific tasks that need doing at the time of year. Here is a recent message:

Find freelance clients by suggesting specific tasks

Autumn Garden Makeovers anyone?

Robin is asking: Does your garden need a good tidy up? Is there lots of brown everywhere and dead flowers looking sad?

Why does this work? Asked ‘do you need a gardener’ most people would likely say ‘no’. Asked ‘is your garden full of brown leaves’ (in Autumn!!) most people would likely say ‘yes’. They can already see how you could help them solve a problem they currently have, you’ve started a conversation and are closer to a sale.

Can you think of suggestions for your own client base?

What sort of things do they need help with at this time of year?

Have you solved similar problems for other clients recently?

I’ll leave you with these questions and encourage you to use these techniques in your own efforts to find freelance clients.

I hope this has given you some food for thought – happy marketing and let me know what worked for you!