Two great ways to automate leads for your freelance business

Two great ways to automate leads for your freelance business

Many freelancers struggle to find new projects. Especially when you’re busy, it’s hard to also go out looking for work. Here are two techniques to help you find new freelance projects while you’re busy working.

You don’t have time to go out there and find new clients – so let the internet do the work for you.

Tip 1: Use Google Alerts to find freelance work

Google has a nifty little feature called ‘Google Alerts’. It’s essentially an automated search service. You set up a bunch of keywords and Google will send you a daily email with new results for those keywords.

Google Alert to find freelance work

Google Alert results for ‘freelance’

Example:

You set up an alert for ‘freelance writer’ – and Google will automatically send you job postings every day. It’s basically your own personal assistant, scouring the web for freelance projects.

Yes, you will still need to read Google’s daily digest email. In my experience, reading the daily email takes a couple of minutes. Just open up all the links in new browser tabs and speed-read each one. You will know VERY quickly whether an opportunity is worth pursuing.

The beauty of this approach is that Google searches the entire web for you for client projects. You don’t even need to be aware of different freelance gig websites in order to get search results.

Interested? Here is Google’s tutorial on how to set up an alert.

Tip 2: Use feedly to search your favourite job sites

 

Many people use job sites to find freelance work. The problem is that there are LOTS of these sites (here are 15 popular freelance job sites to get you started) and it’s really time consuming to keep track of all of them.

Craiglist is also a popular resource to find freelance work. Carol Tice has a great post of how she kick-started her career with craigslist, for example.

So how do you check all these websites without it consuming your entire life? Again, technology comes to the rescue, this time in the form of Feedly.

Feedly allows you to set up regular internet searches, much like Google Alerts. The beauty is that all search results are aggregated into a single feed, that you can manage via feedly’s intuitive web interface.

Feedly does the searching – you just need to spend a few minutes each morning (or each week) separating the wheat from the chaff.

Note that you will need a PAID FOR feedly account for this. But at just over $5/month it seems like a worthwhile investment. A single freelance gig once a year should recoup those costs easily.

Here is a detailed article on how to set up searches in Feedly.

And, to save you time, here are some sample search terms:

Writing jobs on UK craigslist:
writing+jobs site:craigslist.co.uk

Writing jobs on greenhouse.io (thanks for the tip on reddit, mr_t_forhire!!)
freelance+writing site:greenhouse.io

Right, over to you. Go and set up a couple of feeds, either in feedly or in Google Alerts. Spend the time you save on regular customer service instead!