Last updated on June 25th, 2022
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic outburst, many things have changed drastically. Remote working that started to maintain social distancing — the most effective measure to curb the spread of the virus — has become a work culture (except for jobs requiring offline presence). This also pushed freelancing, making the industry highly competitive. How freelancers get hired majorly depends on the quality of their portfolios, experiences, and skillsets. So make sure your online portfolio is carefully created that represents your true potential.
After the novel coronavirus hit the world, more people turned to freelance work to supplement their income from full-time jobs. Professionals, especially those in creative work such as graphic design, writing, etc., moved to the freelancing mode of work. This might be a smart move given the precarious economic and employment climate.
According to an estimate, over 59 million Americans have performed freelance work in the past 12 months. The appeal of a flexible lifestyle and work-life balance has inspired many to turn to freelance as a career option, and we’ve got some tips to help you.
Acquire Digital Skills
Over the years, freelancing has gotten incredibly competitive. Depending on the industry you’re catering to, freelancers have to do more than rely on word of mouth and referrals to acquire jobs. Besides being highly skilled, anyone working in the gig economy needs to know how to market themselves and their business if they want to compete in such a saturated industry.
Possessing technical and digital skills has never been more critical. After all, many freelancers market themselves online through various means. Test your technical skills by taking this technological age quiz and see if your biological age aligns with how well you use technology.
Whether you’re a mechanical design engineer, writer, freelance logo designer, or any freelancer looking for more ways to optimize your brand and potentially get more job opportunities, we’ve got some tips that could help you out. Some of these tips might require extra time and effort, but they’re definitely worth it.
Here Are The Tips To Create An Online Portfolio & Get More Jobs As A Freelancer
01. Create A Portfolio or Website
One of the best things freelancers can do for themselves is to create either a portfolio or website that compiles all their work and showcases their accomplishments. Of course, creating a portfolio presents a lot of additional work for many freelancers, but trust us, putting in some extra effort now could save you a lot of time later.
Plus, portfolios don’t have to be fancy either. With websites such as Wix, Portfolio Box, and Behance, all you have to do is upload your work to a templated portfolio for it to appear. But make sure the logo design, banners, and other graphics of your website are compelling and meaningful.
Once you’ve created a portfolio, you can share it as a link quickly on various websites and social media sites, and your friends will also be able to share it with their acquaintances.
02. Use Job Boards and Freelancing Websites
Many online job boards and communities help connect companies to freelancers to support the gig economy. These websites are great because they let freelancers pick niche projects they feel most passionate about.
These websites include Upwork, Fiverr, and Jooble. While most websites are completely free to sign up for, some sites require payment to get in touch with a company. Whichever site you choose to look at, make sure you know the terms and conditions before working with them.
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03. Work On Your Personal Brand
These days, it takes a lot more than just word of mouth or referrals to get clients as a freelancer. Instead, companies want to work with reputable people who have an online presence. That said, freelancers need to find ways to market themselves online and maintain a personal brand.
You can start by sharing tips and tricks about your craft on social media or creating a blog with posts of your musings. You could even create a logo on your own using an online logo maker tool to align with your business ethos if you’re a graphic designer.
This site doesn’t have to be additional work, though. Many freelancers create a website that serves as a portfolio and a creative space to share ideas.
04. Tap Into Your Social Media Network
Once you’ve built a personal brand online, you can start tapping into your social media network and advertising your skills and business. Promoting your business on social media can be tricky, so it’s crucial to stay updated with various social media trends. Here’s a quick guide on the best social media trends that could help boost your business in 2022.
More importantly, don’t be afraid to experiment and try different platforms like TikTok and Spotify for podcasts to diversify and extend your reach.
05. Join Freelancing Groups
Another great way to seek potential clients is to join freelancing groups on social media. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Reddit all have groups where you can source for new assignments.
Even if you don’t directly receive jobs from these platforms, it’s always fun to connect with other freelancers who could potentially refer you to others. It’s also great to have a support system of freelancers who can completely understand the ups and downs of being in the industry. Reddit also has various sub Reddits for advice and memes that freelancers could relate to, which could be fun!
06. Reach Out To Friends and Family Members
While freelancers can no longer rest on their laurels with word-of-mouth recommendations, reaching out to friends and family members and letting them know about your work is still a great way to get business.
Most times, friends and family members can also vouch for your attitude and work ethic, making it easier to attract new clients. Just make sure you don’t disappoint them!
07. Seek Recommendations From Old Clients
Who better to recommend you for new jobs than old clients?
If you’re just starting as a freelancer, it’s essential to keep positive relationships with your clients because they might be able to recommend you to others and give you new projects in the future.
Once you’ve completed a fantastic project, let your clients know that you’re always looking for new opportunities and let them know you’d be open to their recommendations.
If you’ve worked with a particularly great client, be sure to get a recommendation from them that you could include in your portfolio. You can also do this on LinkedIn if you don’t have a portfolio.
As always, take care of your relationships with your new clients and make sure to do a great job.
08. Pitch To New Clients
Besides looking for clients on job and freelancing sites, you could always reach out to companies directly and see if they’d like to take on your services.
If you specialize in a particular industry, make a list of all the companies you could potentially work for and reach out to them directly. While it might seem like a long shot, reaching out to the companies you want to work for could benefit you. Even if you don’t necessarily get a job with them at that moment, you’re building a relationship with them and showing them that you’re serious about your work.
09. Team Up With An Agency
If you’ve ever worked for a marketing, public relations, or advertising agency, you’ll know that having an extra pair of creative hands is helpful. Whether a copywriter, a graphic designer, or a project manager, having a couple of other people working with you on a campaign helps tremendously.
Efficient and productive agencies are known to bring in freelancers to help them get work done faster. Generally, these agencies are extremely busy during the end of the year when the festive season hits, and a lot of their own staff members are on holiday break.
If you don’t mind working during the holiday season, it could be wise to reach out to an agency and offer your services. First, make a list of all the agencies in your area and see if there’s someone you could reach out to.
Alternatively, add key people on LinkedIn so that you’re on their radar for future work. If you specialize in a particular field or are an expert in a niche topic, make sure to highlight it so the agency is aware of what you could bring to the table.
Like regular clients, working with an agency could help generate future work, and they might refer you to other agencies, too.
10. Partner With Other Freelancers
As we reach the tail end of this article, it should be clear to you that building connections and proper relationships are vital in the freelancing industry. Whether you’ve met through networking events, forums, or other projects, teaming up with fellow freelancers could be mutually beneficial.
For example, suppose a project requires copywriting, translation, and graphic design work. In that case, you could team up with two other freelancers specializing in these fields to deliver the required work and offer more services.
In some ways, you’ll be operating like your very own agency. What’s great about this concept is that you no longer have to pass on projects out of your field of expertise. By working with others, you’ll be fostering better relationships that could lead to more opportunities.
If you choose to work with others, always make sure that everyone is fairly compensated and ensure there’s a proper system on how the work is divided. To do this, ensure that everyone agrees with the work process before accepting the job.
Making a career out of freelance work isn’t an easy task. Unlike full-time jobs, freelance work requires you to get out of your comfort zone and actively reach out for opportunities. While it can be difficult for some, the option of having a work-life balance and the chance to be your own boss is often attractive enough. As a freelancer, you can decide if you want to take on specific projects, and you no longer have to work on promotions and other office-related issues.