How to: Finding the right gig
Let us guess: your 9-5 job is giving you nightmares and you’re looking for something more flexible. You have also probably discovered that finding it is a challenge. It takes persistence and patience to sift out the few worthy gigs from thousands that are questionable at best—and con jobs at worst.
It’s funny how outside-the-box thinking is the most inside-the-box thing to say, but hey, you need to do some of that to find new clients pretty much anywhere. Here are the 7 essentials:
Bridge burning 101: don’t ever do it. Ask your former bosses if they know of any opportunities. Focus on superiors with whom you’ve worked closely and have maintained a good relationship—essentially, the same people you would want to have as a reference on a resume. These people have hired you in the past, and assuming you’re driven and pay attention to details, they won’t hesitate to recommend you to their network.
They say to never do business with family, but when you’re a freelancer, sometimes it just makes sense. If your cousin just so happens to need baby announcement photos right as you’re starting your photography business, why not partner up and help each other out? You’ll get an easy sale and she’ll get a photographer who knows her style and can make her comfortable in front of the camera. If nobody in your family needs photos taken, branch out to family friends. Your dad’s fishing buddy, your mom’s wine club, and your grandma’s church ladies are all fair game here.
Your network is where you go first when looking for any kind of job. But too often, we forget to include professional groups in this category (don’t worry, it’s not just you). These groups can include your alumni or professional/business associations, mastermind programs, or even Facebook and LinkedIn groups related to what you do.
Some of the best freelance gigs out there come by way of turning to other freelancers who can tell the difference between a great opportunity and a scam. Here’s the kicker though: for this to work, you have to seek out and befriend other freelancers. You have to see them as an asset, not as a threat to your business. This is your community, so be a part of it!
Your doctor (or hairdresser or mechanic)
If you said “yeah, right” when you read this heading, it’s hard to blame you. The truth is, you can get a freelance gig from any of these people if you just make sure they know what you do. Each of your interactions is an opportunity to talk about your business and get your name out there. Even if your hairdresser doesn’t need help at the moment, perhaps they know someone who does. And the next time one of their other clients casually mentions that need, they can say, “Oh, you know what? I know somebody who can help!”
For you as a freelancer, your blog can be a great marketing tool. Business blogging establishes credibility because it shows potential clients that you know your stuff. And for freelance writers, your blog can double as a good source of work samples.
If you write about topics your potential clients are interested in and share them where they’re likely to see — like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Medium — you’re bound to catch the eyes of a few solid leads.
If you’re reading this, then you know the drill. This is the Humans.Net blog after all.
Sure, there is a plethora of networking apps floating around in the digital workspace, and they are all a great way to get your foot in the door, but as your business gains momentum, those 20% commissions eat into your bottom line. If only there was a single platform that let you control every aspect of your gigs and didn’t take any fees at all… Ok, enough drama.
Humans.Net has a transparent instant messenger to chat and work directly with other members —no middlemen included. You control the who, what, when, where, why and, of course, how much.
Start with setting up a profile and including as many details as you’d like so the effort of actually seeking for a gig is reduced to the minimum. Chances are, the gig will find you faster.