Get the Freelancing Jobs You Want & Keep Your Clients Coming Back For Your Services
According to the Associated Press, 4.9 million people are receiving unemployment aid. Who knows about the countless others who are unemployed and not receiving aid? As the job market continues sit comfortably in its recession, and as the internet continues to evolve, job seekers are finding more ways to create their own jobs outside of the traditional office. One type of job that falls into the lap of many writers is freelancing.
Freelancing has been my answer as I've been one of the more than four million unemployed people in this country. Thankfully, I have a variety of skills to market myself with, which is a characteristic I've noticed many writers have under their belts. When we do have jobs, we are jacks-of-all-trades; yet we seem to get lost in fields we don't necessarily enjoy or don't want to be in in the first place.
So, if you've considered freelancing, please read on. And if you are currently freelancing, you may also find this information useful.
Find a Platform
There are many different platforms that offer freelancers a place to find jobs. The one I'm on most, and where I get most of my work, is through Elance. I'm actually a full-time freelance writer and editor, and I'd say 80% to 90% of my gigs come from Elance. I'm also at Guru and oDesk. I know there are plenty of other freelance services out there, but I haven't tried the others and, honestly, I've only heard good things about these. For the sake of this article, I will reference Elance since that is what I use most. But I think my advice would easily translate to any freelance platform you use.
Finding the Job You Want
You got registered and you've been looking for jobs. In order to get the job you want, you need to bring up relevant searches when you're searching for gigs. If you're an editor, use keywords like "editor" or "proofreader". And if you're wanting more than just a one-time gig, include the word "ongoing" to search for ongoing work. You might also want to include "native English" in your search because many jobs require you to write and speak fluent English. Being born and raised in America, Australia, or the UK will be a huge plus for you.
Read The Fine Print Carefully
Once you've found a job that sounds interesting, be sure to read the job description carefully. There are many employers out there who will try to squeeze every skill out of you for mere pennies. I'm not joking, either. Read the description carefully and think about what you are willing to do, and what you're not willing to do for a client.
Scoring a Gig: Writing a Winning Proposal
Your proposal is your first impression with your potential client. In addition to sounding professional, yet friendly, here are a few things to include in your proposal:
- Years of relevant experience
- Example(s) of relevant experience
- Specifics about what you can do to help your client with their project
- Your proposed compensation
- An explanation of why your compensation rate is warranted - that is, tell them why you're worth what you are
- Your best writing and/or editing samples
After the Job is Completed: Retain Your Client!
Hopefully, at this point, you enjoyed working the job you just completed, and you wouldn't mind working with that particular client again. As a freelancer, it would behoove you to try to keep your working relationships and gain repeat clients. This is also very beneficial to you on Elance. In addition to getting more feedback, every time you have a repeat client, you gain points and level up. Having a higher level equates to being more reputable, and having a better reputation generally leads to more jobs. It's a great cycle to put yourself in.
After sending your deliverable to your client, make sure to send them a message and make these points:
- Thank them for their business
- If it was a good working relationship, tell them
- Ask them if there is anything else they need before you mark your job as "complete"
- Tell them to keep you in mind, and let them know your availability for potential work in the future
- Ask them to rate your job and give you feedback on the project
- Thank them for their business, again
That's it! Whether you're a new freelancer or a seasoned veteran, integrating these tips into your freelance routine will undoubtedly get you higher-quality jobs and, hopefully, some repeat clients.
Questions, Comments, Suggestions?
If you have any another tips or tricks on the freelance trade, please share them with the rest of us in the comments section! Also, if you liked this article, please vote and leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you!