Who do you think of when you imagine a creative freelancer? While you may picture a freelance writer or graphic designer, the field of creative freelancing is way more diverse than that: other creative freelancers can include anyone and everyone from musicians to actors to voice over artists. With such a wide range of people in the creative freelance community, it can be hard to know where the best places are to find creative freelance work.
While it's true that there is some degree of specificity involved in finding a creative freelance gig (i.e., some job sites are only geared toward writers, whereas others cater mostly toward graphic designers), there is some overlap when it comes to nailing down the best places to find creative freelance work. Interested in learning more about where to search for high-quality creative freelance jobs? Here’s how to get started on the hunt for your next gig today.
Freelancer Platforms and Job Boards
When you're looking for a creative freelance gig, a typical first stop for many freelancers is a freelance platform or job board. Job boards typically allow freelancers to post examples of their work and let clients contact freelancers whose work excites them; many sites also allow freelancers to bid on the ability to work on clients' projects, thus letting clients select the freelancer who best suits their needs. These sites have plenty of advantages — for example, they offer lots of freelance job opportunities, provide freelancers with chances to work on their ability to write strong proposals, and can provide freelancers with knowledge about what type of work is available on the freelance job market.
However, freelancer platforms and job boards can come with major drawbacks. First, most job boards require money to access or take a substantial percentage of the freelancer's agreed-upon fee. While the amount of this fee can vary, the loss of revenue can end up hurting the very freelancers the job boards are trying to help. Additionally, because job boards require freelancers to bid on projects, they often encourage freelancers to undercut each other, thus forcing workers to accept less money than they would otherwise accept for their freelance work. While freelancer platforms and job boards may be a good place to find creative freelance work, they can also place a financial strain on the freelancers who can afford it the least.
Leveraging A Professional Website
In the 20th century, we used business cards. Now, we have websites: the 21st century equivalent of a calling card, a website is a virtual billboard that tells potential clients who you are, what kind of work you can do, and why they should hire you. A strong, professional freelancer website is a great way to advertise yourself and your products or services to potential clients. For example, freelance writers can include samples of their written work online, and freelance musicians can include recordings of their latest songs. A great website is an easy way to catch the eye of a potential client and land your next creative freelance gig.
However, there are ways to leverage a professional website beyond simply promoting your portfolio or examples of your past work. Smart freelancers make a point to include detailed information about the services they provide and how they can help solve specific problems related to potential clients' pain points. Is your fresh, funny writing voice the perfect antidote to stale, by-the-book content writers? Can you compose and record background music that's perfect for a spooky, atmospheric true crime podcast? No matter what niche you fill or what specific pain points your work can resolve, make sure that it's clear on your website. It's that kind of specificity that can help you turn a casual visitor to your website into an enthusiastic client.
Use Social Media
Social media is everywhere, and it can be a great tool for helping you land the perfect creative freelance gig. Consider starting on a website like LinkedIn and keeping an eye out for job postings or people who are looking for freelancers. Get involved beyond merely browsing job postings, though: follow leaders in your field and professionals doing work you admire, post regularly, and try making connections with potential clients on the website. While you might not land the gig of your dreams right away, the contacts you make on LinkedIn could pay off in a major way further down the road.
Continue to strengthen your connections on sites like Facebook, which are full of groups devoted to every conceivable topic on the planet. Search for one that best suits your needs, whether it's a freelance group for writers or a job dedicated to indie music gigs, and become an active poster in it. Not only will an active social media group help open your eyes to potential gigs, but it can also provide you with the ability to make connections with other freelancers and start building your freelance network. You never know when a fellow freelancer can help you find a great job or recommend you to one of their past clients.
Finally, don't be afraid to use social media as a promotional tool. If you make art, consider posting it regularly to Instagram; if you're a writer, why not wow potential clients with your wit on Twitter? Whether you're hoping to impress a potential client directly or simply build up a fan base that might help you land a great gig one day, social media is the perfect place for showing off who you are and what you can do. You never know who's watching your work on social media — and that could mean great things for you.
It's not easy to find freelance work: tracking down leads is challenging, and what works for one freelancer simply might not work for another. However, there are some strategies that represent good places to start for most creative freelancers, including checking freelancer platforms and job boards (with caution), leveraging a professional website, and networking, as well as highlighting themselves and their work, on social media. Follow these tips to try to land your next creative freelance gig — you never know how they might just pay off.