Topic: When things are slow...

What do you guys do to find work?

Things have been REALLY slow for me. I've been doing volunteer work, calling agencies, calling and emailing ads around here but nothing is happening.
Its times like these I'm so thankful for my faith...but I can't help being a little scared.

So what DO you guys do to find work when things are slow?

Lisa

Re: When things are slow...

Lisa I'd like to hire you. Do you do logo's?

I've been searching around to get a logo done for Search N Sniff.

Also I'd like to give you a little bit of spotlight. I'd like to invite you as a guest blogger too. We receive thousands of visitors per day and I'd like to help you out.

Let me know if your interested.

Blessing,
JN

Last edited by jonathannelson (2006-09-13 23:40:50)

Re: When things are slow...

I've been freelancing full-time for only 17 months...and I had a slow time of three or four months beginning last August. I stopped "filling the pipe" with new prospective clients because I thought I'd wrapped up a gig designing, coding, writing, and maintaining ten websites for a local realtor willing to pay top dollar. The deal fell through, and I had nothing.

It was tough, but we made it through. It helps that we haven't used credit cards in 16 years...our monthly outgo is really pretty low. Had we had more debt, I wouldn't have tried freelancing.

When I'm concerned about getting work, I go to Craigslist and Guru and look for work...just like I'd fill out job applications if I needed a job. I also talk with my current clients about my downtime. Fortunately, I think I've treated my clients pretty well. At this point, 100% of my work (yes, everything for 17 months) has been a personal referral. I've never done a website for a 'stranger'.

Because I do design, code, host, and manage websites, I'm able to offer a small client full service. Not all of my clients are small, and only a few take advantage of all of my services. Right now I'm tapped out...I probably won't take any more clients for a couple of months. I'm grateful that God has allowed me to do work I enjoy, and to do a lot of it.

Here are some suggestions for freelancers:

1. Keep filling the pipe. Work that's "coming in" isn't work.
2. Charge market-rate prices for most of your work. Many freelancers should charge a bit more for their personalized service.
3. Don't wait for word-of-mouth advertising...ask for it. Getting a mention in a company newsletter can work wonders.
4. Attend networking meetings. Much of my work has come this way. Don't network with other designers...network with potential clients.
5. Make and keep a friend who's at least as geeky as you are. Bounce ideas off each other. Talk tech. Think about money-making projects you can do together. Even if nothing happens, your relationship will be a great outlet to talk about your work, and allow you an unbiased perspective on your business.
6. Read. A lot. Be up to date on technologies that are just outside your area of expertise. As an example, I don't position myself as an SEO expert...but I currently consult with an agency at a rate of $100 per hour.
7. Keep your chin up. Having a great attitude about your business, your work, and your industry will cause your clients to feel the same way. Be passionate about how you can improve the things they're passionate about.
8. Pray. I pray virtually every single day and thank God for taking care of me...and ask that He grow my business 'just right'.

I'll be praying for you, Lisa. smile

We're all looking forward to the future...but none of us more than the giant, evil robots.

Re: When things are slow...

generalhavok, great advice. much needed for me right now as I'm at the start of a push to do much more freelance work.

Re: When things are slow...

WONDERFUL ADVICE GH!

Thank you so much for posting.  I really needed this today and I really, really appreciate you taking the time to write smile

Re: When things are slow...

Anthony -

generalhavok wrote:

8. Pray. I pray virtually every single day and thank God for taking care of me...and ask that He grow my business 'just right'.

Is a virtual prayer one done on the computer? wink

Honored to Serve for Him - Tom ('Mas) Pickering <)><

Re: When things are slow...

Fantastic advice GH. Really helpful.

Re: When things are slow...

I'm just starting out, so take this for what it is. I wasn't sure how I would find clients, and a friend suggested networking. I went to a networking dinner/event on Wednesday, and it worked out pretty well. My card was actually drawn along with 6 others to stand up and do a brief "commercial", and that worked out well. After doing that, I had 3 people ask for my card, and 2 of them look like legitimate prospects. I actually have a meeting with one of them on Monday. I'm going to a Chamber of Commerce event this week, and I'll let you know how that goes. I had heard that BNI is good to, but I have not been.

Re: When things are slow...

Lisa: I'd love to hear how things are going. I've prayed for you, and will continue.
I love hearing about other freelancers...I think I'm completely unemployable at this point. There's just too much upside to not dressing up for work, not commuting, not playing politics, and waiting for feedback from your boss. All of that's great, not to mention being awakened by my son, working in my bathrobe whenever I'm feeling lazy, blasting my own music while I work, and arranging my schedule to have lunch with people I really like (instead of having lunch with whatever coworkers are available).

smile Thank God He allows me the privilege!

We're all looking forward to the future...but none of us more than the giant, evil robots.

Re: When things are slow...

GH you are so kind! Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. Things are going well. I've had some good converstions with some folks about work and I know with HIM and using my gifts, it will all work out. It always has and it always will. I know HE takes care of me no matter what and some things that have happened in my personal life helped me to keep all this stuff in perspective.

HAHAHA That's funny about being unemployable. It is different on the other side, isn't it smile

Re: When things are slow...

what advice can anyone give to a "wage slave" on how to get out and start free-lancing for a living?  i can't complain though, i have a great job, way better than the one i had before, but i am still irritated at the "way things work" in corporate life.   i'm dying to be free from the drudgery. 

Jesus Christ is good to me, but i feel like i could be doing more for HIM if i was free

PS thanks for all the advice so far, i love this forum!

Stop voting for ANY evil, lesser evils are just that!

Re: When things are slow...

Hi Nate --

I think a  good way to start is to pick up some freelance work on the side.

I hope it works out for you!

Lisa

Re: When things are slow...

Nate:

I talk virtually every day with someone in your shoes. He wants to quit his job and freelance, but isn't sure how to make the leap. To me, it's all about timing. I got fired from my last job (new GM had a personal problem with me) and realized that I could make a go of it...had I not lost that job, I'd still be doing websites on the side for friends. My buddy has a job, is in night school, has a family, commutes some distance to work, and wants to add clients on top of all that.

My advice to him is to think of projects that leverage the time he has, creating residual income. We're going to write a book together, and sell the chapters as PDFs online. Whether it makes money or not is another matter...but he has no time for anything else. If he quits or finishes school, he may have enough time to do regular contract work...but it's tough when the clients want to talk to you during the day, while you're working for someone else.

We're all looking forward to the future...but none of us more than the giant, evil robots.

Re: When things are slow...

Lisa:

I'm still praying, several times a week.
Have a great day!

We're all looking forward to the future...but none of us more than the giant, evil robots.

Re: When things are slow...

Awwww THank you General Havok.
Things are going well smile I really appreciate it smile

LIsa

Re: When things are slow...

High profile projects are key. When I was starting out I worked for a year and made almost nothing. (It helps if you have someone else in the family who can support you - in my case it was my wife.) Don't take every opportunity that comes along. Choose only the ones that will earn you a marketing opportunity. Your time is valuable, even if you sell it at a discount. Then, market your portfolio for all it's worth.

Ryan Heneise  |  Art of Mission  |  Now with extra-strong Donor Tools mojo

Re: When things are slow...

I'd have to agree with Ryan. I started by taking just about everything that came my way. I took jobs that paid hardly anything because it was money coming. The problem with that is that your clients don't value the work that you do nor do they value you. Trust me on this because I am trying to finish up with my last client of this nature and it is a pain.

My biggest suggestion is to network with anyone and everyone that does design, development, project management, or runs their own business that needs help doing what you do from time to time. This has helped me greatly. Secondly, give back what you know by writing tutorials and marketing those tutorials. This will establish you as an expert in your area.

It does take a while, but it will eventually pay off, trust me on that. A year ago, I had hardly anything coming in, except the type of clients I didn't want. Today, I have so much on my plate I feel like I am drowning at times.

The biggest key is building relationships with people.

Re: When things are slow...

Personally, this is a great thread. I think a perpetual reminder of our need for prayer is a great way to keep perspective. You've got a lot a prayers coming God's way on your behalf Lisa smile

Re: When things are slow...

In case anyone's interested, here's a link to an online salary survey. One of the most difficult tasks of the freelancer is how to price their work. I looked and looked for the salary calculator that I found last year, but couldn't find it...I thought this one might help someone.

http://www.coroflot.com/community/salary_survey.asp

We're all looking forward to the future...but none of us more than the giant, evil robots.

Re: When things are slow...

Wow, that salary survey is quick and interesting. (Hours per week would be an interesting number to know, too.)

Thanks!

Jana    -- daily beggar; daughter beloved

Re: When things are slow...

thanks for the advice, this site has been a God send on many levels! smile

Stop voting for ANY evil, lesser evils are just that!

Re: When things are slow...

Hey keep an eye on 37 Signals Job board. They just opened up their "Gig" job board that looks for freelancers.

http://gigs.37signals.com/gigs

Re: When things are slow...

Cameron Moll has one open too: www.authenticjobs.com