Topic: How to find work as a freelancer?

Hey guys,
I'm not sure if this is the place to post this, but I'll put it here anyway and Nathan can move it if necessary.

I decided to take the leap into full-time freelancing at the beginning of this year. The transition has been wonderful and has afforded me more creative flexibility and more time with my family. The first month was crazy busy and I'm beginning to redesign my website to be more like a company and less like a personal blog site/portfolio.

God is teaching me a huge lesson of humility now as I enter my second month as a freelancer. My phone was nearly ringing off the hook in January with people wondering if I would be available. At the time I wasn't and as I hit up these same people for work now, the well has seemed to have run dry. I have one big contract that I'll be working on throughout the year, but I also have time and desire to work on more projects to keep my design and creativity pumping.

So my question to all of you other freelancers is, where do you find work? Up until now almost 100% of my work has been by word of mouth. But when there is nothing there and you want to do some good work, where do you go? What do you do?

I'd appreciate any insight. Thanks!

Mark

Re: How to find work as a freelancer?

See Mark, if I told you, then you'd be a competitor for the jobs I go after.  ;-)

Kidding.

I just read a good article by Sitepoint on the subject yesterday.

Re: How to find work as a freelancer?

Hi Mark,

I havent experieced fulltime freelancing but I can recommend to read Freelancer Kevin Airgid, he has clients such NIKE, CBC, Wallstreet Journal, Ford and more...

He actually wrote a book http://www.lulu.com/content/147697, I have read it myself and I can tell you that it is really small but it is full of tips and information. You can tell by his site that he does what he preaches and really nothing better than learning from some one who is making it.

But most of all remember that the first thing to having a successful Christ Based business is having trust in Him. This would be a great time to not only develop new skills or pulish your skills but you can make grow your relationship with Christ and know that when He is the lead of our company (freelance or not) we know it will be a success.

Last edited by Helmut Granda (2006-02-09 09:24:55)

"...porque Jehová tu Dios estará contigo en dondequiera que vayas." Joshua 1:9

Re: How to find work as a freelancer?

Mark -

I’ve been blessed with a wife I can partner with in a business and she does a lot of the initial client contacts to bring them in the door, where we both bring our expertise together to catch their vision and mold it into a website with ours.  We do almost no advertising, also relying heavily on word of mouth, and have built a healthy roster of clients in the 10 years we’ve been in business.  Helmut is right about taking this time to make Christ the CEO of your fledgling enterprise.  Make sure to give back too.  We do that in the form of pro-bono work, including hosting, for Christian churches & ministries who would otherwise be unable to use the Internet as the wonderful outreach tool it can be.  As the direct result of that, we got one of our biggest clients through a church member who appreciated our talent and our willingness to donate our services to the Lord’s work.  If God is behind the idea of you freelancing, He’ll bring you who He wants you to serve, bless, and be blessed by.  It’s happened countless times for us! :^{>

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

Re: How to find work as a freelancer?

Thanks for the encouragement and words of wisdom everybody. Helmet, I actually own that book. Do the fact that I'm a primarily a designer, I'm really bad at sitting down and reading anything. I think I've made it to page 25 or something like that, but I might need to pick it up again now that I'm in the thick of this business.

What an awesome situation to be in Tom! That's really amazing to be able to have your wife as your business partner. Unfortunately I'm not able to be in the same situation right now as my wife is chasing two small children around our house all day. smile

I really appreciate your thoughts about taking this time to concentrate on making this business Christ based. That can be a really hard thing to forget in the busyness of setting up a business and then trying to find work. But where better to turn in these times then to the One who can remove all of the doubt and fear.

Thanks!

Re: How to find work as a freelancer?

msteinruck wrote:

But where better to turn in these times then to the One who can remove all of the doubt and fear.

Not to mention that he knows where all the jobs are smile

It's really a good situation.

Best of luck (or good grace, or whatever you want to say) to you.  I am going to pick that book up.  Looks incredibly useful.

Re: How to find work as a freelancer?

Hey Mark,

First of all my name is Helmut mad but I forgive you big_smile I have been called Helmet before and more LOL.

I am glad that you are listening to what everyone has to suggest, I personally had the oportunity to go freelance this past November but I chickened out, So you see you trusted God and now you are running your freelance business and are ahead of the game, that is great!

So just hang in there and trust in Him and read read read big_smile

"...porque Jehová tu Dios estará contigo en dondequiera que vayas." Joshua 1:9

Re: How to find work as a freelancer?

I'm a full-time freelancer who's still in the process of growing and maturing my business...so I'm not the best example of 'having succeeded'. That said, most of my work has been word-of-mouth. I pray daily that God will grow my business exactly right, which means that I might lose it this afternoon...which I'm okay with. I want to do what God wants me to do.

That said, success requires me to take 'more earthly' steps as well. I regularly visit Craigslist for projects, and have had some success. Monster.com has netted me nothing. I sometimes accept invitations to networking meetings, where I find some work. I don't hesitate to suggest to happy clients that they might have friends or partners that could use my help as well. Because I'm a Christian, Christian organizations appear to like working with me...it could have something to do with understanding what they're trying to accomplish as an organization.

I also do more than design websites: I do the graphic design, code the backend, host the site (I have a reseller relationship with a hosting company), and offer webmaster services as well. I'm always thinking of how to turn a one-time design client into a long-term management/consulting relationship. I also supplement my income with by-the-hour computer services for those in my church and neighborhood. I don't advertise that, but word gets around. Once they know you're a geek, they'll call you.

Things are tight right now, but I'm busy. I'm also happy. I'm a very good employee, having had lots of experience working for others...but owning your own business isn't the same as having a job. Business is difficult in any circumstance...owning a 'virtual' business is something else. Working from home adds another layer of complexity and discipline. Being a sole proprietor can work against you at times, for you at others.

That's why I pray. A lot.
And I'm very careful with my budget.

Last edited by generalhavok (2006-02-10 09:05:27)

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

Re: How to find work as a freelancer?

Check places like Craigslist.com. Search under jobs in each city for "Telecommute" and "Freelance".

Re: How to find work as a freelancer?

It might sound strange to unbelievers, but I seem to get more work the more I refer to others. There are often times I'm busy or just can't do what someone happens to want and I refer them to other designers. If there's a motto in there, I'd say "Refer in feast and be referred in famine."