Here are some “bottom of the barrel” approaches you must try before you give up.
We’ve all found ourselves in a situation when the well dries up and it’s uncertain where your next paycheck would be coming from. There’s no shame in it. We’re here to document some ways of finding work as quickly as possible, when you’re in a pinch.
Seasonality is the number one reason that the job market dries up. A ton of online markets depend indirectly on student interaction. And, as school’s out for summer, work dries up. The content writing market usually takes the biggest hit towards mid-June, and this trend persists until late August.
There’s also the solstice holidays, during which most companies that can take a break, do. During these periods it’s significantly harder to find employment across the board.
We’re going to jump to the assumption that you are at least somewhat competent in your field, because honestly, that’s all it takes. You don’t have to be a superstar to find work. Top content writers charge over 20 cents per word, top web developers over $40 per hour. It is thanks to their high bar that the rest of us manage to squeeze through at subpar rates.
But the quality of freelance work isn’t 1 to 1 proportional with the amount paid. There’s a diminishing return to paying more for freelance work, and clients are, for the most part, fully aware of this.
The same can be said for your bid strategy – Keep it around the generally accepted average, bidding lower when it’s saturated, and conversely higher when you think the clientele can’t make do without you.
The above applies across the board, but what about the actual job search process? Here’s a handy dandy checklist:
- Make an Upwork profile
- Sign up for Periodix AI job search
- Make similar profiles on every alternate competitor’s site
- Bookmark find-work forums like /r/forhire and check them every 30 minutes
These are the basics of job search. If you’re desperate you have no excuse. At the very least you have to check /r/forhire, Upwork and the like, hourly. Or, if you have all the free time in the world, check once every hour for every hour that you are awake. Remember, you want to cast the widest possible net.
Some jobs necessitate having a profile, some require a CV, others are more a matter of proving yourself in the spur of the moment. Whatever the case, if you are desperate, take a day or two to set up a portfolio.
- Purchase a catchy URL, like your last name or a nickname. Think “TheContentWizard.com” or “JamesWeavesWords.com”
- Place all of your previous works on the site
- Use web templates for style and speed.
- There on out, apply with your website, not a CV file.
The idea behind centralizing your efforts on a website is twofold.
- You want to create a singular identity that you can share with would-be clients, so that they perceive you as a functional person of process, rather than someone “begging them for work”. You want to avoid seeming desperate, especially when you are the most desperate.
- Clients will infer from your website that whatever claims you make are substantiated, because they were on the site to begin with.
Let’s say that you apply for a web development job, but someone else fills the spot. However, the client mentions they’re also looking for a designer. If you tell them that you are also a designer, it will sound dubious. They will assume that you are grasping at whatever straws they’re showing. However, if you had shared your website with them as your web dev application, they would be able to see for themselves, on said website that you also do design, and they would ask you about it.
The whole point of having a website is covering everything you’ve done in the past and everything you think you can do. When you’re desperate for web dev work, you’re not desperate for web dev work, you’re just desperate. Cover all possible bases on your site, then share that bad boy around.
2-3 days down the line and you now have a website, an Upwork profile, Periodix searching jobs for you and regular messages through online forums. So are you done? Not even close.
The final point of ensuring that you find work has to do with networking. These days the internet will have you thinking that networking is about having a LinkedIn profile and adding as many people as possible.
This is a terrible idea.
It’s terrible because it’s impersonal and it screams “I do not really care about you; I just need the money.”
Instead, develop real networking, the way you would in real life. When someone posts a job request on a public forum, like the post and comment with advice, if you can think of anything helpful to say. On those same forums, befriend other freelancers, within your field, but especially outside of it.
Ask people about their interests, their strife and their experiences, then hope that they’d like you to share yours. If people think of you as a person who’s looking to help out wherever they can, they’ll be more likely to want to help you find work on their own, without you having to ask.
The core of freelance work boils down to your professional identity and your personal identity. Once you know exactly who you are and what you have to offer, go out there and offer it everywhere you possibly can. And we don’t just mean regarding paid work. Offer your expertise to other struggling freelancers. Offer your opinions and your questions as well. Expose yourself to the world, as you’d like them to see you, and work will invariably come your way.
Periodix is based on AI service matches you with open freelance positions.