A powerful and unique way of finding clients online
These days the freelance job search process is extremely streamlined. You sign up on a freelance platform, send out your resume, and wait in prayer. If that’s not working out, you downgrade and post on independent forums, hoping to snag any opportunity that comes your way. There’s always Periodix if you’d like to bolster your job search with an optimized AI search. But if you’ve decided to branch out into a more localized approach, read on.
The internet’s a big place, and proving that you’re the right person for a job isn’t enough. Here are a few unique methods you should try to bolster your job search process. I should note that ever since I started implementing all of these methods in parallel, I haven’t had a single dry spell. If I decide that I need more work on my stack, it’s usually a matter of days to weeks before I get hired again. That’s why I believe in the effectiveness of these methods. Here we go:
The online social monopolies will have you believe that to the network you have to be part of some sort of central registry of individuals from all over the globe. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not throwing shade on LinkedIn – I like what they’ve done with their site.
I’m just concerned about the oversaturation. I’ve been on LinkedIn since the beginning and have found it to be next to useless. People use it as a directory, but not as a place to hire talent. There’s simply too many “Marketing Experts” out there for anyone to even want to pick one out of a hat.
You could opt out of networking, to avoid the oversaturated monopolies, or you could form functional microcosms.
Networking starts at home
Tell your friends and family about what you do. Be specific. Make sure that they understand what your talents are and what you’re currently looking for. Remember, trying to get your friends to hire you is generally frowned upon, but expecting them to keep an eye out for opportunity is just common sense.
I was actually on the receiving end of this method, by accident, a few years back. My best friend had noted time and time again that if I find myself doing content for a company that needs a social media manager, I should notify him. Time went on, I worked for several different companies, and repeatedly informed him that there is simply no need for him. Then, one day, I started working full time for a retail company that desperately needed a social media manager. I of course, went straight to my buddy, got him an interview, and he landed the position.
To this day, he’s still running SMM for that retailer, even long after my job became redundant.
And yes, your friends and family will send a lot of zero-potential contacts your way, but that’s the price of doing business. They can’t filter them for you, you have to figure out whether there is potential, and be grateful that there’s people out there doing recon work for you.
Form a Guild
If you’re doing content for a software company that appeals to small businesses, you’re not raking in the clientele on the promise of content alone. If someone comes in looking for a website, you automatically cash in on their content needs without them giving you much consideration.
But forming a company is expensive, and maintenance costs will run you into the ground. Instead, you can opt to form a voluntary cooperation with several freelancers in similar fields. If you’re in PPC, find someone who does SEO. If you’re in content, find a graphics designer.
Form a guild with a few of these people and agree to share whatever work pours over into the other’s field. Further, you can market yourselves as a team. Teams instill a lot more confidence than individual freelancers. You could also opt to reserve a website for yourselves and put up examples of your work. You can still keep all your names up there as unique contributors to each particular branch of operations, but you’d be centralized under one URL. Potential clients could sift through all of your previous work and possible solutions in one place.
Even if only one of you gets hired, when the client needs any additional work outside of your scope, you can introduce one of your partners. This idea functions on the premise that all of your partners will default to you for your particular field. There won’t be two content writers under one team, for instance.
I like this approach because it actually encourages you to get better. Your skills will inevitably match those of your partners because if they don’t, you’d be asked to leave the team by all the other members. You all have to contribute equally, or at the very least, with equal quality of work, or you’ll get voted off the team.
And eventually, if the team brings in a lot of money and networks effectively, you could easily decide to incorporate at a later time when it is profitable for everyone. There’s no pressure on the individual, and it doesn’t really cost you anything.
At the end of the day, all you’re trying to do is promote yourself in a way that allows other people to truly get to know you. A small number of people that know you well will invariably lead to more opportunity than a large number of people that only know you for your CV.
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