Working for yourself as a freelancer or contractor can be an extremely liberating and exciting career change. And while it’s normal to experience ups and downs in a freelancing career, the downs can definitely be stressful. In order to be proactive, and to prevent work from slowing to a trickle, refer to the following list of tips to help you land that next gig.
Capitalize on Technology and Social Media
Build a website
To be viewed as a real professional in this day and age, you need a website. But building a website doesn’t have to be an expensive or lengthy undertaking. Plenty of website builders can create snazzy-looking designs in a few clicks, and hosting costs are very affordable. Your website should identify what makes you valuable and sets you apart from others, and link to your contact information, as well as work samples and a portfolio.
Write a blog
Want a great way to create fresh content for your website AND share your expertise with the world? Start a blog. Creating a blog demonstrates many qualities in a person. It shows you have initiative, passion, and love what you do enough to write about it in your spare time. You don’t have to create new content every day—sharing something once every month or two is fine. Blogging will also hone your writing and editing skills, which are particularly important for people who work in the training and e-learning industries.
Develop a social media presence
There are so many potential avenues you can use to build your visibility and online reputation and help make a name for yourself. Be aware, however: not all social media channels are worthy of your time. LinkedIn seems to be the top channel used for professional use. You can use social media outlets to network with others, learn about new gigs and opportunities, and share your blog posts.
Check out these related blog posts and forum discussions:
- How do you share your blog and e-learning samples?
- Where should you focus your social media efforts?
Build a Reputation as an Expert
Create and share screencasts, templates, and tutorials
Creating and sharing content serves multiple purposes: 1) it’s an opportunity to create content for your portfolio; 2) it sharpens your skills and gives you practice with authoring tools; and 3) it demonstrates you’re a generous person who’s willing to share your knowledge and creations with others. These are all great ways to help build your reputation as an expert and a problem-solver who is willing to help others in need.
Participate in industry groups and conversations
This gives you exposure, visibility, and an affiliation with experts. In addition to being viewed as accessible and approachable, you could connect with someone who might end up being your next client.
Present at industry conferences and events
Again, this is all about gaining professional credibility and establishing yourself as a leader in your industry. Strong presentation and speaking skills are also great assets for just about anybody. Yet another benefit is that presenters often get a discount or comped access to the conference or event, which can make attending much more realistic and affordable for a freelancer.
Looking for more tips? Check out part two of this two-part series here. And don’t forget to check out these awesome related forum discussions and articles:
In particular, you might want to check out these articles about freelancing by community member Daniel Brigham:
- 5 Tips to Launch Your Career as an E-Learning Freelancer
- Top Tips for Finding Freelance E-Learning Gigs
- 3 Tips to Create Strong Client Relationships
- 3 Ways to Protect Yourself--and Your Project--with a Contract
Do you have your own tips about how to find freelance gigs? If so, please leave a comment below!
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