Freelancers -- where do you find most of your work?

Jun 14, 2012

I know that question is sort of like where's your favorite fishing hole. Hi, all -- I've been a freelancer for about a year and a half now, and for the first time, things are slow. I guess I'm on the famine side of the feast-famine freelancer cycle. Two questions:

1. Are there e-learning groups (besides Articulate of course) that have helped you generate leads/work?

2. How much of your work comes through cold calling? (I have an aversion to cold calling, but will pull up the big boy panties if need be.)

I'm guessing that your work comes from a little bit of everywhere (traffic to your site, repeat business and referrals from clients, cold calling, etc), but I don't really know that till I ask. 

Thank you in advance for your time and input. --Daniel

211 Replies
Jonathon Miller

John Scarano said:

I used to have a lot of luck just posting on Craigslist and the work came to me. Once the economy tanked, Craigslist was less reliable. More recently, I've had luck with cold calling.

it definitely helps having an online profile. An UPDATED online portfolio.

LinkedIn has recently helped as well.

Any specific groups on LinkedIn?

Nalin Dubey

In India the Freelancing scene is pretty bad these days. :-( Freelancer carry very little value and respect. Money at the end comes out to be very low and yet not guaranteed. 
Creating a course on a subject that a learner needs and selling the content in a planned and strategic manner is the way to go. 

Rachel Barnum

I'll chime in as someone who isn't a freelancer, but who is constantly looking FOR freelancers. Right now I look primarily on LinkedIn and user boards such as this one. Occasionally, probably in frustration, I will randomly Google but that has never panned out.

We also have a job page that lists contract positions.

Nancy Woinoski

When I was first starting out I used a lead generation company to cold call targeted companies. Their only objective was to get me a meeting and then I had to do the rest to land the client.

This was not a full time thing - I would use them to run a month long campaign once or twice a year. It cost a bit of money but was worth it because I landed some really big companies this way. I think it helped that I was operating under my company name and not as an individual freelancer, and that I had a good portfolio.


Idea Usher

Freelancers have various options to find work and grow their client base. Some of the most common ways include:

  1. Freelance job boards: Websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr offer a platform for freelancers to find job opportunities posted by clients. These job boards cater to a wide range of industries, making it easy for freelancers to find work that aligns with their skills and experience.

  2. Social media: Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can be effective for finding freelance work. Freelancers can showcase their portfolio, connect with potential clients, and join groups or communities relevant to their field.

  3. Networking: Building a strong network of contacts can lead to regular freelance work. Freelancers can attend events, join professional organizations, and collaborate with other freelancers to expand their network and find new opportunities.

  4. Referrals: Word-of-mouth referrals can be a powerful tool for freelancers to find new work. Satisfied clients can refer their friends and colleagues to the freelancer, leading to new opportunities and a growing client base.

  5. Personal website: Having a personal website is a great way to showcase a freelancer's portfolio and services. Freelancers can use their website to attract new clients and promote their brand.

In conclusion, freelancers have several options to find work, including job boards, social media, networking, referrals, and a personal website or even app development.

Freelancers can also explore a combination of these methods to build a robust client base and secure regular work. It's important for freelancers to be proactive in seeking out new opportunities and continually expanding their network.