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

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

210 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?

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.