Freelancing is booming and becoming more and more popular for writers, artists, and creatives alike. From the the digital age of media to the endless freelancing websites, finding work is easier than ever before. But with so many different freelance sites out there, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are some tips for success as a freelancer, including how to find the right places to look for work in order to build your portfolio.
Think about your freelance goals
First and foremost, have a vision for how you want your freelancing experience to look like. Some ideas include: writing for more specialized publications, writing for established publications with a robust readership, and building up your portfolio to reach a certain number of articles or assignments. There are plenty of ways to accomplish each of these goals, so it’s easy to get distracted with other opportunities. Once you’ve defined your goals and set out a strategy to achieve them, you’re less likely to get pulled into other opportunities that look more promising.
Start with the basics
The internet is a digital melting pot of opportunities, and you’re bound to find something you’re passionate about if you take the time to look. Once you find a site or person you are interested in working with, start by finding out more about them.
Before you ever start looking for work, create an ideal resume. You should include information on what you do and include clear language that draws the reader in. It’s important to give potential employers a good sense of what you do and how you can help them.
Write a summary of your experience
Don’t just list out your jobs. You want to be able to present your skills in a way that gives a clear picture of what your work is all about.
Build a portfolio
Make sure you have a strong portfolio to showcase your skills so people will be eager to hire you for projects. Ensure you have websites of your work on Google, Pinterest, and other platforms so you can easily show your clients that you can deliver high-quality work. Include all your work, too. Be honest and let your clients know that you can and will deliver high-quality work, so they know you’re capable of getting the job done.
What are you good at?
Start by simply listing your best work and looking at what you’re good at. “With freelancing, it’s important to know your strengths and what makes you happy doing what you do,” says Seattle-based writer Shana Fisher. “If you’re happy showing your work to people, it will be exciting for you to think of what you can do in the future.
Build your freelance profile
This is the first step in creating your freelance portfolio. Let’s face it: Although writers are a varied bunch, we all have one thing in common: we love writing. To stand out in the freelance game, you’ll need to find your niche. To do that, you need to build a profile page for yourself on the most popular freelance job sites in the world.
To stand out from the crowd, you’ll need to make sure you make a personal connection with readers. Using LinkedIn as an example, you can customize your profile in a number of ways. You can list your interests and current projects, links to media coverage you have done, and even highlight your achievements.
Nail down your rates
Many freelancers get caught up in the chase for work, jumping from one job to the next just hoping something will come along. If you want to have some sort of sustainable income coming in, you need to set your rates early on. You don’t have to jump ship just because one client wants to pay more than another. Instead of lowering your rates or staying low, decide what you’re willing to work for and stick to it.
Follow your favorite freelancing sites
While there are a lot of different freelance sites out there, there are a few major players that have a lot of traction. For writers, you have sites like UpWork, NetworkedWrite, and freelancejobs. This is great, because you can either connect with potential clients directly or you can check out some of the jobs that are coming in.
Make sure you’re compensated for your work
You need to be paid for the work you do and you can’t just rely on being a great writer and sending out a ton of submissions. You need to make sure that the clients you are working for are compensated for your work.
You need to make sure that you are compensated for your work. If a site does not offer a standard rate, look for other sites or freelance writers that do. I use Freelancewriting.com when I need to pay my bills. I started with freelancewriting.com and haven’t looked back since. You can also check out WorkMarket and Elance for freelance work. For each of these sites, you can search for potential freelance jobs based on your skills, experience and location.
Connect with editors and other freelancers
In order to find work as a freelancer, it’s important to connect with other freelancers. Freelancing communities on sites like Upwork and LinkedIn allow you to network with others, and as a result, you can be one of the first to hear about new gigs. Or you could look for opportunities to work for established freelance magazines on LinkedIn. Whether you have previous journalism experience, art skills, or just general interest, you can likely find a way to connect with editors and create a job opportunity through a freelance magazine.
While it’s important to build your portfolio with stories and photos that highlight your skills as a freelancer, it’s also important to prove that you have value to an editorial department.
When working as a freelance journalist, artist, or creative professional, it can be easy to overlook the importance of having an actual portfolio. However, it is crucial to focus on a strong portfolio in order to stand out in the job hunt. In addition to submitting your work to different sites and getting published, it is important to create your own websites and have everything you have created available for your future clients. After all, your future clients will also need to know what you have to offer.
Freelancing is a great career to pursue if you enjoy working on your own schedule and getting your own work done. However, it is important to remember that you do not have to go the route of full-time freelancing.