Transitioning to freelance life is not always a smooth ride and can be very stressful; especially when trying to secure those firsts few projects. Unless you have already built up a pipeline of clients but even then the most established freelancers out there can still struggle during quieter months when looking for work feels like searching for water in the desert – it’s somewhere, but how do we get there fast enough before someone else steals it from under our nose?
Well, here are 4 magical tips that you can follow to find all those best freelance jobs out there!
TIP 1: “Register & Apply On Freelance Job Boards”
It’s good to get into the habit of regularly checking a few of the freelance job boards out there (please note each one comes with their own perks and offerings), especially if you have found work through them before. Here are three websites we consider to offer the best freelance jobs:
TIP 2: “Sign Up to Recruitment & Talent Agencies”
It’s worth finding recruitment agencies that specialise in your field and giving them a call to register, or at the very least dropping them an email regarding available freelance opportunities. We’d always advise a call – it’s more personal and might give you that edge. You don’t want to bother people working within a completely different sector when your area of interest is tv or film production, so make sure you start with proper research and list of potential recruiters who might be able to help.
Once you’ve found a recruitment or talent agency who are happy to stay in touch and help out with offering you freelance projects, remember to remind them from time to time about your availability. Don’t forget that recruiters tend to work with a vast number of freelancers, so it’s worth reminding them about yourself on a regular basis – but don’t be too much. A short email will take you 5 minutes to draft – you can mention when are you free or maybe send the most recent piece of work – it will definitely increase the chances of being remembered by the recruiter.
TIP 3: “Be That Social Media Networker”
I hope this doesn’t come as a surprise (if it does, you should definitely work on your social media awareness more!), but actually social media CAN be very useful when finding freelance work. More and more companies mention career opportunities on their profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), allowing their followers to be the first ones to get notified – which gives them a head start when it comes to application. Find places that you’d love to work within, observe their activity and engage! If you make yourself visible, sooner or later someone will check out your profile and potentially will be interested in services you provide.
Saying that, it is important to keep your profiles updated. It is also a good idea to draw a line between personal life and work – a potential client doesn’t really care about your recent holidays in Greece but would probably love to see shots from your latest showreel on your Instagram profile. Think about creating two different accounts that you can use for various purposes.
It is also a good idea to connect with other freelancers – give them a follow, request a connection on LinkedIn, comment on their most recent work. Networking is crucial! If they are too busy with projects, they may be able to pass work over to you or recommend you to the people they already know.
TIP 4: “Go Direct To Clients & Hiring Managers”
No one enjoys cold calling or emailing, but it can be a great way of getting your name out and connecting with potential clients. Again – research comes first! No matter if you make a call or send an email with CV and examples of your work, you want to tailor your message to the company you are applying for. If you copy and paste your email or speak to them over the phone not knowing a single thing about their work or values, then don’t be surprised when your CV will go straight to a “No” file.
Another thing that can be done is finding the hiring manager or someone who might be in charge of freelancers, and then contacting them directly. They may not have work for you straightaway, but probably will be happy to keep your details on file and contact you for future opportunities. Think about creative ways of putting yourself out there – maybe instead of regular email you decide to introduce yourself through a video? If you are skilled within motion graphic design, why not create a short animation? Write a haiku? There is loads of ways of standing out from the crowd! Likewise, let the company know why you admire their work, which project is your favourite or maybe suggest some innovative ideas too.
It takes way more time than forwarding the same email to ten agencies but trust me – it will be worth it. Remember to stay organised throughout this process and keep track of what you’ve done and who you’ve contacted. It’s good to be fully on top of things.
Do you have any further valuable tips on how to find freelance work that you would like to share? Start the conversation by messaging me on my LinkedIn profile – Magda Kania
Yellow Cat is a Production, Post Production & VFX recruitment consultancy based in London.