The freelance world is full of competition. (Read up as to why we think a little competition among women is more than OK.)
Sometimes you’re competing against other freelancers and sometimes you’re competing against yourself. Like when a steady client all of the sudden PULLS the PLUG and you’re left scrambling to cover your monthly nut. (Click here for key financial rules to follow at any age.)
When it’s you against your bank account, we want you to come out on top.
Because it doesn’t matter how great you are at your job or how well you interface with clients, it happens to the best of us. Directions and budgets change. The people who hired you leave positions and bring on a new person. Sometimes the relationship has simply expired.
Here are four ways that will keep you from getting lanced by the roller coaster world of working for yourself.
WORK IT OUT WITH UPWORK
Great people can be hard to find, so make yourself findable with the world’s largest online workplace. Upwork has over 5 million registered clients who post over 3 million jobs annually. The site also boasts over a billion dollars worth of work done annually. That’s money going into other pockets.
You apply, create a profile that focusses on your very niche (and very impressive) skills, and start hunting. Browse jobs in over ten different fields, from writing to design and creative. There’s a new job out there for you, so go find it.
2. BE AS COLD AS ICE
Sometimes jobs find us but most freelancers have to find the job. It's called a hustle.
So you lost one job? Use it as a reason to find two more. Build a list of one hundred clients that you want to work for and reach out. The most successful “cold” emails offer a service instead of asking a question.
Don’t ask if someone is hiring, show them with data and specific examples of what you can do for them. Karin Eldor, self-employed copywriter and social media strategist says this of cold contacting: “Hit up the job boards of the brands you love most to see if there are any postings for your skill-set, and fire off those applications and emails.
She adds, “Set a goal of reaching out to four contacts per day -- the wider your net, the more likely you'll get some bites. The key to cold emailing and increasing the chance of a reply is making your email short and to the point: start with flattery, then hit 'em up with your expertise in a short tagline about yourself. You need to intro what you do, what your specialty is, and how you can help them.”
3. FOCUS ON WHAT’S WORKING, TO MAKE SURE YOU KEEP WORKING
“Losing a steady client can shake you to the core,” says Karin. But all freelancers agree that going negative is as bad as going dark.
Jane Helpern, writer, copywriter, and editorial director living in LA, says it's “Easier said than done but try not to take it personally. Don't waste your time wondering what went wrong, or if it's something you did. It's endlessly more productive to focus on improving one aspect of your professional package, whether it's refreshing your website, tightening up your social media presence, or tricking out your desk setup. It's kind of like a revenge body, but for your career.”
"Focus on improving one aspect of your professional package. It's kind of like a revenge body, but for your career.”
4. SIGN UP FOR NEWSLETTERS
Karin says, “sign up for newsletters from freelance-oriented websites and make sure to visit job boards that list contractual gigs, on the daily -- it's a freelance world, and we're just living in it. We have big love for ilovecreatives lately, as they send weekly digital classifieds for creatives.”