Archive for February 17th, 2011
When you are on the lookout for more work, or new customers, there are several things you can try. Here I list my top 14 places to find freelance or contract work, broken down into 3 groups depending on the urgency of your need:
Top Places to find Contract or Freelance work
These are the top places I recommend. Even though I list other options below, 99.9% of any work can be found through this list.
Existing Customers – Contact your existing customer base, and ask them if they know of any other companies who need the same sort of service. If so, could they provide a contact or even better, an introduction?
Old Customers – Don’t forget those old customers. Get in contact and find out if there is any more work needed (or contacts in other companies)
Web Enquiries via Ad Words – If you have a web site with your details, use AdWords to boost its profile.
Contract Databases – This web site is perfect for finding both contract and freelance work as advertised by agencies. Just put in your skills and it will find all now work posted in the last few dates
Searchable CV Sites – Whilst using the contract database will get your CV and details out with the agencies, it does not hurt to also upload your CV to the various searchable job sites including JobSite, Monster and JobServe.
Worth a Try
If you have tried the top 5 places to find work, and have spare time, then you can try the following options. These options do work, but the return on time and investment will be a lot lower than the previous list, so should only be used where you have exhausted the previous options:
Physical mailshot – Use one of the various mailing list companies, purchase a list of companies from them, and send out a mailer and brochure on what you or your company can offer.
LinkedIn contacts - Use LinkedIn to drop a line to your contact, or even the contacts of your contacts, asking if they know of any work going
Phone around the agencies – Depending on your industry, there are numerous agencies that deal with contract and freelancer work. Contact them directly, make yourself know, and hopefully they can match you with contract work.
LinkedIn discussion groups – Depending on the discussion groups you join, there are occasionally discussions on companies needing contractors or freelancers. There are groups for authors, marketers, salesman, developers, testers and analysts.
Only if you’re desperate
The final section is devoted to the list of options for the really desperate. I personally do not know anybody or any company who has found work using these techniques. I have seen many a blog or discussion about using them, but I personally do not use these as I don’t believe they work. Bear in mind that these options are so heavily talked about, lots of people will be trying these. These options are:
Twitter Traffic – Use tools such as Tweetdeck to monitor the twitter streams for keywords for your industry to see if anybody is talking about vacancies. Bear in mind, you need to think about geographical filters, and need to react fast to any postings.
Create blogs – Creating blogs is supposed to generate traffic to your site – but with 26 new blogs crated every second, getting noticed is a hard fight, and the return of investment based on the effort is nearly not worth considering.
Free Content – Another technique is to create free content – papers, eBooks, applications and such. I have done this in the past (ePapers) and whilst they have been read a lot (an awful lot), I have not seen a single enquiry from them.
Work Bidding Sites – Depending on your industry, there are a lot of work bidding sites out there. However, unless you are prepared to work for pennies, the Asian bidders will always win when price is the main factor.
Local Media Adverts – It may be worth cutting through the noise of the internet by taking up an advertisement in the local or regional papers. Generally, most papers will produce the artwork for you (based on a mock up you provide) within the price of advertisement. The cost of an advert can range from a few £000 to a few £0000 depending on the size of the readership you want to cover.
Search local companies through Google – The final suggestion is to use Google to search for local companies, and contact them directly by letter or email. For me, this is to random to worth considering – you need to contact them at the right time, just as they have a need for your services, and be willing to want a contractor or freelancer instead of employing somebody in-house.