Today i ll be talking about how you can find freelance projects, using a specific strategy that I’ve been using over the past 10 years.
And before getting started, please pardon my English — as people say- …and excuse any spelling or grammar mistakes in this article, as it’s not my native language; and if you disagree with any of the below ideas… it’s my own humble opinion at the end of the day. and you can agree or disagree with it…and i should respect your point of view.
First of all, if you googled this topic; most probably you will find everybody’s talking about freelance websites like freelancer, upwork, people per hour, fiverr, 99designs…etc.
But, let me tell you: don’t use those websites! i never used it successfully, and most talented calibers in the industry doesn’t.
Here is why you should not be into those platforms:
1- Clients (Job posters) will always try to get as many ideas as possible from the freelancers (bidders) in return of the lowest budget they could pay, or sometimes they will close the project before you even get the chance to do a proper pitch.
2- You will be competing with hundreds of freelancers who under-price the projects they are bidding to, just to get a good review or to get a small amount of cash.
3- You will be contributing to destroying the industry pricing benchmark. and instead of paying 2K USD to build a nice website as an average price in the market; people will be paying 50 USD to create a website for their businesses…and as per my experience, they will end up re-building it again and again, and they will never get the required results for a good ROI.
4- Clients will always tell you: “Show me how good you are. it’s a competition…and if you get to pass this test, i ll assign more projects to you..!”. and at the same time, they will be looking into dozens of proposals, and maybe they won’t chose any of it…but it will be a good base for them to start from.
A website like 99 Designs, simply publish the client’s project as a contest, and i quote from their website:
Open your brief to our entire design community. Designers submit their ideas and you pick your favorite design.
Check this link for more info: https://99designs.com/how-it-works
Imagine yourself working on a design for a week, and then simply they tell you: we are sorry, we picked another design! i think this a waste for your time and effort.
5- You won’t get enough data or input before starting the project:
From my experience; things will always come up and many problems will pop up during the project development. it’s a necessity that we can never deny.
In that case, the client will always say: “We agreed on a certain amount of cash to complete the project…and i don’t care about those extra stuff you are talking about!”.
This is the time when you will start compromising your quality for the sake of money!
6- Many clients won’t have a specific technical specifications for their projects; they will only start to realize the missing information when freelancers start asking about it…think of it as you are giving away your experience for free.
What you should do instead?
1- Create yourself a personal website:
You will need to have a nice website for yourself, to display your different skills… your ability to work in a team, and your previous work experience.
You can even collaborate with other designers, developers, photographers, animators, videographers and copywriters; to create your own network on your own website and start working on new projects as a team.
But make sure that you make it well organized and optimized for search engines, because people most probably will type for example: “affordable website design” or “web designer in canada” in their search keywords. And they will be expecting to see individuals and companies that are proposing these types of services on their websites.
So make sure you come first in the search result by using good search engine optimization techniques. (That should be another topic to talk about).
2- Create your Behance profile:
Clients usually search for talents on behance; and they will usually have a good sense to identify rather you are fit for them or not.
Publish your outstanding projects, and make sure you display it in a nice catchy way, with enough description and keywords to make it easy to find.
Don’t publish everything you have or all the projects you did…only pick the good ones and make them count.
3- Start a blog:
Write regular blog posts and share your experience with the world.
It’s not necessarily that someone read it…but it’s a good place to market yourself and speak of your talents and skills.
Don’t write random stuff. chose a niche or search for a niche that people are interested in, and at the same time… you know a lot about.
With some hard work and good organization, you should be able to succeed and maybe you will be famous!
4- Publish behind the scenes and in-progress images of your work:
Use your social media profiles like Instagram and Facebook to publish your work in progress designs. Some famous designers even create a poll to ask their followers which option they should go for, when designing a logo for example.
Clients will love to see your style and your background. This should dramatically affect how you will get their project done.