The traditional way to find freelance work is to approach customers directly. This is called outbound marketing, or direct prospecting. There are several prospecting techniques that suit the freelancing world.
The first step to finding freelance work is to properly define your typical customer profile. Who is your ideal customer? What are the customer’s core areas? In what setting can their business thrive? You need a specific business strategy in place to get the attention of decision-makers in a large industrial corporation. It’s a different kind of approach to reaching out to another entrepreneur or consulting firm.
Technique #1: Reach out to customers on social networks with automated messages
Social networks are perfect acquisition channels for freelancers. Just because you are looking for B2B freelance jobs, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use social networks! Business decision-makers are also prolific users of social networks, both professionally and personally. Once you have identified your target group, you can use Marketing Automation tools to generate contact messages on LinkedIn, Messenger and Instagram. Automation will save you time, but don’t forget to customize your tagline slightly each time.
Technique #2: Mail your prospects directly
Direct prospecting is very effective when it comes to finding freelance work. Have you spotted a web or IT agency you’d like to work with? Have you targeted corporate clients that you would love to work for? It’s time to get creative and write a prospecting email. Make your cold-mailing attractive. Structure it into three parts: Why you? Why me? Why us?
Technique #3: Respond to calls for tenders from corporations
Is freelancing for a large corporation only for experts with a huge network? No way! Thanks to the rise of outsourcing, you can now get freelance work with large companies. You can respond to tenders directly or as a consortium. Alternatively, join a networking site for independent experts and large groups, such as LittleBig Connection.
Need to find new customers but not fond of prospecting? Rest assured: many entrepreneurs are not sales experts. Yet they manage to make a living from their self-employment. There are many other ways to find freelance work without having to turn to direct marketing.
Technique #4: Put in place an SEO or SEA strategy to find freelance work
A website is a great asset for drumming up work. Do you offer very specialized services? Whether you are an IT project manager or a marketing and communication consultant, you must demonstrate your expertise. This is a prerequisite for finding freelance consulting jobs. The blog is your best ally. It boosts your natural referencing, but also showcases the value of your skills with visitors to your site. Do not rule out online advertising to find customers. In this case, stick to your tagline and make sure you attach a very specific call-to-action (CTA) to your ad.
Technique #5: Automate your prospecting and generate qualified leads
Personalized mails are a very effective way to find freelance jobs, but it can quickly prove tedious work! An alternative is to set up a qualified lead generation system. This is called Inbound Marketing.
The first step is to qualify prospects that could become your future business customers. You will need to design free content to generate interest, then build a real sales funnel until a contract is signed. This sales system is ideal for getting freelance contracts by only targeting those companies that are really interested in your services.
Technique #6: Register with networking platforms
Imagine if you could find a freelance job without prospecting. Selling your services as a freelancer does not require you to become a marketing expert. Many freelance platforms allow you to win independent assignments by responding to self-employed job offers.
Customer companies can also access profiles of freelancers they are looking for: project manager, web designer, Java expert, full stack developer, etc. These platforms are the ideal solution to receive incoming offers from ultra-qualified prospects. All you have to do is hone your business implementation and negotiation skills!