Find More Freelance Work
This article is provided by the Greater Scranton Area SCORE Chapter.
Freelancer, sole operator, independent contractor and free agent are all terms for a similar type of small business operator with a key trait in common—all are constantly looking for new gigs to fill their time and pay the bills. For these business owners, the Internet has become a boon to finding work. Web sites that play matchmaker between employers and freelancers have taken the art of project hunting to new levels.
To be successful as a free agent operator, you need to hone your project-finding skills and improve your marketing, just like any small business. Two keys to being successful at this are consistency and dedication. Most independent contractors already know that the search for work is constant, so you’ll enjoy it more if you develop a passion for finding the next big project.
To build repeat business, you also need to be a stickler for client satisfaction. Always stand behind your work and try to gauge client expectations at every step, and then exceed them.
Also recognize that building your personal brand is important. As a sole operator, your brand is you, so focus on leveraging your special knowledge, style or expertise. But don’t lock yourself in to tightly. The most successful independent contractors try to build new skills and leverage existing ones to higher price levels.
Project sites for freelancers vary in their approach. Some work on a bid system where employers post projects and freelancers bid on the work. These sites will likely take a cut of your proceeds. Others are more like a job board where projects are posted and you respond with a pitch letter and resume directly to the employer. Some sites to visit include Guru.com, Sologig.com and Elance.com, which cover all industries and areas, as well as Aquent.com, which specializes in the fields of marketing and creative services.
To learn more about finding projects for your small business, contact SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business.” SCORE is a nonprofit organization of more than 10,500 volunteer business counselors who provide free, confidential business counseling and training workshops to small business owners. Call (570) 851.1608 or visit www.scorescranton.org to contact the Greater Scranton Area SCORE Chapter.