Finding Freelance Work


K

Kev Clarke

Member
#1
Morning All,

I am currently in a role as a graphic designer working in a small marketing department, the creative work seems to be drying up as the company grows more emphasis is put on growth and getting work done, out and onto the next job.

So i'm looking at where i can find the more interesting projects that i can complete in my spare time on a freelance/self employed basis for two reasons. First off i want to grow my portfolio so that i can move onto a job that will test me more, and secondly this will supplement my salary and help get on the property ladder.

I have a couple of recently completed personal projects and work for family/friends but i am after 'real' work that can attract new employers.

If anyone has any sites they use to find this sort of work or can shed some light on how they acquire new work this would be much appreciated.

I am registered on various sites where i can be contacted - but is there a site where individual jobs/tasks are listed that you can apply for (Logo design required, brand identity required etc...)
 
Stationery Direct

Stationery Direct

Administrator
Staff member
#2
Not sure what the others think but in my experience looking for work online will mainly find you customers that want to pay peanuts.

If it was me I would set up a website and advertise more locally, leaflet drop to businesses, networking groups, local paper ads are all cheap ways of getting your name out there.
 
scotty

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
#3
To be honest Kev, I don't think sites like that exist and if they did they'd soon become just like all the other crowdsourcing sites out there.

I was in the same place a number of years ago and what I did was starting to set myself projects that were the kind of thing I wanted to be doing which was illustration.
These were just to improve my skills and keep me sane at first but then I found some sites where I started to add my work and after a while I started to get interest and my first clients.

I think it depends on the kind of work you do and where the clients are (local or international).

I always think "do the kind of work you want to be doing and that will attract the right clients".
 
Paul Murray

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
#4
Not sure what the others think but in my experience looking for work online will mainly find you customers that want to pay peanuts.
This is pretty much it, there are a lot of sites out there where clients look for designers and so competition is fierce. You're much better off trying to find local clients, or making yourself easy to find when clients (local or otherwise) have a need for what you can offer.
 
scotty

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
#5
This is pretty much it, there are a lot of sites out there where clients look for designers and so competition is fierce. You're much better off trying to find local clients, or making yourself easy to find when clients (local or otherwise) have a need for what you can offer.
I think even if a site was invented to be a fair freelancing site then it would just naturally go the way of the others as people would pitch lower and lower and potential clients would expect this.

This is probably why there isn't one.
 
Paul Murray

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
#6
I think you're right. I've even had a client in the past email myself as well as another designer at the same time (he was copied in) asking me to quote for a job. I made an excuse about being too busy and passed on the work, I didn't like the way they were essentially asking me to out-price them. If pricing is the only thing that differentiates you from a competitor then you're always going to either have to price lower or lose work to someone that will.
 
fisicx

fisicx

Active Member
#7
I keep putting my prices up and I keep getting work. But it helps if you have a skill or product that seperates you from the crowd. For example one guy I know only does exhibition posters - those huge great banners things that hang from the ceiling. Because everyone knows him he's the go to person when they want a new banner.
 
A

angelinamark2012

New Member
#8
Social media is the would be freelancer's best friend. Your favorite social network can be your personal website, free advertising, and electronic business card, all rolled into one. You can leverage your existing social media presence by quietly announcing to certain connections that you're looking for work, or post a general notice on your own profile that you're now accepting freelance clients.
 
Paul Murray

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
#9
Social media is the would be freelancer's best friend. Your favorite social network can be your personal website, free advertising, and electronic business card, all rolled into one. You can leverage your existing social media presence by quietly announcing to certain connections that you're looking for work, or post a general notice on your own profile that you're now accepting freelance clients.
100% of my client are not on social media, or at least their social media accounts are not operated by the person/persons I work with. Social media can work for certain people, but design is a business service, and B2B services generally don't market well on social media. Can't hurt to try though.
 
Levi

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
#10
Social media is the would be freelancer's best friend. Your favorite social network can be your personal website, free advertising, and electronic business card, all rolled into one. You can leverage your existing social media presence by quietly announcing to certain connections that you're looking for work, or post a general notice on your own profile that you're now accepting freelance clients.
Um, I'm like Paul Murray in as much as my clients aren't from social media either... plus I can't put any work up on social media because I have non disclosure to consider, not to mention I don't agree with their 'ownership' of any work we post on them.

While I'm sure it can work for some people, don't assume it will work for everyone.
 
Mikomiji

Mikomiji

New Member
#11
For graphic design it doesn’t hurt to print out a few flyers/business cards and advertise yourself in that manner, as well as online. Many people have neglected this method but I found it very useful after graduating from University. I was reached out to by social clubs, sports events, and local businesses.

Make some small flyers and ask shops if they will take a pile to display on their counter and offer them a few discount vouchers in exchange. Never ask for window advertisement as it could come across as cheeky using their business/building purely to advertise your own, whilst taking up space in their window. Attending meetings and exchanging contact details with as many people as you can is also a good way to get some work. Aim to meet people who are setting up their own businesses, or planning on arranging an event which needs advertising.

Being on good terms with local businesses can really help here, so ask in places where you are a regular customer/client. Good luck!
 
Paul Murray

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
#12
Make some small flyers and ask shops if they will take a pile to display on their counter and offer them a few discount vouchers in exchange.
I was trying to advertise a local Christmas makers market using this approach, and had real trouble finding stores to take flyers in. The majority were chain stores that didn't want to be seen to be affiliated with a local, non-profit event. Even charity shops and churches refused, which I was surprised about.
 
fisicx

fisicx

Active Member
#13
They don’t want to be associated with a supplier who may not be trustworthy.

What can work is talking to people. I buy things from shops, go to cafes and other retailers and talk to them. It’s got me loads of work over the years.
 
Mikomiji

Mikomiji

New Member
#14
I was trying to advertise a local Christmas makers market using this approach, and had real trouble finding stores to take flyers in. The majority were chain stores that didn't want to be seen to be affiliated with a local, non-profit event. Even charity shops and churches refused, which I was surprised about.
That is a good point. I live in a small town where I'm very well known, so asking cafes/newsagents/pubs to just have some flyers for me wasn't an issue (most pubs here have flyers advertising all kinds of things.)

OP: If you have already done some freelancing, get some good reviews to show people. Otherwise I'd recommend meeting people who are looking to start businesses etc. Warning - ALWAYS take a deposit from these clients up front. When I started out, I had people commission me for work which I started on, only to contact me a week or so later saying they weren't going to be starting up their business after all.

The idea of talking to people is great though! Make sure you have some business cards with you at all times :)
 
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