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Freelance - getting the work

just a quick one really, Im guessing there is a lot of freelance designers on here?
Without giving up your contact secrets how do you go about finding the work? or are you lucky enough for it to find you?
Im looking on putting more time back in to freelance work.
what methods do you use to find your work and how often do you get it?
any advice etc


Active Member
I've been lucky enough for it to find me. Anyone I've reached out to hasn't had any to offer, but projects seem to show up just as I need them.


Start with your family and friends, you'd be surprised what you might dig up. Everyone should know about what you do, your parents, their friends, their friends friends! I cannot tell you how much easier and more pleasant it is to work with someone who you know locally!
Almost every project I've done I've got from knowing someone or having my name referred, minus one job which I got from DF.
Family and friends is always a good place to start. Everyone knows someone who has their own business or side project etc, and nothing speaks higher of you than a personal recommendation.
After that I'd look at getting a bit of basic SEO work done and just see what traffic you can get through your site. Whilst this isn'tn a quick fix or a reliable one it's worth doing. In my first year I've had 4 or 5 enquiries through my site which have lead into projects.
Another good option I've found is Gumtree. Have a look on there for people looking for designers in your area, whilst most are a bunch of tight arsed penny pinching twats who don't offer payment or offer next to nothing, occasionally you get someone with a reasonable budget with their head in the real world. For the sake of a 10 minute search it can't do any harm.
The only other thing I've done of late is try and build up some on going relationships with agencies/organisations to undertake regular outsourced work from them.


I haven't used Gumtree, I might have a look at some point, but I've got enough work on at the moment!
So Simulator, how do you personally go about contacting these agencies and what steps do you think someone should take before attempting it? For example, do they often ask for portfolio pieces or want to see your website?
I've only approached a couple so far, as it's only recently that the work has slowed up a touch.
All I've done is email introducing myself, link to my work and my hourly rate ad average cost of projects and if they ever need any outsourcing then to please consider me. Said I'm local and can meet them face to face if they want to get to know me better etc to see if they think they could work with me.


Fair enough. If you had to guess, what do you think they might prioritise in someone who they outsource to?
Reliability and just whether or not they like you as a person I'd say. And that goes both ways, I wouldn't want to work for an agency that was poorly run, or was run by some pompous pricks...
Obviously cost is a factor as they will want to earn on the projects too, but there's no way most freelancers are charging even close to agency prices.


I note that you went down this path as a fall-back option, due to a lack of your own projects - would you now consider this a better option than perhaps you once did? Or do you still see it as a temporary thing?
I guess it has pros and cons, as with everything really. If I relied only on work from agencies I wouldn't feel as though as was self employed really, i'd just be an in-house designer working from home.
Ideally, for me anyway, I would like to work with on regularly just to have a steadier bit of income on top of the regular work I source myself.

Tony Hardy

I've gotten some work outsourced to me from a few graphic designers/local agencies. I don't find it as rewarding as sourcing the work myself. Also, being in direct contact with your clients is always a massive plus.


Active Member
All freelance work I have done is through friends. I have put business cards in local sandwich shop and got some business that way too, Thinking of getting some flyers made up to give more info.
Tony Hardy said:
I've gotten some work outsourced to me from a few graphic designers/local agencies. I don't find it as rewarding as sourcing the work myself. Also, being in direct contact with your clients is always a massive plus.
This is spot on, I done a job for a company through a Social Networking agency as their in-house guy was working on something else. As great as they were to work with, it was a bit of a pain having to discuss things through with them, then wait for them to go away and discuss these things with the client, then wait for the feedback. I'd much rather have the direct contact myself.