• Alexander Lewis

11 Ways to Find Freelance Jobs (Yes, Even Now)

Updated: 7 days ago

Your skills may be more needed than ever.

Despite how grim things appear on the news and social media right now, there are still many businesses and people across the world who need to hire creative talent.

Not all industries are suffering. At the same speed that some companies have lost revenue in recent weeks, others like Zoom, Clorox, and Blue Apron have watched their numbers completely skyrocket. 

You know what that means? 

This is your opportunity to find, pitch, and partner with companies who are in desperate need of flexible, on-demand talent. And if you’re going to stand out among the growing freelance competition, you’ll have to know where to find jobs or how to create them.

Here are 11 places you can find freelance work, even during a global economic crisis.

1. Browse social media search engines

Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can be great places to find additional freelance work. Think about it: where do you and your friends go when they want recommendations? You turn to your network.

Search phrases you think you’d use if you were looking for creative talent among your network. Here are just a few ideas:

  • “Looking for a freelance [insert skill]”

  • “Hiring a freelance [insert skill]”

  • “Please recommend your favorite freelance [Insert skill]”

  • “We need a part-time contract [insert skill]”

  • “Tag your go-to freelance [insert skill]”

These are just a handful of simple search queries that crossed my mind. There are probably dozens more. Try multiple variations until you find a few projects you can apply for.

2. Join industry-specific Facebook Groups

Go to the Facebook search bar. Type the name of the industry you’d like to serve. Browse the results by groups.

Join a handful of the most popular groups in industries you’d like to serve. Become active in these groups, asking questions, answering queries, and becoming a top conversation starter in the community.

When someone eventually makes a post looking for your expertise, respond kindly with your portfolio and contact information. I’ve received many projects this way over the years. In fact, I’ve gained two strong leads this way even since COVID-19.

3. Find growing markets

Cold pitch your way into the most popular industries.

Going back to what I touched on in the intro, the news makes it seem like every industry and business is suffering right now. But it’s simply not true. For some businesses, their biggest problem is not having enough resources to keep up with booming demand. 

That’s your opportunity to outsource your creativity and productivity. 

What position does your ideal customer hold in their company? Are they the marketing director? Chief marketing officer? Lead developer? 

Track down the person who holds that position in a company you’d like to work with. Send that person a kind email to let them know you’re available to help their team if they need to outsource some of the work.

4. Tap into your network

Work with people who already trust you and know your skills. 

People in your network might be more likely to hire you for a project simply because you’re not a stranger. But they can’t hire you if they don’t know you’re available for projects. 

Announce your availability and expertise on social media. Email all your former clients. Contact people in your network who could reasonably benefit from your expertise.

You never know who may be hiring.

5. Tie your income to results

There’s a lot to be scared about right now. People are hesitant to take any unnecessary risks with their money.

As a result, many companies are cutting their budgets in an effort to outlast the current economic storm.

But these companies also still need sales to stay afloat. They need customers. 

If fear is a factor for your ideal clients, try to take it off the table. Find companies whose marketing you know you can improve — then prove it.

Instead of charging an exact fee for your work, pitch companies on a split-earnings agreement. If you can rewrite their homepage copy and increase conversions by 30%, for example, then ask the company for a chance to prove yourself. If your copy performs better than their old copy, the agreement will say that you collect a certain percentage of all sales over the previous average per-day sale. 

I’ll try to make that last sentence less complicated using an example. Let’s say their company normally converts five new customers per day. If you can increase that to 10 conversions, then the company may agree to a revenue split for those last five sales. 

6. Teach your skills

The world is self-quarantined. To me, that means there are a lot of bored, unproductive people out there looking for something to do.

Instead of exclusively selling your services to businesses, you can teach your expertise— design, copywriting, coding — online.

Here are a few ways to find potential customers:

  • Announce your classes or one-on-one training on social media

  • Contact media outlets in your industry to ask if they’ll share your courses with their audience for a referral bonus

  • Publish relevant, helpful content and let readers or viewers know that you offer personal coaching

  • Create online events using EventBrite and similar websites

  • Create video tutorials for paying websites like Udemy and Skillshare

7. Try freelance sites

I hesitated even including this one. This point is fairly obvious and most freelance sites are probably very competitive right now. Still, these sites may offer good opportunities.

The key to pitching businesses on sites like Upwork, Thumbtack, and Freelancer: Talk about the customer more than you talk about yourself.

Most freelancers tailor their pitches to be all about themselves. “I’ve done this, worked on that, and collaborated with this company.”

From the company’s perspective, after browsing 10+ pitches, they all start to sound the same.

The freelancer who stands out is the one who names the client’s problem and then states clearly how they’ll solve it. If you’re going to beat the other freelance pitches, show the customer how you’ll solve their problem.

At the very least, you’ll stand out.

8. Go local

The web has made the world more connected than ever. This means you can pitch clients across the world. It also means you’re competing against a world full of freelancers.

Unless, of course, you focus locally.