As you know I’ve been on a quest to streamline my client list with the help of my online biz coach, Carrie at Careful Cents (hey girl, heyyy 😉 ).
During the process I’ve weeded out jobs that don’t pay very well or I don’t enjoy doing. I still have room for a few new clients which I’m actually excited about. As I start to connect with new prospects, I finally feel comfortable negotiating terms that benefit me.
I’ve always seen other freelancers say when one work relationship ends another better client pops up. I honestly never believed it, but in my experience that really is the case – that is if you always keep your marketing hat on.
Now I must admit, I’ve cut my client list in the past before finding new biz which is a risk that I don’t recommend anyone take. But that’s why I decided to take on a handy part-time job… it allows me to keep pointing my biz in the right direction so I can avoid jobs that don’t fit into the vision just to pay the bills.
So, What’s My Favorite Way to Get Freelance Gigs?
First, I want to emphasis that quality is king.
Landing any and every gig is awesome at first (I know from experience), but at some point you want to focus on the right jobs that pay the right amount of moolah.
I’ve studied my client list and discovered that the clients that I like working with the most and who pay me the most are not found on job boards.
However, I do believe job boards are a great place to gain some experience and to hunt for diamonds in the ruff a handful of times a month. But generally, applying to a job post always seems to put me at a disadvantage.
It seems much harder to negotiate contract terms with people who post gigs on job boards because they get FLOODED with applications. Why negotiate with me when they can move to the next applicant that’ll do everything they ask without question?
Get where I’m going here….?
So at the end of the day my best gigs are either referrals or I’ve found them on……**(drum roll please)**
I’m serious… I land some great gigs cold-tweeting. Whether you’re a freelance writer, photography, hairstylist or any sort of other hustler this model can work for you.
The logic behind it is pretty simple.
If a person or business follows you on Twitter (or any social media profile for that matter) it probably means they’re at least mildly interested in what you do or say and want you to follow back.
I scan the profiles of my new followers on Twitter and then their website to see if they have a blog. If it looks like a good lead, I make an introduction and sent them a personalized message through Twitter.
When I started seeking gigs a year ago, this is how I landed my first virtual assistant job and built relationships that have turned into paid work. My standard tweet template is super simple too.
I mean I can only use 140 characters, right?
Thanks for connecting with me, love your site! If you’re ever in need of a freelance writer [virtual assistant, photographer, hairstylist, wedding planner, web designer, etc.] let me know!
I may personalize it a little here and there if I have enough characters. Of course, this is only to get a prospect to bite. After a conversation starts I retrieve an email to send them a link to the good old blog or writing samples.
Does everyone respond, heck no. But when they do it nearly always turns into $$$ or a good connection.
Why Twitter is Brilliant for Freelancers
Twitter is the bee’s knees because it takes your pitch straight to the source.
How many times have you wanted to pitch your services but you’re not sure who to contact? *Raises hand*
If you message someone on Twitter the likelihood of you connecting right away with a decision maker or someone who will point you in the right direction is greater. I mean think about it… a social media manager is a good first level of contact for many freelancers… content strategists, writers, web designers, photographers, PR reps, you name it.
Social media managers know whether or not their business needs someone like you.
Heck, they could be the one that has the power to hire you.
And even if your hustle is offline, Twitter is still an excellent way to make a connection.
The Key to Getting This to Work
We’ve all gotten our fair share of automated replies from people on Twitter, so it’s safe to say we all know how ridiculously annoying it is for one reason – everyone’s getting the same damn message.
I DO NOT automate my messages.
Instead I vet each site looking for signs that they may be in need of someone who does what I do. For instance, if a site peaks my interest and it already has multiple writers, that’s a clue that they accept writers and may be open to bringing more on board. If a site sells a product and has a blog that’s in need of some TLC it’s a sign to me they may need help.
And there’s only one way to find out!
Other Ways to Land Clients
I send out cold-pitches to sites I like and ask for referrals from current clients. I do occasionally go on job boards, but only to apply for jobs that match the type of work I want to do 100%.
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