This article is written by Quin Hoskins. Having studied law and several science-related subjects at degree level, this has provided him with the perfect foundation to cover an eclectic range of topics in his freelance writing career. From the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs to countless travel sites, he is proud to be associated with companies and organizations that are definitely at the top of their game. The flexibility of his freelance writing business allows him to devote a significant proportion of his time to study and is finishing his last course – out of 6 – towards his LLB (Hons) this year. He is also an avid traveler and has proudly visited 40 other countries to date, with much more planned for the future.
Whether you are brand new to the world of freelancing or a veteran stalwart, like me, when it comes to sourcing new and repeat work, there are a few golden rules that must always be borne in mind. The chances are that as soon as you take your eye off the ball in this regard, work will start to dry up quicker than you could ever imagine.
On a personal level, even though I have been working as a freelancer for over 8 years now, and I am pretty good at what I do, there are still times when I neglect to adhere to the most important pieces of advice when sourcing work and I notice how enquiries and orders start to thin out very quickly. So let's take a look at some of the proactive ways for freelancers to secure work.
Sourcing New Work
If you are sourcing work for the first time as a freelancer, the following advice could be the most valuable you ever encounter on any platforms that are devoted to this subject. When responding to a job post, be sure to read it carefully to ascertain exactly what the client is looking for. In fact, especially if you are new to this industry, quickly jot down a few bullet points of the main criteria the client is seeking.
In your cover letter to the client, it is vitally important you address these points above anything else. Furthermore, make sure you deal with the client’s requirements as early on in the cover letter as you can. Don’t be tempted to waffle about other aspects that you think the client may be interested in; grab their attention as quickly as possible and give them the incentive to keep on reading.
Only Handle Projects You Feel Confident With
As a freelancer, you are likely to be subject to dreaded reviews! Therefore, you really do need to ensure that any work you take on, you will be able to complete to the highest possible standard. Don’t be overly ambitious or arrogant about your level of competence. Whilst you will find that the vast majority of clients are fair and just with their reviews, there is a small percentage of clients that are highly critical in their reviews and will think nothing of leaving a rating that could literally destroy your chances on that platform of securing further work. Be especially mindful of new clients on these sites, as, in my experience, they can get carried away with their reviews and feel that they themselves have more to prove – sometimes to your detriment.
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Keeping That Work Coming
In order to ensure you have a steady flow of work coming in, try to advertise your services through as many platforms as possible. Over time, you will come to appreciate which are the most fruitful when it comes to securing work.
As a more experienced freelancer, there will still be times when things become quieter. This is when you should look back over past, successful projects and perhaps drop the client a quick and polite line to see if they have any requirements for your service. If things are especially quiet, you might like to think about applying a discount – for whatever you can afford – to secure an order.
I’m not going to lie to you, working as a freelancer is actually very tough and you can never afford to take your eye off the ball. By following some of the proactive suggestions above, hopefully, you will stand a far better chance of becoming a genuine success in your freelance business.
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