10 Strategies to Get Freelance Jobs: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Clients

Finding Freelance Jobs doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, we’ve created a list of sources you can access right now to start searching:

Now, here are 10 powerful and proven strategies you can use today to finding freelance jobs and clients within 24-48 hours:

  1. Facebook Post
  2. Facebook Groups
  3. LinkedIn Groups
  4. Advanced Twitter Search
  5. Reddit Search
  6. Forums Strategy
  7. Local Meetup Groups
  8. Craigslist Strategy
  9. Target Local Business
  10. 3 Foot Rule

1. Post on Facebook telling friends and family what you are doing

Finding freelance jobs on Facebook can be simple and takes just a few minutes.

If you have a Facebook account, simply use the following post template to let your friends and family know that you are looking to help people with what you do:

“Hi friends and family! I would love your help. Is you or someone you know looking to get <what they get>? I decided recently to start offering <your skill> to help <who you help> get <what they get>. If you know someone, send me a message or tag someone who may be interested. Thanks in advance!” 

Example:

“Hi friends and family! I would love your help. Is you or someone you know looking to get engagement photos? I decided recently to start offering engagement photography to help soon to be married couples get beautiful engagement photos the will remember forever. If you know someone, send me a message or tag someone who may be interested. Thanks in advance!”

People love helping others, so if you ask for help and put it out in the public, you’d be surprised who will step up to refer someone or tell you they want your services. Don’t over think it, just post it and see what happens 🙂

2. Join Facebook groups where your potential clients hang out

Another powerful strategy is to finding freelance jobs on Facebook is with Facebook Groups. Just search out groups where your potential clients hang out. You can search thousands of groups on Facebook here:

http://facebook.com/groups

Some will be private only, but there are many you can request to join.

The key is to join groups where your clients would be, and to contribute valuable content in those groups WITHOUT being spammy.

Example:

If I was a user interface designer, I could search on Facebook for “startups”

finding freelance jobs on facebook

This brings up a list of groups you could join full of people that are likely building startups. These are people who would definitely be considering the need of a designer for their apps or products.

In this one group “Austin Startups” they have 11,288 members. That’s 11,288 potential clients. Not a bad start.

finding freelance jobs groups

This can be done in almost any freelance category too.

Let’s pretend I am a wedding photographer…

My target audience is brides, so I’ll do a quick search for groups where brides will hang out…

This search brings up lots of groups. If I scroll I can find at least a few with more than a thousand members.

facebook-groups

Ideally if you serve local customers, join local groups only or else you won’t be able to help them out. If you serve customers everywhere you can join almost any group!

So, join these groups and introduce yourself if possible. Remember don’t be spammy, no one likes spammers.

You also want to contribute to the posts people have. Look for posts where people are asking for help, they may even be offering something you can help with.

Here’s an example

facebook post freelancing

And another one…

facebook post example

These are just examples but there are lots of opportunities in groups if you start looking. Don’t underestimate the power of Facebook groups, I have made thousands of dollars using this exact strategy.

3. Join and contribute to LinkedIn groups where clients hang out

If you offer services to businesses, another great source for finding freelance jobs is using LinkedIn groups.

Following a similar process we did for Facebook groups we can search and find groups where your ideal clients will be hanging out.

Let’s use the same example of being a designer looking to work with startups.

If I search LinkedIn for groups I can see there are quite a few…

finding freelance jobs on linkedin

Clicking the first one OnStartups, I can see they have over 500,000 members!

On Startups The Community For Entrepreneurs

That is a lot of entrepreneurs I can help with my services.

Again don’t be that spammy guy or gal. Contribute to peoples posts, add valuable content that helps them out, and be helpful. You will quickly be seen as an expert in the group and people will start to reach out.

Here’s a good example of someone who offers copywriting services, adding a valuable article to the group:

linkedin post example

This strategy is very powerful if you help businesses. You can immediately start joining groups that will help you start networking online with your potential clients.

4. Use Twitter advanced search

Twitter’s advanced search tool is a powerful, targeted method for finding freelance jobs and clients.

First go to Twitter’s Advanced Search tool.

Now lets do a search…

Under This exact phrase enter “I need a”, then put your service under Any of these words…here’s an example I did for web design…

finding freelance jobs on twitter

Here’s the results that immediately came up…

finding freelance jobs on twitter search result

I can see there are dozens of posts as I scroll also with people that need a web designer.

Next, I would simply message them asking them to PM me if they still need help.

It’s a gold mine! And it never stops working.

Don’t believe me? Here’s an example of a real search I did using this exact process to find someone who needed web design help back in 2014…

Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 4.49.13 PM

You can use this strategy to search for potential clients locally in your area. Let’s say again that I am a wedding photographer, I can search for people in my local area by using the location feature…

twitter search local

This is what I get…immediately I can see one person that needs a photographer. He may be a bit old and stale by now since he posted it in 2013, but if you search daily you may find them as they happen.

-I need a wedding OR photographer lang en near Florida USA within 15mi Twitter Search

Here are some other search ideas we can put in…

  • i wish there was
  • why isn’t there
  • is there a(n) _________ way 
  • is there an _________ 
  • solve this problem
  • why hasn’t anybody
  • solve this problem
  • does anyone know how to
  • pain in the ass
  • i need a
  • Do you know a

Feel free to get creative! What would your audience be searching for?

5. Use Reddit Search

Reddit is a large place to find all sorts of things. One great thing about reddit is that it’s separated into very niched categories called subreddits that we can go into and talk with our potential clients and for finding freelance jobs.

They have a subreddit specifically for hiring freelancers, which is a good place to start: Reddit Freelancer for Hire

Let’s say you can’t find any work there, you can search other subreddits. Just be careful not to seem like a spammer, and read the rules of each group.

For example, if I was a freelance wedding photographer, I could use Reddit Search to look for wedding subreddits to start contributing and posting to.

First, lets search for our keyword “wedding”:

finding freelance jobs on reddit sample search

If I scroll down to the bottom I can see Reddit suggests various subreddits I can look at…

wedding subreddits

I could click the r/weddingplanning to see what posts are being made in there. When I do that, I can see clearly in the guidelines / rules it says no advertising or spamming.

weddingplanning search results

So what can we do?

We can search for posts of users specifically that need help related to what we do and contribute.

Go back to advance search and enter the following string…

“subreddit:<keyword> selftext:<yourservice>”

Example:

finding freelance jobs on reddit

We now can see a variety of posts that are a bit more specific to what we offer. Specifically, the post titled “Question from a wedding photographer: would this bother you?” We can see it was allowed, and has 66 comments. As long as you don’t post spam, and it doesn’t seem like you are advertising the moderators should allow it.

Then you can directly message anyone who shows some type of interest in your services. Click their username and send a PM.

Let’s look at another example.

Doing another search for “subreddits:startups selftext:designer”, I found this post:

logo designer freelance reddit

I could then message the original poster like so…

reddit-freelance-search

Again, be creative. There are many ways to use Reddit’s search to find freelance work around the world no matter what you offer.

6. Participate in Forums where your ideal clients hang out

Similar to what we did in groups earlier with Facebook and LinkedIn to finding freelance jobs we can search online forums.

There are probably thousands of niche specific forums on the internet.

In our example, let’s say I want to target entrepreneurs that I can help with my services.

Let’s speed up our search by using our good friend Google…

finding freelance jobs on forums for entrepreneurs

Now I can see a few results, but I will choose the fastlaneforum which looks promising. On the fastlane forum I can see they have over 29,000 members:

The Fastlane Forum Entrepreneur and Startup Discussion

This seems like a great place to start (and in fact I know it’s a great forum to find entrepreneurs).

Now I can use the forums search tools to find people that want some design services similar to what we did earlier on Twitter and Reddit.

web designer help search

Doing this brings me this result…and I found someone who wants some web design help…

Search Results for Query web designer help The Fastlane Forum Entrepreneur and Startup Discussion

I could easily reach out to the original post in a private message and find out if he still needs help.

Can’t find more forums? Use this free tool called Board Reader.

startup designer board

Make sure to set your desire board language also to avoid seeing boards that don’t you won’t understand.

This will help you find various forums you can target to join.

7. Go to Local Meetup events

Finding freelance jobs can also be done locally. If you want to network locally to get local clients, Meetup is an amazing resource. In just a few minutes you can find local events where you can meet people that you can serve with your freelance services.

Again, go to where your ideal client will be.

If I want to target business owners again I could go to some local business meetups…

finding freelance jobs on meetup

If I we’re a fitness photographer I could go to a local fitness event…

finding freelance jobs on meetup sample

There are many categories to choose from, so just explore them and see where you might find your ideal client…you may even want to join local meetups with other people in the same business as you so you can share in referrals or get ideas on what’s working for others.

finding freelance jobs on meetup categories

8. Search the Craigslist job sections

Craigslist is another source for finding freelance jobs locally.

To start, go to your city, then check out the gigs sections…

finding freelance jobs on craigslist

Of course, with craigslist you will find some crappy posts like these…

craigslist-posts2

So instead we want to narrow down our search…craigslist-creative gigs wedding photographer craigslist

Much better!

Now we simply send a email or call the person who posted the gig and see if we can get them to contact us.

Do not try and sell the whole gig in your first message, you just want to get them to email you back.

Example message:

“Hi I came across your craigslist ad, and believe I can help you.

I’m a <your service>

Please let me know any further details, and what you are looking for specifically to get help with.

Thanks and I look forward to your reply!

Best,

<Your name>”

This should at least get us a conversation rather than do what most people do and try and sell them in the first message.

Craigslist can be a good source, it’s where I started in my early days, but you may not find quality gigs often. Just takes time to keep checking for potential freelance work but it can produce results.

9. Reach Out to Local Businesses

Local businesses can make great clients for freelance work. Finding freelance jobs through local businesses can pay very well too!

When I first started, I began to grow quickly once I started targeting local business owners.

You can download our top 100 local business niches here.

Once you know who you want to target, you can start looking for them. We can use Meetup again to do this or attend your local chamber of commerce events.

Another great source is Yelp.

Let’s say we want to target Dentists…If we search dentists a few listings come up. One thing to note is there are dentists ads at the top. 

finding freelance jobs on yelp

These are the dentists we want to target first.

Why? They are paying for ads!

This means they have money AND they understand the importance of paying to market their business. This means they would be open to investing in their business by hiring you.

Now we can call the business directly or message them directly from Yelp. Instead we will find out who the owner is and email him directly!

Let’s check the website for an email…in my quick check I can see they have their email right on the website…because it’s a gmail email it probably is a personal email of the owner or staff member and I have a good chance of reaching someone in charge.

email

If there are no emails, use the website or Yelp to find the owner’s name….

yelp-biz-owner

Now we need his email, so let’s use a neat tool called AnyEmailFinder. We’ll enter his name and his website domain…

anyemailfinder-search

Doing this came up with nothing unfortunately. This is likely because he is using his personal gmail email that we found earlier.

Now we can email the local business owner the following:

Subject: Looking for a <business type> in <yourcity>

Hi (NAME),

I am impressed with you.

I am a <what you do> conducting some research with 50 of the best [Insert Niche]. That’s why I’m contacting you.

Would you be open to a phone-call so I can ask you some quick questions? I’d like to understand the biggest pains and problems you face and potentially help to solve them.

Kind Regards,
(YOUR NAME)
———–
(YOUR FULL NAME)
(YOUR MOBILE NUMBER)
(YOUR LINKEDIN OR FACEBOOK LINK)
(YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS)

Example:

Subject: Looking for a dentist in Miami

Hi Jorge,

I am impressed with you.

I am a illustrator conducting some research with 50 of the best Dentists. That’s why I’m contacting you.

Would you be open to a phone-call so I can ask you some quick questions? I’d like to understand the biggest pains and problems you face and potentially help to solve them.

Kind Regards,
John Smith
———–
John Smith
555-555-5555
http://linkedin.com/johnsmith
johnsmith@gmail.com

The goal of this email is not to sell them our services or pitch them. Instead we just want to get them to open it, and touch on their ego of being the top business in their niche (they we’re at the top of Yelp after all). We are doing research on their business (we really are looking to find out how to help them). We are also mentioning what we do in there so that we can start placing seeds in their mind of how they can benefit from working with us.

Emailing businesses is a numbers game. It will take many emails before you get a good business on board, but just one good business can be gold.

Landing a single dentist, as an example could earn you thousands a month.

To speed up your emailing and track if they are being open you can use a powerful tool called ToutApp. It will help you automate your emailing if you are going to use this method to target lots of business owners, and is highly recommended to save time.

10. 3 Foot Rule

The last method in our guide for finding freelance jobs online and offline is to use a simple strategy called the “3 Foot Rule”. I learned this powerfully simple strategy from a very successful million dollar business owner.

Here’s how it works:

  • When you are talking to someone, anyone, ask them what they do first.
  • After they tell you, in return, they will ask what you do.
  • Tell them what you do without selling
  • Do this with everyone within 3 feet of you.
  • Repeat

It’s simple, effective and will make sure everyone knows what you do. You are not pitching them or selling them, but you are showing interest first in them, and then in return getting the opportunity to make them aware of what you do.

Even if they don’t need your services they will now be aware of what you do the next time they do need it, or if someone they know needs it.

They may even ask for more info, such as a business card or just your phone number.

That’s it for now! Phew!

This was a long post (over 2800 words), but hopefully this guide to finding freelance jobs has been helpful for you and will prove to bring you at least 1 new client within the next 24-48 hours.

Start from the top, pick 1 method and focus on it. If it doesn’t work after a few attempts, feel free to try the other methods.

If you take action it will be very hard for you NOT to find a new client, practically impossible.

And of course leave a comment below with your thoughts. I will do my best to answer every comment.

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