Freelancer’s Free-For-All

Author: Bette Miles-Holleman

I think people with regular jobs have a sort of fantasy image of their freelance counterparts. Working from home, setting their own hours, no office politics, every day is casual dress, and no one is looking over your shoulder. It is all of those things, when the work is there. But let me tell you, for every hour spent working on a project means at least two hours canvassing for that work.

It’s the other edge of the freelance sword: finding enough work to keep you a freelancer! Most of the time I enjoy the thrill of the hunt, but there are times when it gets frenzied. It’s great if you can find the cherry, on-going gigs, but even those run out eventually, and you’re back at square one.

This is my game plan for holding things together when the going gets weird. I can’t say that it’s the expert freelancer’s guide, but it has helped me stay on track and focused with my freelance work.

Keep communication open. Join lots of relevant forums and boards in the fields you like to work in, not just job boards and networking sites, but boards relevant to the topics themselves. Educate yourself about those topics so you can express yourself intelligently and well.

Help others find work. Get an offer you can’t take for one reason or another? Pass it on to someone who can. Tell others about job prospects you come across if they don’t meet your needs, location or skill set. Once you build a reputation as a go to person for new projects, people will seek out your advice, and return the favor when they can. You can build a support system this way and gain extra feelers out there to help you find jobs as well.

Keep an updated to do list handy. Make a list of all the sites where you post your résumés, your blog(s), and any other media you’re using to get your name out there online. The fresher the content and input is on these sites not only keeps your rankings high on Google, it keeps you in touch with others who might be able to connect you to even more projects in the future.

Bette Miles-Holleman is a retail merchandiser, customer service analyst, model and stylist with over 25 years experience in the fashion industry.

She is also a wife, home school mom of 5, and a Squidoo evangelist.

In her spare time, Bette writes, knits, teaches, cooks, sings, lives and loves on the West Coast of the USA.


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