Landing a Freelancing Gig - It's All in the First Impression!
I've done quite a few posts in the past years where I give advice on hiring freelancers and contractors, so I thought I would share some advice to the freelancers on how to improve your chances of landing a specific freelance job. I'll talk a bit about many of the obvious things such as training & certification, experience, etc, but also I'm going to touch on something that is often missed - personality.
Who Do You Think You Are?
How you present yourself to your prospective employer will be determined by either:
- Who you think you are, or
- Who you pretend to be based on who you think they are looking for
Don't try and shape yourself to your perception of the prospects need. In a freelance relationship you will get to know the client quickly and they will get to know you as well. Any facade you create early in the relationship will crumble quickly. Be comfortable with who you are, even if you are a work in progress. You may be surprised how often you'll be a fit with your client just as you are.
Work for the Right Clients
Clients are like anyone else in your life - some will fit and others will not. Look for the clients that you work with well and spend more time nurturing these relationships. The best way to deal with a freelancer/client mismatch is to avoid it in the first place. Spend more time analyzing whether THE CLIENT is a fit rather than the specific project. In my freelance days, I took on a terrible ColdFusion emergency fix/move/rebuild project for way too little money because I really liked the client, he ended up moving nearly all of his development work to me over time and it was a fun and easy relationship.
Finding Great Clients
Of course, there are quite a few freelance systems out there where you can post your availability. I'll rate them based on my experience:
- Guru - serious buyers, serious coders. I've had the most positive interactions on Guru
- VWorker - Many serious buyers, many serious coders, but you'll need to really filter.
- oDesk - I'm still working on finding a win on this system. It seems like a solid setup, I've just not found the right mix yet. Feedback is welcome.
When you respond to a job that has been posted, place your phone number at the beginning and end of the response. Most clients prefer to speak with you. If you get on the phone with the client and you practice some good communications skills, you are virtually guaranteed the gig (if you want it, remember you are also interviewing the client for a fit).
What this all being said... Upward Brand Interactions is a great client and a friend to freelancers. We are a great client for the following reasons:
- We have a great internal interactive team, so you are not "on your own" to figure things out
- You'll work with our coders who are reasonable and super-smart
- We have a freelance manager who gets why you freelance and understands it's a two-way value
- We have experience project managers who understand the discipline and will set you up to win every time
- We pay very well because we know great partners are hard to find and are worth taking care of
Give us a call or shoot us an email if you're looking for a partner - we're always excited about new partnerships