How to Find Freelancing Jobs (5 Ways)

As a beginner freelancer, one of the first questions you’ll have is, “How do I find freelancing jobs?” The good news is, there are lots of ways to find your first freelancing job online! In this article, we look at the most popular ones and give you our top tips for finding freelancing jobs.

How to find freelancing jobs:

  1. Freelance marketplaces
  2. Freelance job boards
  3. Your existing network
  4. Cold pitching
  5. Social media and newsletters

How to Find Freelancing Jobs

1. Freelance Marketplaces

Online freelance marketplaces are one of the most popular ways to find freelance jobs, especially for beginners. These platforms connect freelancers with clients needing a job done across a range of industries. As a freelancer, you can create a profile or gigs for potential clients to view, and you can also apply for projects advertised by clients.

Fiverr is one of the best online marketplaces for beginners. Some other popular freelance marketplaces include:

  • Upwork
  • People Per Hour
  • Flexjobs

Keep in mind that the rates on freelancing job sites can be low, given the level of competition for work. Job sites also charge a fee for their service, usually based on a percentage of the project’s price. But these platforms are a good way to build your portfolio, gain some experience, and find your first clients.

Fiverr home page showing a button to become a seller on the platform.
Fiverr is a great way to find jobs as a beginner freelancer

2. Freelance Job Boards

It’s also work checking out freelance job boards, where clients post specific job ads. Some of the most popular job boards for freelancers are:

  • ProBlogger
  • Freelance Writing Gigs
  • Solid Gigs (subscription-based)
  • Indeed
  • Remotive

Like online marketplaces, there’s a lot of competition for the projects advertised on job boards. But they often pay higher rates than freelancing marketplaces and it’s a good way to find long-term clients. They’re also useful places to look for work once you’ve figured out your niche.

ProBlogger freelance writer job board showing available jobs.
ProBlogger is one of the most popular job boards for freelance writers

3. Your Existing Network

When you’re wondering how to find freelancing jobs, it’s easy to forget to look at your existing network to see if there are any potential clients there. Make a list of all the organisations you’ve previously worked for. Can you reach out to someone there to see if they might need your freelance services? Also think about the people you’ve worked with in the past. If they’ve since moved to another organisation, then reach out to them to find out what they’re up to and whether they work with freelancers.

And don’t forget to reach out to friends and family. Even if the answer is no, you’ve let them know what services you’re offering. So, if they need a freelancer in the future, or know someone else that might, you’ll be the first person they think of!

4. Cold Pitching

You don’t have to wait around for an advertised gig to put your hand up for it. Cold pitching or cold emailing involves reaching out to a business that you would like to work with and asking if they have any need for your services.

If you’re unsure how to do this, there’s lots of help available online. Established freelancers share their tips and tricks for cold pitching and even offer template emails you can customise. This approach can feel a little daunting at first and the response rate can be low. But it pays off big time when you do get a positive response and find yourself working with a dream client!

5. Social Media and Newsletters

Start following other freelancers in your industry or niche on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Fellow freelancers know what’s it like when you’re first starting out. They will often repost job alerts they come across or use social media to call out for freelancers when they’re unable to take on more work.

Like social media, newsletters are also a good way to keep up to date with freelance opportunities. For example, Freelance Writing Jobs by Sian Meades-Williams and The Writer’s Job Newsletter are weekly newsletters that round up the latest paid freelance writing gigs. Do your own research too, to find out if there are similar newsletters in your specific industry or niche. They provide you with a curated selection of relevant opportunities, saving you a lot of the leg work.

But whichever method you use to find a freelancing job, there are a few things to keep in mind while you’re looking. Let’s take a closer look.

5 Tips to Find Freelancing Jobs With Ease

1. Have a Portfolio

Regardless of how you find freelance jobs, it’s essential to have an online portfolio. A portfolio allows you to showcase the best examples of your work and easily share them with potential clients. You don’t need any web design skills to create a portfolio. There are plenty of online tools and portfolio builders that walk you through the process.

Contently portfolio maker and job marketplace.
Contently is a free portfolio maker that also functions as a platform freelance writers can use to find work

You also don’t need any previous clients to build a portfolio. If you’re an absolute beginner, create some practice pieces. Write a blog article on a topic you’re interested in or design the landing page of a fictitious business. If you make it clear these samples are for portfolio purposes only, there’s nothing wrong with using them as examples of your work.

2. Don’t Dwell On Rejection

Rejection is a fact of freelancing life. For every opportunity you land, you’ll miss out on 10 others. But don’t let this stop you from pursuing a freelancing career! Rejection is rarely personal. There might be someone else who is just a better fit, who has quoted slightly less than you, or has worked with the client before.

Finding a freelancing job is a numbers game. The more you apply for, the more likely you are to get one. And once you get the first one, and make an excellent job of it, it’s easier to get the next one. Rather than dwelling on rejection, use it as a motivating factor for your pitching!

3. Be Open to Feedback

At the same time, it’s important to take constructive feedback on board when a client offers it. Keep track of the feedback you receive, both positive and negative. The positive feedback is useful for testimonials on your website or portfolio. It’s also good to look at when you’re having a wobbly moment and need a bit of a confidence boost!

Constructive criticism is equally useful in terms of identifying ways you can improve your service and practices. A client might offer a perspective on your work that you hadn’t thought of before or suggest a different way to do things. When a client takes the time to provide constructive feedback, make the most of it and use their comments to improve your skills and grow your business.

4. Be Professional

As a freelancer, the quality of your dealings with your clients is as important as the quality of the work itself. Stay professional and respectful throughout these interactions, including with potential clients. A big part of this is ensuring clear and responsive communication. You don’t need to reply within minutes of receiving an email, but you should do so within one business day at the latest.

Good client communication allows you to manage expectations and fully understand your client’s needs. It also enhances the client’s overall experience of working with you and helps you build long-term client relationships.

5. Focus On Quality Over Quantity

With the proliferation of freelancing work on freelance marketplaces and job boards, there can sometimes be an incentive to emphasise quantity over quality. Especially as a beginner freelancer, you probably want to build up your portfolio and client base as quickly as possible, so you might feel the need to say yes to everything.

But it’s important to focus on the quality of your work. This is what will encourage clients to come back to you for future work and build your reputation over time to attract new clients.

Finding Your First Freelancing Job Is the Hardest Part

Now that you know how to find freelancing jobs, it’s time to get out there and land your first freelancing gig! It can take some time and more than one pitch, but don’t let this discourage you. Finding that first freelancing job will only lead to more work in the future!