May 27 2015
Where To Find Customers
We are going to jump right in and talk about where to find customers, because when it comes to freelance writing you can just sit and wait for them to find you, especially when you are just getting started.
One of the best places to start looking for new customers is on freelance websites like Elance and oDesk, as I briefly mentioned in your last issue. These sites are like a virtual job marketplace and they are the perfect solution for finding writing jobs.
Keep in mind that every freelance marketplace is different. You should take some time to read their terms of service before joining so you can be clear on the rules,know how much it costs to participate and most importantly how you’ll get paid.
There are several benefits to using freelance websites to find work, including:
– Access to a huge database of freelance projects in multiple categories
You can search though the database by category, keyword or job type. Most of them have a rating system in place that allows members to rate their employers and employees, so you can also search according to the amount of positive reviews and where they rank on the site hierarchy. On some sites you can also see how much money they’ve paid out to other freelancers so you can be fairly certain you’re working with a credible person or business.
– Fraud protection and account management
The freelance site requires all members to be verified before they’re allowed to post projects. They also handle all of the monetary transactions for you. This type of security ensures that you will be paid promptly. On most of these sites, the employer is required to place the funds to cover the cost of the project into an escrow account before you begin working on it.
– Easy access to your funds
Once you’ve completed the project and when it is time to be paid, most freelance websites will give you a variety of options to withdraw your funds including the option to transfer the money directly to your bank account, PayPal account or other financial institution. They will also put a check in the mail for you.
– You’re not alone
A good freelance site will also offer you dispute assistance and help you resolve any issues that may arise between you and an employer. Including lack of payment, customer complaints etc.
– People can find you
One of the biggest benefits of using a freelance site is that employers can find you. This is true especially after you have taken the time to build up your reputation on the site. Once you’ve done that you’ll find that you’ll have customers contacting you and you won’t have to worry about searching through the job marketplace anymore.
When you’re using freelance websites you’ll want to create a profile on several different freelancing websites. Just be careful not to spread yourself too thin. Join one or two at first. Then after you have begun to establish yourself as an expert on them, you can easily add others to the list. After a while, you will get a feel for which ones work best for you and focus solely on them.
Before we close this final lesson, I want to share a list of the top freelance websites available for you to check out:
This site has over 500,000 user’s actively posting projects, so there is never a shortage of available work.
This is one of the largest and oldest freelance sites. It has a great reputation, a huge member base and holds a world of opportunity for anyone serious about making money freelancing.
Has a great online dashboard that makes it easy to collaborate with employers,employees and team members. They offer a wide variety of opportunities and a suite of handy tools for freelance writers.
Is predominantly used by web designers and people looking for web designers,however they still have plenty of opportunities for freelance writers.
Unlike many of the other freelance sites, this one doesn’t charge a commission on the money you earn, instead you pay a small monthly fee making them more profitable for busy writers.
This site is prefect if you are looking for those small jobs we have discussed before like blog posts, commenting on YouTube videos and Twitter tweets.
Most of the freelances on this site average an hourly job rate of around $35 per hour.It is an excellent place to pick up lucrative freelancing jobs.
This one is Facebook’s freelancing application. It offers a variety of writing jobs and pays you the day after you complete a task. It also requires you to have a PayPal account in order to sign up.
This is another great place to find customers, especially small jobs. It isn’t the same as other freelance sites. To get work through Fiverr you have to post a gig offering your services. The appeal of this site is that you can get things done for $5. Of course, you don’t want to underpriced your services, so you should mainly use this one for lead generation. On any freelance site you decide to join, it is important to fill out your profile completely, link to your website and provide a variety of samples for prospective employers to explore. You should also take time to become familiar with the way the site functions and how the bidding process works before you begin applying for jobs.