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Little known ways to find freelance work

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Once you've thrown caution to the wind and begun your life as a freelancer, your biggest problem comes from finding regular freelance work.

There are, of course, the standard ways such as using a recruitment agency or calling on companies who advertise for freelance positions. But the competition can be tough - and ideally, you want clients coming to you, instead of the other way around.

The way to find a constant and steady supply of freelance work is really quite simple - you must market yourself. You need to let clients know that you're out there, and that you can handle the work they throw at you, before they even start looking for a new contractor. So when something does crop up, your name is at the forefront of their minds, way ahead of the chasing pack.

One of the better and little known ways to market your services is by using internet forums. Think of yourself as a brand, which you can establish and then build up a real presence on the internet over time. A great many online discussion boards cater both to contractors and the clients who hire them, so making a name for yourself by posting thoughtful and useful comments can go a long way in helping you find freelance work.

To go a little further, many areas have business groups that meet on a regular basis, and simply arriving there can put you in direct contact with recruiting clients. You may find freelance work through these groups immediately, or you may need to attend several meetings to generate a decent network of prospective clients.

For shorter term gigs, there are several sites on the internet that will allow you to tender for a job, and these can be a great way to find freelance work. While there are many low-cost providers on these sites (usually from developing countries), it is still worth the time and effort to bid on local jobs, as many clients actually prefer to work with local contractors and are happy to pay more money if they could meet with you face to face.

Above all, don't feel like you need to compete on price to find freelance work, even if you're struggling to find your next assignment. Most clients are aware that you get what you pay for, and will happily pay a premium for higher quality results.

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