The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

How to Find Freelance Work: A Complete Guide


Freelancing is not a new concept.

It’s been around for centuries and it’s only becoming more popular as the world of work changes.

If you’re looking to take some control over your career, or just earn some extra cash on the side, then freelancing could be right for you. Let us show you how!

This complete guide explains how to find freelance work from home and in person. We’ve also included some tips on determining whether or not self-employment is the right career for you. If you’re ready to take the plunge into your new adventure, then read on!

What Freelancing Jobs Are Right for You?

First, to be successful, you’ll need to get specific about the type of freelancing skills you’re offering.

There are countless freelance jobs available. Being clear and confident about your skills and what you have to offer will help tremendously.

Here are a few specifics that freelancers tend to gravitate towards:

  • Web Design (not including coding)
  • Content Writing/Editing
  • SEO/SEM Optimization
  • Social Media Management (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)
  • Software Development

Once you’ve identified some specific abilities and hobbies that you can offer to others, it’s time to get in touch with the people who can help make your dreams of freelancing a reality. Now let’s get down to brass tacks. Where do you find freelance work?

How to Find Freelance Work Online

Moving on, let’s look at how to find freelance work when you’re applying online. For starters, you can use online job platforms designed for freelance work. A good example would be Upwork. Upwork is a location where businesses go to find personal freelancers to complete specific tasks for them. The company grew during the pandemic, and now has revenue exceeding $80 million!

Upwork isn’t the only freelancing website out there. Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, and a number of other sites are also great places to start your freelance career.

How can you thrive on a job platform? For starters, you’ll need to create a portfolio website to showcase your skills.

Next, fill out the profile with as much information as possible about what you offer and what you’re looking for in a project. Make sure to include examples of previous work, or links to it if available. Lastly, stay professional in all correspondence with potential employers- even if they seem rude or dismissive

Go to Freelance Forums/Blogs for Advice

There are also many forums where you can ask questions about freelancing opportunities. For example, freelance blogs are a great source of information for freelancers about how to get started.

Freelancer blogs teach what freelance jobs there are out there and how to approach them. Next, you can also network with other freelancers or ask questions from professionals in the industry

Build Your Income Over Time

As you continue learning how to become a freelancer, remember it’s not an instant income fix. Not everyone can start out replacing their regular income with freelance work. In fact, most people who take this path will be temping jobs as freelancers until they decide to make it a full-time gig. Freelancing isn’t meant to replace your day job, but rather supplement your career in whatever way you see fit.

For example, if you’re looking to make extra cash on the weekend, then offering office or tech support services would be great for you! Or if you want flexible working hours ( so that you can enjoy time with family), then maybe developing a blog would be fun and profitable!

Get Social Online

Once you’ve established your freelance identity online via Upwork and other job boards, it’s time to start building an audience. One that will potentially hire you in the future.

Consider joining social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and so on. Next, use them frequently to get new clients. This is where many employers go first to find freelancers they can hire online. Once you have a decent following on the major social media sites, your income stream can grow.

Start Engaging in the Freelance Writer Community Online

Once you’ve decided to make freelancing your day job, it’s time to find veteran freelancers who will talk with you about the industry. Look for individuals willing to offer advice on how to do better at your freelance work.

Going onto Twitter and using the #freelance hashtag is a great place to start looking for fellow freelancers in your industry. You’ll also be able to find out things, such as a proofreader salary, or common pay per-word rates.

Freelancers are writers who work for themselves and contract with different employers. This means that they might not always be working every day, but when they do have a project, it can lead to good pay- depending on the project type.

If you’re just getting started as a freelancer, then consider volunteering some of your free time toward online magazines or blogs that give back pay if accepted by their editors.

Some freelance writers include bloggers and journalists who research and write posts related to their niche. Others may specialize in editing or proofreading academic papers.

Depending on what you excel at as a freelancer, there will be many types of jobs you can apply for online! Try to have a portfolio website (and examples of your previous work) that you can send potential employers if they’re interested in hiring you.

Freelance Writing Jobs for Young People

If you’re still in school, then consider sharing freelance writing jobs with your fellow students. Ask them to share examples of their best papers too! Being able to see other people’s writing styles is a great way for beginners to learn how to be better writers and more experienced freelancers. At the very least, allowing someone else a chance to write will help earn money while you’re at home during winter break or summer vacation!

Commit to Working Hard

Unless you’re passionate about writing, it’s probably not a great idea to start out freelancing as your primary source of income. In fact, many people who choose this career do so with the understanding that they will never replace their regular job income. Instead, focus on looking forward to the fringe benefits that freelancing offers.

Benefits like flexible schedules, being able to work from home or go on vacation whenever you want. Not to mention getting paid money for something you love doing anyway!

So are freelance writing jobs worth it? Absolutely! They’re considered one of the best jobs in America. It makes sense that around 16 million Americans are in business for themselves. There is always a demand for freelancers online thanks to our nation’s love of consumerist culture.

Applying in Person for Any Freelance Job

So far we’ve been talking about how to find freelance work online. However, what if you’re looking to apply in person? In today’s online-centric world, the majority of job applications are digital.

Whether you’re a freelancer or a W-2 employee, the digital advantage is hard to be. However, there are some situations where you can apply for a freelancing job at the worksite. For instance, if you have a freelance cleaning service, you could acquire new customers at office locations.

Are you a freelancing construction worker? If you swing by a construction site that has a headquarters, pop in to talk to a supervisor. You never know when they’re looking for contractors or freelancers.

Network With Other Freelancers on the Job Site

One of the great things about freelancing is having something called a network. This is basically a list of people that you can call on when you need help or want to get more work done faster.

However, many freelancers don’t make the most of their contacts and rely too much on the website (or app) to find new jobs. If you’re looking for freelance jobs at your local office center, then talk with other freelancers in person. They’ll likely be happy to provide work referrals in exchange for your own advice if they know that you have connections!

Tell a Supervisor That You’re Freelancing

Many supervisors are under the assumption that everyone is a W-2 employee just like them. As a result, they’re completely unaware when someone else has gone into business for themselves as that freelancers even exist on their job site!

If you work as a freelancer, then it’s best to let your supervisor in on the secret. They’ll likely appreciate all of the extra manpower. They may also be willing to provide feedback and references for future jobs if they know that you are a brilliant freelancer!

Search the Online Help Wanted Ads for Jobs in Person

If all else fails, then check the help wanted ads in your local newspaper or pull up a job site on your phone at the office center. Not every freelance position goes viral online today, so make sure that you are in touch with the right people for the right job.

That said, there are plenty of successful freelancers who network by posting flyers around town and also attend networking events around town. It could be worth looking into if you’re having trouble finding freelance writing jobs!

Last but not least, you can offer your freelancing services to people you already know. Make a list of family and friends who could benefit from the freelancing service you offer.

Freelancing for Friends and Family

For the best experience freelancing for friends and families, you want to make sure you cover all your bases. For instance, you can start by letting them know exactly what they’re going to get by hiring you. Explain the value you’re bringing to the table. Next, offer to help with administrative work so they don’t have to check out a thing!

Be creative when you’re soliciting work from people you know. If you’re in a financial bind, branch out and offer a variety of helpful services.

Remember, freelancers can do everything from dry cleaning dinner reservations, food ordering, online grocery shopping, and more. Next, be flexible about when and where you’ll work.

Some people will prefer daytime help at the office. Whereas, busy parents may find at home, in the evenings are where they could use a freelancer’s assistance.

Prove Yourself

Are you offering a freelance service that revolves around home improvement? Be sure that you’re prepared with a portfolio that includes photos. Even if you’re soliciting work from a trusted friend or family member, they’ll still want to see what they’re getting into.

Instead of relying on your reputation, photos are a great way to put homeowners at ease. They’ll be able to decide whether or not your style of work aligns with what they’re looking for.

For instance, let’s say you offer to paint the interior of your friend’s home. Let them see photos of a home you’ve previously painted, even if it wasn’t for money. You can include the photos of work you’ve done on your own property, to show them how great you are!

Also, just because you’re working for friends and family members, that doesn’t mean you have to sell yourself short. Offer a fair rate, that will help you earn enough money to keep your freelancing business afloat.

Screen Jobs and Clients

What if you’re not applying to work with a family member or friend? When you’re getting ready to start a freelancing project for somebody new, you’ll want to put them through a quick approval process.

It goes without saying that a company or client should interview you before hiring you. However, what most people don’t know is that it’s actually equally important for you to interview them as well! Even if they seem appealing at first glance, make sure that you’re 100% on board with everything from start to finish.

Be firm about everything you are and aren’t willing to do. The last thing you want to do is agree to work for a customer that’s going to wind up costing you money, instead of making you money.

Put Your Portfolio Together Today

Now that you know how to find freelance work, it’s time to get out there! Remember, building up a customer base can take time. Whatever you do, don’t stop looking for freelance work.

Remember to create a portfolio, even if it’s not perfect. Over time you can fine-tune your portfolio to showcase your best work.

However, you can work on something that doesn’t exist! Start piecing together your portfolio today, and watch as your business starts to grow!

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