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This is Day 31 of 31 Days to Start a Freelancing Business (or Make Yours a Better One). If you want to catch up, click here to read Day 1.
You’ve been working on your freelancing business for a month now. You have done your market research, put together a killer portfolio and website, and have a compelling menu of services for your prospects. You’ve also been putting yourself out there by networking and gaining exposure online.
Now you’re ready to compete with fellow freelancers for the jobs that are available “out there” in various freelancing marketplaces. These include freelance bidding sites, such as Elance, and freelancing job boards, like the ones in FreelanceSwitch, Problogger and others (more on that later).
If, at this point, you don’t have all the clients you want or need to accomplish your freelancing goals, then competing in these freelancing sites is definitely a good option.
Do you feel up to pitting yourself against other freelancers?
Tools for Bidding and Job Application
Unfortunately, when it comes to getting jobs, the best candidate doesn’t always win. It isn’t always the most talented who gets picked. As with other situations, it takes marketing savvy to position yourself in the best light and convince prospective clients that you’re the best service provider for them.
If you’ve been following along the tasks for the past 31 days, you’ll have all the tools you need to achieve this:
- an organized and effective portfolio of relevant work samples
- social proof of your excellent work, or testimonials from happy clients
- reasonable and fair rates
- a personal story that helps prospects know and like you
- an online presence, particularly a professional website, that showcases your professionalism
Guidelines for Competing in the Freelancing Marketplace
For now, let me give you some basic guidelines:
- Be committed. It takes time, energy and sometimes money (some sites charge a membership fee) to find quality freelancing jobs. If you’re not willing to pay, say $15 a month to find job leads, then forget about finding good clients here.
- Be selective. Don’t waste your time competing with bottom feeders for low-paying assignments, or jobs you’d be miserable doing. Move on and keep looking. The gems are there.
- Be persistent. You’ll win some, you’ll lose some. Don’t let a few disappointments stop you; your persistence will pay off.
- Be flexible. You may not be able to charge your published rates on Elance, but the network you create by gaining clients on Elance is worth it.
- Be savvy. You’re selling your services, so be unique and be bold with your offers (but make sure you deliver).
Where to Compete
There are numerous bidding sites and job boards online, so this is definitely a partial list.
1. Elance – The top freelance bidding site. According to Trish Lambert, Elance has the least number of bottom feeders compared to other bidding sites.
2. FreelanceSwitch – The biggest freelancing site’s job board. Free to join.
You know what? Just head over here for the monster list of freelancing job sites.
This concludes 31 Days to Start Your Freelancing Business (or Make Yours a Better One). I hope this series has helped you get your freelancing career started, or to kick it into high gear.
If you have any stories you’d like to share – both success stories as well as disappointments and failures – I’d love to hear them. Either post a comment below or send me an Email.