Finding regular freelance work can be very challenging, especially since lockdown began and budgets started to freeze.
If you pitch to editors you may face a heap of rejection emails or even worse, radio silence. Moreover, applying for specific roles on some job websites can be tougher than usual, especially if the hiring process has been halted.
However, there are a plethora of reputable online job platforms where you can reap the rewards. Fiverr and Upwork are two sites that are worth tapping into and they could help put your finances on more of an even keel if your income has taken a serious hit over the past couple of months.
Here are my top three tips for getting the most out of online job platforms to ensure you get a regular flow of work:
1. Make the right impression
Of course, having a detailed profile is key to getting a look from the right client and amassing orders. Whether you’re a web designer or a content writer, your profile should be your selling point and entice people to take you on. Aside from including as much relevant information relating to your experience in a particular field, it has to look professional. This is certainly the case if you want to get your proposal for a project to the top of the pile.
Suzana Jaramaz, a PR and content marketing manager based in Germany, attests to this.
She says: “In the first place, I’d say a profile picture with a smiling, friendly face.
“Then it is a concise description of education and previous work experience. Work examples are a huge plus for serious clients who want quality work.”
2. Stand out from the crowd
Once you have signed up to Fiverr or Upwork, you will be able to bid for projects. Clients will be inundated with requests, but this is a great opportunity to showcase your skills and highlight your strengths.
Potential clients will want to scratch beneath the surface and know they can leave you to your own devices and that you can deliver to a deadline. A solid reference will always stand you in good stead.
Geninna Ariton, a communications specialist from Denmark, is a regular Upwork user and has accrued more than 50 contracts since she started using it eight years ago.
She says: “I would say it all depends on the projects that you choose. I got lucky because my first project was simple, yet the perfect fit for me.
“And after that, I only chose contracts that I was really good at, and then over time I got great reviews from previous contracts and it all went uphill from there.
“I have a health degree and research was my forte, so I only applied for contracts specifically looking for this.
“As my freelance writing experience widened, I was able to take on different niches, such as travel and lifestyle writing.”
3. Collect good reviews
To build and maintain existing partnerships on Upwork or Fiverr, you have to prove your value and consistently deliver. Nicky Gould, who is a children’s author, has reached out to Fiverr as a freelancer to recruit candidates for projects. She says reviews are paramount for establishing good connections: “I personally go for people who have good reviews, even if it’s just a few, as everyone needs to start somewhere.
“Reviews are like gold dust. Fiverr is good for that though as they prompt you to leave reviews once you’ve used a service.”
Reach out to past connections and ask them to leave you a review, as this builds your credibility to future clients.
By Charles Perrin, a freelance journalist based in London who writes about finding work for Freelance Corner. Follow Charles on Twitter to read his latest work.