One of the key make or break challenges you’ll face as a freelance consultant is going to be your ability to market yourself to new and existing clients to find a new freelance project.
With a growing number of permanent consultants opting to sample life as a freelancer, a greater emphasis has been put on developing new business channels to find project work. It’s now difficult to rely on your trusted black book to keep your project flow healthy – it’s time to get out there and make new connections.
Now to the key question – what are the possible channels to find new freelance projects?
Naturally, the first (and best) place to look for new freelance project roles is right here on the movemeon website (don’t blame us for being a little biased).
Good business development is not just about trying to market yourself to new clients. It’s imperative you maximize your existing relationships by keeping former clients updated on your availability/new skills. It could just be a subtle catch-up e-mail to a former client to ask how the project is going. You’ll be amazed by the amount of new work that’s generated from clients who magically think of a piece of work you’d be perfect for, now they know you’re available.
Keep things like your LinkedIn/Xing profile updated with availability/skills etc. This ensures you’re maximizing your chances of inward business development. There’s nothing nicer than a client knocking on your door with a new freelance project, but they’ll only be able to do so if you keep your profile updated.
Networking with other freelancers is a great way to develop new business and share experiences/insight. If a freelancer is contacted about a role but is unavailable, a natural instinct is to refer someone else who matches the profile. This is particularly useful if you’re on the more junior end in terms of years of experience. Senior freelancers are always on the lookout for good junior consultants when building a team and with utilization rates remaining high at the junior end of freelancing, it’s always useful to be referred by another freelancer for new projects.
Although not ideal, the majority of new projects that are not directly sourced will be through recruitment agencies. We suggest using 1-2 good agencies who are able to deliver a healthy project flow and operate with transparency and honesty. Be sure to read this article on what percentage of day rate you are really receiving – food for thought when thinking about day rates and using agencies.
Job boards/Career pages
Companies sometimes do advertise freelance project work on their careers page/through jobs boards so it’s always worth having a quick look once in a while.
If you’re finding new projects tough to come by and you have a specific skill/domain knowledge, find other freelancers with similar skills and team up. This will allow you to take on new larger projects and assemble teams to execute project work. An additional benefit of teaming up is, with a consulting ‘brand’, you’ll be developing brand equity through strong client reviews that should keep new project flow healthy as word spreads of your consulting offering. If you’re teaming up and need additional resources – movemeon already partners with a number of smaller consultancies providing freelancers.
Word of mouth
If you build up a strong track record of solid performance as a freelancer, you’ll find clients contacting you directly. Good work speaks volumes, and clients will feel at ease engaging you because of your track record.
It’s simple: the more potential clients you meet, the more likely it is one of them will call you with a new freelance project.
These are just a few possible routes to finding new projects as a freelancer. It’s always worth bearing in mind that it’s difficult to predict future project flow – so it’s imperative you remain proactive in your business development. Don’t run the risk of assuming another project is waiting for you at the end of your current engagement; start your business development before your current project wraps up.
– The MMO Freelance team
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