How to Be an Independent Freelancer Without Using Freelancing Platforms

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Finding freelance jobs can be a struggle for many. In order to stand out and get hired, you’ll need to build your network and find clients who will hire you based on your skills, not some freelancing platform’s algorithm that matches you with the most job posts. 

If you’re looking for ways to land more gigs without using any freelancing platforms, keep reading. In this blog post we’ll reveal the top tips you need to become an independent freelancer without using any freelancing platforms. 

Whether you want to freelance full-time or just supplement your income in a secondary role, these tips will help you do just that. You don’t need a backlog of gigs under your belt or a vast network of contacts to take the first steps of becoming an independent contractor.

Build a website for your freelance business

When you build your own website for your freelance business, you’re putting together a digital portfolio. You can use your website to showcase your work, demonstrate your level of expertise, and gain visibility for your freelance services. 

If you’re just starting out as a freelance writer, you can use your website to create a virtual résumé, and don’t worry, you can start your portfolio site for free. You can use your website to track your income and expenses so you can better understand your earning potential. You can also use your website to accept gigs and track your opportunities. 

Obviously, if you’re just starting out, you may find it difficult to land clients and earn money as a freelance writer for instance. Setting up a website and actively marketing yourself can help build your freelance business. Once you have some experience under your belt, you can remove the marketing aspects from your website and focus more on passive income.

Be proactive about finding your gigs

One of the best ways to find freelance jobs is by actively advertising your gigs on classified sites like Craigslist (US), gumtree (UK), Locanto (HK) and so on. Also consider web directories where both individuals and professionals advertise their business. When you post a job ad, make sure to include keywords that will help you get hired. Post as often as needed and keep your ads targeted. Don’t forget to include keywords that are specific to your skills, experience, and expertise. 

Some, if not all of these platforms, require you to set up an account and add your personal / business details, so having a sort of template with address / tel / email and description, ready to use as many times as needed, can speed-up your otherwise lengthy and boring job of filling up forms.

If you’re new to the freelance world and just getting started with posting job ads, we recommend you try posting once per week and to include as many classified and web directories as possible to your bucket list.

Nowadays we tend to rely more and more on Facebook / Linkedin and other social media networks for most of these types of activities, but believe me, there is still plenty of “old school” fish out there, and if it is not you catching it…then it will be someone else.

Being in most of the top classifieds and web directories for your geo-location not only will give you more chances to get a call from a client willing to give you your first job, but will also spread your name and website URL all over the web, as some of the web directories do actually end up being indexed by Google. 

So it is also a way to position your website at a higher Domain Authority level, which in turn will help you stand out amongst the rest of the competition.  

In time you will get an idea of how often you should add or edit your post. 

  • TIP: On some websites, it is actually better to choose the shorter time for your ad as every time you renew the ad it will go back on top of the “latest ads.”
  • TIP 2: Make sure to keep your ads short and sweet. You also don’t want to barrage the hiring managers with too much jargon on your ads. If you are a web developer, it’s OK to mention your ability to code in PHP / JS / Django and who knows what more, but keep it nice and tidy, make sure you sell the package, without scaring them on stressing how “nerdy” you are. 

Like they say, make sure to get the call….then you can tell them how good you are at debugging your own code.  A good rule of thumb is to keep your posts as neat as possible and to always include endings such as references available etc.

Network and hustle constantly

Freelancers who spend their time learning and growing their skills are more likely to land more gigs and earn more money. If you’re just starting out, you may not have many skills or experience to get on with. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to learn and grow. Start by networking with other freelancers, online communities, and meetups. When you meet new people, take the time to introduce yourself and let them know about your freelance business. 

You can also follow online communities like The Freelance Bloggers Show and learn from the experiences of other freelancers. This will help you better understand the freelance ecosystem and what freelancers are experiencing. If you’re looking for a place to network and meet other freelancers, I recommend joining a freelancing community like Freelancing University.

The Benefits of Freelance Networking

Networking is a two-way street. To build mutually beneficial relationships, you have to give as well as receive. You can do this by showing gratitude for someone’s time, sending articles or even just checking in on them periodically. This will help build a strong network. Also, make sure to be genuine and helpful. In return, your network will reward you for your good intentions. If you want to get more referrals, network with people who share your values and are passionate about what they do.

Building a network is an ongoing process. If you are new to networking, you should make an effort to meet new people and cultivate your relationships. While building new contacts can be beneficial, maintaining relationships with existing contacts is essential to your career. When networking with people who are relevant to your job or career, try to focus on people who are in the same position as you. It’s important to connect with people who can help you in your search.

The goal of networking is to build strong connections with people who can help you in your career. People like to connect with others. When you network, you help others by giving your time and energy. This way, you will build relationships and keep focused. You may even come across job opportunities that you would not have otherwise known about. Keeping yourself focused while networking will help you find the best job for yourself. And it will increase your chances of getting the job of your dreams.

Offer more than just writing or editing

While many freelance jobs will involve writing, editing, and publishing content, don’t limit yourself to these traditional freelance services. For example, a client you are currently working for may have an idea for a new product they’d like to bring to market. You can help them develop the vision and bring the idea to reality. 

Clients may also have a project that needs to be completed with little to no direction. You can help them with this project, which could be a new website, marketing plan, or software. There are many types of projects and clients out there. 

If you’re just starting out, you may find it difficult to navigate the types of projects and clients out there. However, you can gain a better understanding of these different types of clients and projects by actively searching for possible gigs on social media and networking with other freelancers.

Don’t do everything yourself – collaborate and use outsourcing tools

It’s important to remember that you don’t need to do everything yourself when it comes to freelance projects. For example, while you may be the best writer and editor in the world, you may not be the best marketer or strategist. You may not have the ability to manage a client’s budget, find creative solutions to their problems, track progress, or manage multiple projects at once. 

When you find a project that involves collaborating with other freelancers or is more complicated than you can handle on your own, try to reach out to the client and inquire about hiring an outsourcing partner. Many clients don’t know about outsourcing as a freelancing strategy. This means there’s a good chance one of them may be open to the idea of hiring an outsourcing partner.

Bottom line

Freelancing can be a rewarding and lucrative career path. It can also be challenging and frustrating at times. If you’re new to the freelance world or just looking to land more gigs, we recommend you follow these tips. With a few adjustments, you can go from struggling as a freelance worker to earning a passive income as an independent contractor.

Daniele Pais
I live and work from the sandy beaches of Phuket, Thailand, where I am self-employed as a blogger, digital marketer and designer. You can reach me at: danielepais.com / dp digital print