Are you trying to find freelance jobs? Don’t you love the marketing hype you read at the freelance job sites? This is one of my current favorites:
“Now it’s easy to market your freelance services and find all the business you need to succeed.”
That’s pretty funny. If any of you disagree, I urge you to drop the rest of us a comment and let us know WHY it’s so easy for you, cuz the rest of us would really like to learn your secret.
Here’s one of MY secrets–I like to market myself locally without giving out a bunch of PR-style hype. What could be better than getting to know a group of people socially, learning about who they are and what they do and waiting for an opportunity to offer your services when the opportunity clearly presents itself?
For more experienced freelancers, this is a “no duh” situation. Here’s the part that’s not so obvious.
You can really set yourself up in the networking department by bringing people together who aren’t connected, but really should be. My major problem with a lot of self-promotion/marketing strategies is that they require you to interact socially with people, but always with that ulterior motive of scoring work off them later.
What feels much better for me than just waiting for the right moment to offer freelance services (which I do when it feels appropriate, which isn’t all that often), I like to connect people who need each other. Tom the banker needs a night watchman? I just happen to know a college guy who needs some extra cash. The gallery owner needs some extra artists for an upcoming show? Here’s the number of that painter I met last week.
All I do in these situations is set people up, knowing that eventually what goes around comes around. I don’t really have to consciously work at doing this, it always feels natural and right when it happens. But I’ve noticed that when you bring people together who need each other, they tend to believe they’d like to repay the favor someday.
So while you’re out there filling in all those blank fields in the freelance job bank forms, marveling at how easy it is these days to market yourself online, try a little game–watch your results with your in-person “PR” and your online freelance job hunt and make note of which one benefits you first and for how long. I won’t say the online stuff will always let you down–far from it–but your most lasting results just might come from people who have to look you in the eye when they’re dealing with you.