Can I make a recommendation? As a fellow Freelancer and a new subcontractor fanatic, I have experienced both sides of the “Gig” spectrum. I started freelance writing consistently less than 12 months ago, and needless to say, business has been good! When I first started this journey, I created a Medium profile to display my samples and joined a couple of newsletters and email lists that dished out weekly freelance opportunities. Now, pause right here if you are not a writer. This post still applies to you simply because we, as freelancers, all get our gigs the same way.
We either have to pitch our services, get referrals from previous clients, or create a website/home base that generates leads straight to us.
Anyway, back to the “how I got started spiel”… I also contemplated joining platforms like Freelancer.com, Fiverr, and Iapwe. I couldn’t bring myself to join those platforms. In many cases, the rates were too low. I don’t have the patience to work for pennies until I can reach the champagne and filet mignon stage I stuck to pitching. Now, pitching is a separate animal that I will address on a later date, but for clarity, when I say pitching, I am referring to offering your services to someone who has shown interest in your industry or area of expertise. Some of these tips and tricks could apply to cold-pitching, but not all of them will apply.
I have applied to gigs, and I have posted gig opportunities. There is a distinct difference in experiences depending on what side of the desk you are on. The perspective I am presenting is solely from the “Hiring manager side of the desk.”
You’re probably doing it wrong…
After receiving over 50 pitches via email, here are my top 4 suggestions to land a gig!
- Suppose you are pitching online and not in person, which most likely you are. In that case, it is imperative to make sure that you have a decent social media profile photo. This also goes for your email avatars. Anything that can be pulled up in Google search is grounds for assessing a potential Hiree. Be sure that these sites advocate for you and not against you!
- Be sure to read the directions for applying thoroughly. If you found the gig on social media and the potential client wants you to email them. DO NOT direct message them. I personally did not respond to anyone who did not follow directions. I gave “test” samples to writers that wanted to join my team, and 75% of them were weeded out because they failed to follow the directions given to them in this task. Reading is essential, folks!
- Play it cool! Submitting your application or double calling, texting, or emailing is annoying. Following up is something that should be done at least a week or two later. But, if the potential client specifies that their reply may take some time, respect that.
- Be professional. Listen. I mean this with all due respect when I say slang and lingo are still not okay in professional settings. Mainly when it is not being initiated by the client or hiring manager. We live in a “casual” era. Most people work from home and get to be “relaxed” all day. Technology allows us to communicate and congregate digitally, so there is a big part of inconvenience taken out of the traditional vetting and interview process. I think mentally, that fact tasks us with making a genuine effort to put forth professionalism.
- Do not demand multiple times that someone sends you the application or leave. Messages like “I’m still waiting.” It’s really unflattering.
- Do not send tons of information for the person to review unless it’s requested.
- Do not make excuses or extensive replies after you have received the “unfortunately we couldn’t move forward” email.
- Do not go to a public business page – pretend to be a client and attempt to schedule an appointment outside of the interview process — That is weird!
These are snippets of things that should and should not be done when you are trying to land a gig! I know you may not believe me, but there is enough money for us all to eat WELL, but only a few live in abundance because they learn and apply their knowledge. Once you get the mindset of a successful freelancer under your belt, things like this become natural. The next gig that you apply to is in the bag CLAIM IT!