Find work fast
inding work is the biggest challenge you face. There are
millions of potential clients out there, but they don’t
know you exist. To begin with, you need to let the world
know you’re here, and you’re ready to work.
Marketing methods vary in their ease, expense, directness
and value. Some marketing methods are easy, but they’re also
unlikely to bring much of a return. Complex, costly marketing
methods might bring rich rewards but they’ll diminish your
wallet and absorb your time. As a new freelancer you’re likely to
be cash-poor and time-rich, so the ideal marketing method for
you is one that takes your time but not your money. So, what is
this freely available, valuable, direct but time-consuming mar-
The power of the humble telephone call
The most direct way to ﬁnd work is by calling your potential
clients. A phone call is all it takes. All you need is a phone.
You don’t need a website, a fancy logo or a new suit. You just
need a phone. Your phone is a direct line to freelance work. But
before you rush off and start calling prospects, let’s do some
74 brilliant freelancer
Who needs your services?
Work out who you’re selling to. Are your services aimed at general
businesses, or are you selling to a particular sector? Are you
looking for new businesses, old businesses, big businesses or small
businesses? Will you work directly with your end-clients or will
you be employed by agencies, consultants or other intermediaries?
This proﬁling exercise will give you a clearer picture of the
people and businesses that need your services, and how they
might look for you. You may need more than one proﬁle if you
have different client types. Use this proﬁle to plan your mar-
keting activities – making sure that your tactics bring you closer
to your prospects in the places they’re already looking.
Identify your clients and their key needs
You may have a few different client groups, so let’s identify them and
deﬁne what they want from you. For each type of client, think about who
they are, why they’ll hire you and how they’ll look for you.
Fill in the blanks below, following these examples.
As a home owner, we want a plumber because we need help ﬁtting a new
bathroom. We’ll look for our plumber by searching in the Yellow Pages.
As a small business, we need a freelance project manager to help manage
a one-off project that’s outside our usual remit. We’ll look for our freelance
project manager by searching online.
As a _________________ we want a ____________________________
because we __________________________________. We’ll look for our
___________________________ by ____________________________.
Find work fast 75
List your potential clients
Now that you’ve identiﬁed the types of companies you can work
for, you can start building a list of examples. Search online and
check your local Chamber of Commerce or professional associa-
tions to ﬁnd businesses that ﬁt your proﬁle. Be organised, and
put the business names into a spreadsheet, with their phone
numbers and contact names in another column.
The people who might become clients. It’s an awful word, but it’s
useful as a way to describe the people you want to work with, or
enquirers who aren’t quite clients yet.
Prepare to call your future clients
Unsolicited phone calls are never popular. So as you prepare
to make unsolicited phone calls, you may feel a vague sense
of dread, or as though you’re committing a crime. You must
remember that you’re not selling double glazing, and you’re not
going to call random businesses to offer them something they
don’t need. By proﬁling your clients, you know there’s a strong