Finding clients is your number one priority if you are just starting your digital marketing business. There are many ways to find clients, but online job sites are one of the most popular, particularly for new freelancers.
Nowadays, there are several options to choose from. There are international sites like Upwork and Guru which have jobs and freelancers from all over the world. There are also a growing number of local sites, including Hire Her, Unicorn Factory and Hello Contractors. These are aimed specifically at New Zealand-based freelancers and offer jobs from locally based companies. Some of them, such as Hire Her, which is aimed at female professionals, restrict their services to a particular type of workforce.
Pros of using online job sites
Many jobs to choose from in one place
Job sites usually have a large range of jobs to choose from and are easy to search for particular skills, locations or job types. There is usually a wide pay range and both full-time and part-time work.
Secure payment systems
Legitimate jobs sites usually offer a secure payment system such as an Escrow system. Under this system, the client pays the money into an escrow account, where it is held until you complete the job and then released.
An easier way to build a profile and good reputation
Using job sites when you are starting out can be a quick way of building your work experience and profile. You can then use good reviews to help build a profile to attract clients from other methods such as cold pitching.
Cons of online job sites
A lot of competition
One downside of using job sites is that a lot of other freelancers will be doing the same. If you use an international site, then you may also be competing with people from other countries. They may be able to undercut you in price, making them more competitive.
Using a New Zealand-based site can reduce your competition but also potentially reduce the number of clients and jobs available.
There are plenty of good opportunities on online job sites. But there are lots of lowball jobs too. Many clients are just after a cheap option and expect a lot of work for not a lot of money.
Again using a New Zealand-based site can reduce your risk of low-paying jobs, as they tend to have a smaller client base and stricter screening systems. Clients looking to work with freelancers in their own country are also more likely to be willing to pay higher rates.
Fees for using the service
Most online job sites charge a fee for using their service. This might be an upfront subscription payment. Or it might be a percentage of your earnings for each job. You should make yourself fully aware of any fees and the system used before signing up and consider this when you are pricing jobs. Remember also that if you are using an international site, you may get paid initially in US dollars and will need to convert it when you get it paid out.
How to make the most of online job sites
Set up your profile fully
One of the keys to doing well on online job sites is to set up your profile. This is what potential employers will look at when they are considering you for work. Some sites also allow employers to browse profiles and approach freelancers directly.
Make sure you follow the rules for the site you are on so that your profile is approved. But in general, you want to include:
- A tagline that concisely explains what you offer
- A full profile section covering your experience, relevant employment history and qualifications and more detail on what you can offer
- A list of skills you can cover
- What you can bring to the customer and how you can help them
- A photo of yourself that clearly shows what you look like makes your profile more authentic. Make sure it is a professional picture
- When you have some experience, add pieces to your portfolio and make sure your clients give you reviews to add to your profile.
Tailor your applications
Even when you are applying for lots of jobs, you should take time to tailor your applications. Cover letters that are tailored to the position stand a better chance of success. Read the job description carefully and then respond to relevant points.
Apply for plenty of jobs
In the beginning, before you have the experience to show, you may find it harder to get hired. Applying for a range of jobs can help increase your chances. You still need a strategy and should only apply to relevant jobs. Sometimes it is worth applying for a job at a slightly lower pay rate in order to build experience.
Once you get more credibility you can get pickier about the jobs you choose to apply for.
Remember, when you are starting out in your new digital marketing career, it can take a while to find your first job. Don’t be disheartened if you get knocked back. Just keep trying.