White Point Creative’s owner and lead designer, Lizzy, currently works out of Fredericksburg but grew up surfing in Charleston, SC. Married to the love of her life, Joe, they live for time outdoors and finding the best brunch spots with their pup Folly.
**Just as a quick reminder, you can find all of our past Friday chats on my Instagram as well as my Facebook page. If there is ever a topic you’d like me to cover feel free to drop me a direct message! Same with any questions you might have at the end of this live.
On today’s Freelance Fridays we are going to dive into the search, and application process of freelancing and white labeling! I feel very confident in saying that questions related to searching for, and interviewing for freelance jobs are the most frequently asked question I get. And I understand why. It can be very confusing and frustrating trying to find these seemingly magical jobs.
Today I am pulling back the curtain on how to find a freelance job and listing out my favorite sites. I will also be touching on some primo application tips to make this process feel less like a slog through pluff mud.
To start off, let’s talk about the freelance search process aka how to find a freelance job. There are different schools of thought here, some creatives advise casting a wide net via multiple channels while others advise the opposite. Not surprisingly, I sit in the middle haha.
The only time I would advise casting a small and niched net would be if you were a seasoned professional, doing this full time, and had contacts in the biz. Jessica Hische and Lauren Hom come to mind. Two outstandingly talented artists who are at the top of their game and field who freelance and create gorgous art for a living. Their names are synonymous with their craft making their work very sought after. So until you reach their league, I would say let’s cast a medium-wide net and experiment until you find your groove and people.
Now in my mind, you can be either defensive or offensive in your search for a freelance job. Offensive means you go out in search of these jobs and defensive means you lay back and wait. When you are on the offensive, a few digital spaces you can start cruising about for jobs are:
*PAUSE* Take a deep breath. I know this list is long and could even feel intimidating, but don’t allow those anxieties to get the better of you.
I also want to take a moment to point out two facts about these sites, and being on the offensive in general:
Now if you’re on the defense end of finding a freleance job, then there are a few things you can do while you lie in wait. Listen up people, because these are GOLD!
Being on the defensie tends to be a long term strategy and if you’re in a place where you need money and a job, like yesterday. Then scroll back up to the offensive strategies I just laid out. Remember that either way, to find a freelance job, takes patience and persistence. You are going to get rejected quite a bit but do as T-Swift says and shake it off.
I would have to say that over the course of my career, 80% of my freelance jobs were either serendipitously found or came to me. The reason for this is because I established myself as a reliable freelancer and I encouraged Creative and Art Directors to pass my name along to their other AD and CD friends.
And that is my final tip. Make contacts at each job you work, and keep in touch in a friendly (not creepy!) way. LinkedIn is a great professional platform to do this on. To this day, I message old art directors and senior graphic designers from jobs over four years ago and check in on their projects and talk shop. The reason is that these people have become friends over the years and just like you, they will continue climbing the ladder and they could become a very valuable contact in the future.
Now that you know my top tips to find a freelance job. Let’s talk about the application headache…I mean process. For me, this was always the worst part. I loved to find freelance jobs but instantly went cross-eyed when the application popped up. Over the years I started working smarter, not harder, and developed a process you’re sure to repeat!
My number one application tip is to have a Google doc full of snippets. Take it from someone who has applied to what feels like thousands of jobs. When you have a document full of question and answer snippets all in one place, you will save yourself HOURS! I have a Google Doc with over 20 pages of short, medium, and long snippets that I cut and paste into applications. Now 20 pages didn’t just appear overnight. I accumulated these with each application. Start small and remember to always save your answers.
If you are actively trying to find a freelance job, then I forsee many applciations in your future. In an effort to save you time and give you a jump start, I recommend starting now. What I mean is, open up a Google Doc and type out a few different variations to these generic questions:
Craft your answers thoughtfully, infuse your personality, and always always always check your spelling and grammar.
My second application tip of the day is to do your research. Now you might be rolling your eyes at me but hold up and listen. I have been complimented numerous times on the wording of my application and cover letter and how it deeply resonated with the interviewer and the company they work for. Now, why do you think that is? Is it by coincidence that I pulled apart their mission statement and sneakily repeated it back in my cover letter? Absolutely not!
Whenever I am applying for a freelance job, I go to the agency’s website and head straight for the about page. I read and reread that page as I craft my cover letter and application answers. I always search for their mission statement and make sure to include the exact or similar verbiage in my application and cover letter. In a way, I am keeping my copy and messaging “on brand” and using language they will subconsciously recognize.
I know the application portion of any job is monotonous and dull (especially if you are in the process of applying to multiple jobs). But it is a vital step that needs lots of care. Although you may love this agency’s work, follow them on Instagram, like everything they post, and read every newsletter they send out. Your application is the very first time that they are ever hearing of you. So make it count. Impress them! Show some personality! Make yourself professionally memorable.
Phew! Todays post was fire! If I do say so myself. But truly, I hope you got a lot out of the content and have a clearer path forward. I know tyring to find a freelance job is tiring but you can do this! I also hope that you see that you too can start freelancing without all the answers. It’s okay to jump in with doggie-paddle-level knowledge and work your way up to the butterfly. Freelance basics.
In the coming weeks, we will be going over pay negotiation strategies, interview protocols, portfolio frameworks, and so much more. If there is a topic you would like to hear about don’t be afraid to send me a DM on Instagram.