You want to start working from home. You may even be at a point where you want to start your own business, offering your own services. You’ll get away from the 9-5 and break free from the chains of employment. It can’t be hard to find work, right? There has to be something like freelance job boards to help.
While there are certainly freelance job boards out there, they’re not all the best. It’s important to find the right places to find work.
You’ll have heard of Indeed or GumTree. Then there are ProBlogger and BloggingPro (yes, two different sites). I’ve used these job boards in the past. I have found the odd client for my writing. But they’re not 100% effective and there may be better ways to find work.
Here’s why I’ve stepped away from using the job boards.
You’re putting yourself up against hundreds of others
You know what it’s like trying to get a job in the world of employment, right? There are always many other candidates putting in the same applications as you. There are always more people looking for jobs than there are vacancies.
That’s the case with these job boards. There are always far more people applying that there are opportunities on the freelance job boards. You’re pitting yourself against hundreds of people.
Sure, there are times that you’ll be one of the lucky ones. But there may be others who stand out in ways that you don’t.
One of the benefits of the boards is that you can learn how to improve from rejection. You can see where you went wrong and improve the next time. But do you really want to keep pitting yourself against others? Do you want to enter a new rat race?
It’s time to step away from the rat race. Why not pitch to magazines and businesses instead? While you’re pitching companies that others are, you have a chance to tailor things in a way that shows off your best assets.
As a writer, I’ll find magazines in the niches that I write in. I’ll pitch ideas specifically in my niches. Sometimes I cross them with another niche. It’s unlikely that someone is going to have the same experience that I will, so even if someone has slightly the same idea, there’s a fresh take.
With clients and businesses, I’ll search for local businesses that are in need of content marketing. You’ll be surprised by the number of businesses that haven’t realize how important blogging still is. They likely won’t have had people searching for them, which makes it easier to get a yes.
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Your freelance job boards applications are individual
It’s difficult to put a lot of individuality to the applications on job boards. Most of the companies will ask for the same things, making it easy to go through the applications and find the right type of person to work with.
This isn’t always the case. I love when job boards say to respond to an email with a resume and cover letter. This is a chance to personalize it a little more and add my own style; it’s a chance to show exactly what I’ll bring to the table.
When you send letters of introduction and you seek out businesses, you get to show yourself off. This is a chance to market you and your skills for a specific job that someone may not have even thought of. You can share more about your industry experience and why you’re perfect for the role.
You have to act fact
Remember that there are a lot of people applying through freelance job boards. If you didn’t get your application in within 24, you’ll probably not hear from the company again. That’s despite many companies putting their job ads up for 30 days.
They’ve usually had so much response within 24 to 48 hours that they’re not interested in looking for anyone else.
Some job boards are changing things. They’re encouraging businesses to say when a position has been filled, but this doesn’t happen all the time. Imagine putting an application in for something that isn’t even available anymore.
When you reach out to businesses directly with a letter of introduction, you’re not on the strict time frame. You have time to think about how you’re framing the pitch to make sure you get the job the client didn’t even realize they needed you for.
You don’t have as much control over pay
Most of the people putting ads on job boards already have a pay in mind. Many of them who use the free job boards will want to pay as little as possible. In some cases for writers, we’re looking at $10 or $15 per article or blog post.
There are times that the pay is higher. This is often with the job boards where they have to pay to advertise. If they’re going to pay, they want to make sure it works out with the person they higher and that can often mean a higher rate.
But you’re still often dictated by their terms and their pay. When you get in touch with someone directly, you can often have a little more say in your pay. When you have your own website for people to find you, it’s possible to set your own terms clearly.
Freelance job boards do have the odd diamond in the rough, but it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack! To start your freelance career, pitch magazines (even trade publications) and talk directly to businesses. If you really want to write for exposure, write for non-profit organizations who will be extremely appreciative of your work and give you a testimonial afterward! of course, this is for writing but there are ways for all work at home roles.
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How are you finding work online? What do you recommend people do? Do you still use freelance job boards? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
4 thoughts on “Why freelance job boards aren’t always the best place to find work”
I myself don’t do freelance writing but I have several colleagues who do. I will direct them to your site. Thanks for posting!
Thank you so much! You’re welcome.
While I don’t use this kind of service, I have seen it in other industries I was in like tutoring. How do you stand out? Why would someone hire you at the fees you’re really worth when so many other people are literally giving their services away, undermining the value of talented professionals? it can be very frustrating.
It is frustrating and I feel for people trying to make it. I’ve had potential clients tell me that someone is offering it at a lower rate and that’s all they can afford. If it’s slightly under my asking rate, I may consider it, depending on the project. If it’s way under then politely tell them that I hope they get everything they need and when they’re able to afford professional rates, they know where to find me and I’m happy to do it. I have had a couple come back to me afterwards and I’ve still been polite and willing to work with them.