How to find work: magnetism

I recently wrote a post on the 10 ways I find freelance work and want to elaborate on the brief description I gave of each method. One of those methods I call “magnetism.”

By magnetism I mean anything that causes people to come to you instead of you seeking them out. I don’t tend to do a lot of active inbound marketing in my search for clients, so for me personally the biggest magnet is the work I’ve already done that is floating around out on the Internet.

Here are a couple examples of how this has worked in my case:

One of my first freelance gigs, which I found through a job board, was writing about sustainable food on a popular site. Via my contacts at that site, I was able to become a contributor at The Huffington Post, which in those days had a network of unpaid bloggers who were motivated to write on the site for a variety of reasons.

I began reposting a lot of my work that appeared elsewhere on HuffPo to gain exposure. And boy did that work; people who wanted me to write on food issues began contacting me out of the blue.

One was an agency that was helping the National Cooperative Grocers Association revamp its website; this agency hired me to write some of the content for the site. I was also contacted by a PR agency that invited me on an all-expenses-paid trip to Switzerland as a result of a piece I posted on HuffPo. I went on that trip and successfully pitched an article I researched there to an alumni magazine — yet another new client.

In another case, I was a regular writer for the QuickBooks Resource Center, where I wrote blog posts on topics of interest to entrepreneurs and small businesses. A communications person from a software company saw my work there and thought I’d be a good match for a blog he was looking to start for his firm, which was in my city. He invited me to meet for coffee and subsequently hired me to write regularly for the site, which led to ongoing work and several new opportunities.

There are many other ways to promote magnetism in your search for new clients. Here are some ideas:

  • SEO-optimize your website so that people find you via Google search
  • Publish a blog of interest to prospective clients and share it on social media
  • Do guest posts on other blogs and sites that your potential clients might read
  • Put out a newsletter to keep your network updated on your work and perspectives
  • Be a guest on podcasts that your prospective clients may listen to
  • Speak at events in the field in which you work

I’m sure those are only some of the ways you can put yourself out there so that others can be drawn to your amazing skills, professionalism, and personality.

The more you do so, the more likely your name is to rise to people’s attention and the more likely it’ll be for prospective clients to come to you instead of the other way around.

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