Freelance work is becoming more and more popular in this day and age, especially since the pandemic. Research suggests that there are over 2 million self-employed workers within the UK.
We mean, who wouldn't want to be their own boss and log on to work whenever they feel like it, right? Although, there are some tricky aspects to freelance work, like finding enough work to pay the bills.
After all, we’re in a cost of living crisis and London living can be expensive!
If you’re on the hunt for freelance jobs, you’re in luck as we’ve put together this ultimate guide to help you out.
Once you know where to look, you’ll find a variety of work opportunities in no time, no matter the industry you’re in or if you’re looking for full-time or part-time freelance work.
Below, you’ll find our top tips to find freelance jobs whilst living in London.
1. Search Freelance Job Sites
Our first tip for finding freelance jobs no matter where you’re based is to search online using freelance job sites.
There are so many different job sites available for finding freelance work in a variety of industries, but it can be hard to know where to start.
The most well-known freelancing platform is Upwork, which offers 2,500 career skill categories to choose from including writing, web development, graphic design and marketing to name a few.
The best part is, you can not only browse jobs published by businesses and agencies but you can also post your own job as an independent professional.
Another job site which is ideal for freelance workers is FlexJobs, with over 50 different career fields to choose from.
Most freelance listing sites are pretty similar when it comes to finding work.
Essentially you upload a portfolio and a profile with a bit about you and your skills and experience, and you then browse different projects.
If you come across a project you’d like to work on, you can send a bid and write a brief statement that highlights why you are the right person.
Not only are sites like these great for finding work as a freelancer, but they’re also good for comparing prices and seeing how much you should be charging or getting paid.
They can also be useful for seeing who your competition is - it’s a dog-eat-dog world!
2. Regular Job Sites
Regular job sites are also a great way to find freelance work, with sites such as Indeed and TotalJobs posting listings.
Normally, job listings on these sites tend to be more short-term freelance projects, but it’s always worth exploring and searching to see what positions are available.
The good part about using sites such as these is that you don’t have to bid as such for jobs, and you can simply apply using a CV and portfolio.
This also means you won’t have to lower your rates to be in competition with other freelance workers, which is a benefit.
Although, it can be harder to narrow down specific industries and find a job in your niche when using regular job sites.
Finding freelance work can be as simple as searching on google with specific keywords like ‘freelance graphic design’ or ‘freelance jobs London’ which will give you a list of job adverts.
3. Use Professional Networks
Many companies use professional networks sites such as LinkedIn to source out freelancers, so don’t shy away from finding work this way.
The more you put into your online presence, the more you’ll get out of it.
What we mean by this is to post often, keep your profile updated, add work examples, grow your network and frequently search for job opportunities.
A big part about freelancing is trying to sell yourself and make your freelance business stand out from the crowd, so ensure that your profile really highlights your skills and expertise.
You can perform a search for freelance opportunities on LinkedIn’s job section or create a post to sell the services you’re offering.
Make sure to enable the ‘open to work’ option on LinkedIn to tell potential clients and businesses that you’re job hunting!
4. Make The Most Of Social Media
Social media is another effective way to find freelance opportunities.
You can use sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to showcase your work and reach audiences.
Using social media is particularly useful if you’re a creative professional such as a freelance photographer, videographer or graphic designer, as you can share your work online and build a clientele.
The best thing to do to gain traffic for your freelance services is to post relevant hashtags and interact with companies and brands you’d want to work with.
Aside from using social media to search for jobs and share your portfolio, you can also use it to network with others by joining freelance groups.
Freelancing can be quite lonely as you’re working on your own, so find some like-minded individuals to get to know - nothing wrong with some friendly competition, aye?
Having a network of freelancers may help you find clients if they pass on work or recommend you to other jobs, some may even offer you advice for job hunting.
5. Reach Out To Companies Directly
Whilst it can feel daunting, it’s always good to reach out to companies directly if you’re a freelancer.
So, make your own luck by reaching out to companies and agencies you’d like to work with.
You can do this by offering up your services and asking them if they have any freelance opportunities available.
Not only will this show that you're dedicated but it will also improve your communication and confidence skills.
We’d suggest tailoring your communication to each company rather than sending out a generic email to tons of different businesses.
Take some time looking at their website and write something which highlights why you’d be a good fit for them specifically.
Of course, make sure to attach your portfolio and CV with examples of your previous work for them to take a look at.
Depending on your niche, you could also reach out to companies in-person if they’re a business local to you, or based in London.
Just be careful with this though, as it could come across a bit pushy depending on your approach!
6. Promote Your Work Locally
Our last tip for finding freelance jobs in London is to promote your work locally.
Marketing your business online is great but you can also gain exposure by advertising in shop windows, cafes, newsletters and even handing out business cards at networking events.
The great thing about living in the capital is that it is full of spaces for you to promote your services and collaborate with local businesses.
You could even promote your services within your co-living accommodation using flyers and leaflets.
Whilst it may not attract businesses directly, your leaflet or flyer could get passed on to potential clients - you never know!
It’s important to try and get creative when promoting your work using marketing tools like this, as you want it to be eye-catching and stand out from the crowd.
Make sure to include your contact information and some details when promoting your work so that potential clients can reach out to you.
You could even include a QR code with a link to your online portfolio.
Whilst the chances of clients coming to you may be less likely than vice versa, it’s still worth advertising like this to find local businesses to work with and attract new clients.
Although we’ve listed a few different ways to find freelance jobs, there’s no set method that applies for sourcing out work as a self-employed professional.
You may find a different way to source out freelance work, whatever floats your boat!
If you’ve worked for a business and they’re happy with the services you provided, don’t forget to ask them to leave you a testimonial as this can help attract other clients and land you more jobs.
Now you know how to find freelance work, take a read of our guide on 15 of the best places to work remotely in London.