(Warning, this is more of a - hopefully inspiring - rambling stream of consciousness than a structured article. But it might get you thinking, and hey, you're here now anyway, so you're invested…)
GFC-this. GFC-that. Sick of hearing about the Global Financial Crisis? Aren't we all! At the same time, it's real. Very real. I know plenty of people who have been made redundant from both large and small companies, and I know just as many freelancers who have gone from being overwhelmed with freelance work to sitting around waiting for their email to refresh.
The general slowing of the economy had a delayed impact on the Flash market. Here at ActionScript.org, before the New Year we were still seeing big swells of new roles posted in the Employment Section
. But in 2009, the number of jobs each advertised each week has fallen off, and many freelancers have been left with plenty of blank space in their work calendar, and declining income.
So how does one drum up more work? How can you keep the wolves from the door, the mortgage repayments, and the credit card companies happy? I don't have all the answers, but I have some ideas, and I'm hopeful readers of this article with have others to share.
1. Get Your Name Up In Lights
First thing's first. You're listed in the Employment Section
, as a Freelancer right? Riiiight? Oh my. How embarrassing. You'd better get onto that, and we'll pretend that it never happened.
Then there's other places where you can get listed and bid on work. Elance
come to mind, but there are heaps of others. Search them out, sign up and keep an eye out for work that suits you. I know I personally have used such sites when looking for help with coding that I didn't have time to do myself, and, if you impress people, there may be follow-on work for ages to come.
2. Build Your Brand
You're great. Really, you're a crack coder/designer, you're professional and you're smart. Darn it, you're even good looking! So why aren't agencies and client beating your door down? Unfortunately, no one cares. Or, to put it more kindly, no one knows
Right now there are over 4,000 freelancers listed in the Employment Section alone. What is going to make someone pick you over someone else? You're hourly rate? Maybe. You're awesome portfolio? Perhaps. These are all great when someone finds you among the 4,000 others, and takes the time to check out your site, but how do you get them to look at you
in the first place?