How to find freelance work in the arts

6 tips for landing your ideal projects or clients as a freelancer.

a black and white image with a sign in the window saying 'for hire'

Finding freelance work, especially when you’re just getting started can feel very daunting and even established freelancers face quieter periods. So how do you land that ideal freelance gig or dream client? Whatever stage you’re at, these practical tips will help make sure your name comes up in the right conversations at the right time.

Tap into your existing network 

Whether 10 years or 10 days into your career, we all have a personal or professional network to draw upon. Reach out to past colleagues or classmates and let them know what you‘re up to and the type of work you’re looking for. You never know who might be looking for your skills.

Make a list of target clients

Keep an eye on what your target clients are recruiting for or projects they have recently announced. Recent vacancies might mean they need cover or funding announcements could mean they will be seeking contractors – don‘t be afraid to reach out and enquire!

Identify your niche

Do some research on how other freelancers in your sector present themselves and think about how you can distinguish yourself. Do you have specific skills or experience that sets you apart? What interesting projects have you worked on? Could you ask others for a testimonial? You could conduct a personal SWOT analysis to also identify any areas you need to develop or gaps in your market. 

Use social media

LinkedIn and Twitter can be particularly effective here – make sure your LinkedIn is up to date with your experience and share recent examples of your work and achievements as well as the type of work you’re open to. Follow relevant accounts on Twitter and keep an eye on relevant hashtags so you can see when opportunities pop up quickly. 

Join industry groups

Find groups online via LinkedIn or Facebook (or our Freelance Hub) to connect with others in the industry where opportunities may be advertised. Seek out meet ups or events to connect with likeminded freelancers also.

Set up a website

A website is a simple, low cost way to be found and appear more professional. Having a public ‘shopfront’ that potential clients can browse acts like an online CV and also reassures them that you can be trusted. Don’t forget to cram it full of your experience and testimonials!

Remember: if you’re a creative freelancer, create your free profile on our Freelancer Hub and promote your skills.