I started from the United States on what was to be a gap year of travel and fun that ended up lasting over 6 years. I suppose it is classified as a “gap life” now. My point is that gap lives can be expensive. I needed extra money to be more comfortable and keep traveling.
I took an inventory of all my skills and researched what was marketable via the internet. If you are looking for freelance work online, please know I have been there and I feel for you. I’ll begin by telling you my experiences on various online freelance venues.
Just like Charlie Brown when Lucy pulled the football away, I felt disappointed when I could not get reasonable jobs on Odesk and other similar sites espousing great jobs.
My skill set is social media management, writing content/SEO and transcription among other tasks. These are good skills to work online so I gave it a shot. As the sites generally request, I made stellar and complete profiles, took the various tests to prove my skills and offered a very competitive price for my work.
But that’s where it stopped for me.
I found that the majority of the jobs offered on these sites are of the poverty wage variety with employers who are either broke or happen to enjoy the use of slave labor. Upon further research I found the typical job was given to people in Pakistan for $2.22 per hour. There is no doubt that this is a great deal of money to people in these countries but to the majority of us “It ain’t gonna cut it”.
Over and over in my mind, I kept returning to that Linkedin account that I signed up for but just never got around to using. I followed the same strategy of a good profile highlighting my major skill set. Afterward, I used the search function to browse profiles of others with my skills and snoop on what they were doing. Lo and behold, there was my name at number one for every keyword I used.
Auspicious start so I continue. I learned how to search, expand my network and then offer my services to members and the various groups. Within 1 hour I obtained 5 prospective assignments of which 3 worked out. Those 3 kept me busy for a few weeks.
The next go around, I obtained 3 prospects and one of them worked out and kept me busy daily ever since. In addition, that employer referred me to another client. We are talking about two messages sent out to only a portion of the people in my network and they each took only 20 minutes to compose and send. I kept the messages brief and included what I was offering in the message header. That way there was no mistaking what the email was about.
The power of Linkedin as a networking resource is astounding!
By the way, I no longer send out messages for my services as I am too busy to take new clients. I recommend to anyone able to do their work online to use social media as a resource to find work. Join Linkedin and do the initial work to set your page up properly.
Learn it, live it and LOVE it people. I know I do.