Did you know that all that time you spend on Facebook could actually help secure your next freelance gig? It’s true and I’ve proven it over and over in the past few years!
There’s no perfect formula, but there are specific steps you can take to see an uptick in freelance work — no matter what industry you’re in, simply by interacting in groups on Facebook.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to find the right kinds of clients, who are more than willing to purchase your products and services. And the best part is, they’ll come to you, no need to waste time seeking them out!
Find out where your clients hangout
The most important part of using Facebook groups to land freelance gigs is to know where your ideal client hangs out. For example, I’m a freelancer who likes being in groups with other freelancers and small business owners.
But I also hang out in groups related to podcasts I love and tools I use. So think outside-the-box a bit!
Join groups that you want to be in, as well as ones you think potential clients will be in. If you’re a coach or consultant, make sure to join local groups where you can connect with people in person or attend local events. I do this with the Denver Entrepreneurs Club and a local conference organization I’m a part of.
If you’re a writer, look for writer groups. If you’re an editor, look for groups for editors or authors. Most Facebook groups, tend to post inquiries and gigs for various potential clients, so joining industry specific groups is going to be extremely helpful (and lucrative).
Make a list of the best groups on Facebook
To search for various groups on Facebook, it’s as easy as using the search box and typing in a specific keyword, such as “freelance” or “author” and then clicking the “groups” button. Obviously the more specific the better, I just used this as an example.
Doing this, will give you the results for both public and closed groups, so if you want to join a secret group, you’ll need the direct link. Here are some of the Facebook groups that I belong to:
- One Woman Shop from Cristina and Sara
- Screw the Nine to Five from Jill Stanton
- Savvy Business Owners from Heather Crabtree
- Freedom to Freelance Project from Leah Kalamakis
- Blog + Biz BFFs from Melyssa Griffin
- Think Creative Collective from Abagail Pumphrey and Emylee Williams
- Being Boss from Emily Thompson & Kathleen Shannon
- The Write Life Community from Alexis Grant & team
- The Freelancer’s Club from Careful Cents (duh!)
Now, don’t feel like you have to join ALL of these groups right now. The goal is to get a list going so you can start joining them. Then narrow down your results so you can find the right groups.
Follow the instructions to apply
An important thing to note when joining different groups, is that some of them will require you to apply or sign up before gaining access. This makes the group more exclusive and more valuable to members.
I do this with with my Freelancer’s Club and only allow subscribers to join the group.
Before clicking the “Join Group” button, read over the description section (click the “read more” link), including any instructions that are on the right side of the group’s details.
Usually the moderator/owner will list out any specifics, links and guidelines that new members must abide by to gain access.
It may go without saying, but it’s extremely important to adhere to the group’s rules when participating. A lot of Facebook groups get overrun with self-promotion and spam, so many moderators don’t allow links at all, or only allow them on certain days of the week in certain threads.
If you want to make a good impression on potential clients (and not get banned from the group) follow the instructions for that group!
Set a reminder to interact regularly
Finding the best groups on Facebook is just step one. The next thing you must do to get results is, regularly interact in these groups on a weekly basis. I set myself a recurring task in Asana (and everyone knows my love of task management systems!) that pops up every 3-4 days and reminds me to interact in at least 3 Facebook groups.
These interactions can be conversation starters, replying to someone else’s comment, answering questions or offering general advice. The best thing about using Facebook groups as a tool for finding your next freelance gig is the ability to stay top of mind with potential clients.
As various companies, startups and bloggers have questions, you can jump in and share an answer to their problems. If you’re able to provide a solution to their problem, they won’t easily forget you (or your services).
You can also link to any resources you have on your blog, freebies and templates that might be helpful. In other words, Facebook groups are an awesome tool for “selling” your services without actually doing the selling.
And this works both ways, as I’ve had people hire me based on my advice in a specific group, as well as hired other freelancers to help with certain projects. Fellow freelancers respect another business owner’s recommendation and experience, so there are usually various conversations requesting various hired help, and you can be right there to offer your services.
Check your “other messages” folder
This is something I always forget to do, and it nearly cost me a freelance gig recently. As you interact in various groups on Facebook, there will be many times that someone is looking for a referral for a client. Sometimes they’ll message you directly or ask that everyone to PM (private message) them for more info.
However, the way that Facebook works is that any private messages from people who aren’t on your friends list, will go straight to your “Other Messages” folder. So it’s REALLY easy to miss out on potential freelance work simply by forgetting to check this “other” folder, or even reminding your contact to check theirs after you’ve applied.
In the screenshot above, Paula reached out to me on 8/12 but I didn’t see the message until 7 days later, on 8/19. Thankfully, I was able to connect with the editor and secure the gig anyway, but in most cases responding faster to the opportunity will give you a better chance of landing the gig.
One way to avoid this is by setting yourself a recurring task to check this “other messages” folder regularly too. Then when you’re interacting in various groups a few times a week, you can check this folder too. That way you won’t miss out on any work or influential connections!
Don’t beg for your next freelance gig
A word of warning before joining too many groups on Facebook: don’t beg for work. This isn’t a job board where you can post your portfolio and ask for work. No one else cares that you need more money, or have bills to pay. They’re worried about their own client load and trying to find more freelance gigs too.
Keep offering valuable advice, information and starting helpful conversations. The leads and referrals will come in time. You’re building trust and establishing relationships so don’t expect things to happen overnight.
It’s all about give and take, so be sure to give even more than you take. That’s the best strategy for finding freelance clients with Facebook groups.
What are some of your favorite groups on Facebook? Leave a comment!