7 Lesser-Known Ways to Find Freelance Design Jobs

We’ve all been there. One week you have too much work to handle; the next you’re short of work and in the midst of a freelance drought. When it comes to times like these, it’s crucial to have a source of potential freelance openings. By keeping a list to hand of places to find freelance work, you stand a much greater chance of reducing gaps and inconsistencies when it comes to your design schedule.

There are a vast number of freelance job boards, pitching sites, and project briefs out there. The issue is the larger examples of these are extremely competitive, often driving down prices and reducing your chance of success down to almost nil. In this article, we are going to list seven of the lesser-known sites and ways to find high-quality freelance design jobs.

 

1. YunoJuno

YunoJuno is a site allowing freelancers to respond to real briefs. Employers can shortlist you for a project based on work and experience shown on your profile. At that point you have full control. You can confirm availability and negotiate your day rate as you desire. You’re then able to chat directly with the employer and work out further details.

https://www.yunojuno.com/

The dashboard keeps all your current and upcoming jobs stored in a calendar so you don’t have to worry about scheduling and overlapping projects. YunoJuno also does all your invoicing and ensures payments are made within 14 days. This allows you to focus less on the admin and more on the design work and client management.

 

2. Cold emailing

Don’t underestimate the power of cold emails. By writing up an effective template and customising it to each recipient, you can be advertising your skillset directly to the people who need it most. Throughout 2015-16, almost all of my clients were obtained by reaching out to companies and agencies which looked to align with my skillset. I offered to conduct a paid test project and proceeded from there.

Be very selective with companies you email. Make it super easy for them to reply by suggesting a first step if they are interested. Most importantly of all, spend a lot of time and effort on your template. Keep it concise and make it stand out – steer away from the typical sales pitch and generic language.

 

3. We Work Remotely

A great site for straight-up simple freelancing leads – without any signing up or applications – is We Work Remotely. It’s as easy to use as any job board you’ll find on the web. Simply browse by category and read briefs you think may be of interest. You can then email the company contact directly.

https://weworkremotely.com/categories/1-design/jobs#intro

There are many freelance/remote projects posted every week on We Work Remotely. Many of these are really high quality and present some of the better paid, more interesting leads available.

 

4. Blogging

Whether it’s guest posting on a design blog, starting your own website, or simply posting to Medium, blogging is a perfect way to attract freelance design jobs. In each article you can write a few lines about yourself in the author bio section. This is your very own ad spot which will potentially be served to thousands upon tens of thousands of people. Not only are you promoting your services, you are highlighting your knowledge of design through writing. In an industry where it’s sometimes difficult to ascertain skill level, this is a great way for potential employers and clients to realise your high level of knowledge.

Source: Unsplash

Once you’ve got a few articles out there, try and keep it up on a consistent basis – even if it’s just once a month. You’ll notice an increase in traffic to your portfolio and a greater number of leads over time.

 

5. AngelList Remote Jobs

For anything from full-time remote, to freelance projects, AngelList’s selection is vast. They are super easy to apply to with just a click of a button. The pay bracket is outlined up front and it only takes a few minutes to apply to a long list of these openings.

https://angel.co/job-collections/remote

Ensure your AngelList profile is up to date and highlights your experience, knowledge, and best work. This is one of the better sites in terms of getting your profile out there to a large number of companies.

 

6. Sharing surplus job leads

Source: Startup Stock Photos

During times where you have surplus work, it’s a really good idea to pass these leads onto a similarly-skilled designer in your network. When they are in a similar position, it’s more than likely they will recommend you to the prospective client. It works both ways and is a great way to help someone else out while stabalising your flow of work.

 

Crew

Crew is an exclusive network of freelancers. If accepted, you’ll have access to range of the highest quality project briefs. This includes companies like Apple, Dropbox, and Google, just to name a few.

https://crew.co/

Crew is operated by the same parent company as both Dribbble and We Work Remotely. It exercises its dominance in the market by attracting some of the finest and most exciting projects around. It’s a platform with high acceptance criteria and a waiting list, but certainly worth a try if you feel confident in your portfolio.

Give this article or some of these sites a bookmark. Next time you’re looking for work it will be extremely helpful. You’ll have a list built up with potential job leads and some under-utilised techniques for bringing in new projects.