Finding gigs online

Any favorite sites or methods of cultivating new clients online in the short term? I’ve been going through an extended dry spell and have been trying to find work online. I’ve been hitting UpWork a lot. Some of the jobs look Ok but it’s very competitive, good gigs go very fast. It also seems really skewed in favor of the employer rather than the designer. The designer signs away all rights and agrees to a simple fee, that’s it. (And there are lots of ridiculous jobs listed as well, i.e. “Create a logo. Total budget $50”).

You’ve outlined a number of issues with finding work online. All good reason to cultivate relationships in person.

I’ve never found a good online place to look for client work. Every one of them turns into a race to the bottom as clueless clients look for the cheapest deals from so-called designers who will work for pocket change. Savvy clients see this and stay away. Good designers find it to be a waste of time. If you live in a part of the world where the cost of living is very low, it might be doable. Otherwise, nope.

Totally Agree.

Word of mouth and referrals. Ask your existing and past clients if they have or know anyone looking for a graphic designer.

Thanks, Folks. Good to know it’s not just me. It looks like “old school” (supported by contemporary technology, of course) is still the way to go. Word of mouth, referrals, portfolios, business cards, knocking on doors (real and metaphorical), networking, and just plain getting involved. Thanks again!


That’s a pretty good summary of the marketing approach I take.

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IMO, a $50 logo is most likely a one-shot project, from a one-time client. Waste of time.

Where I’m at, you can find lists and contact info for new businesses in the area. The state makes it available. You can also get it from the chamber of commerce and see it in certain local newspapers. Create a mailer for yourself and send it out to prospects as they show up on the lists. Offer a limited time deal just for them, a “new business start-up package”.

You can also rent mailing lists for specific industries in a region. Put together a portfolio or product line that would appeal to a narrow demographic like real estate agents, and just target them.


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