Freelance Consulting Jobs: Where Do Contractors Find Them?

As a freelance consultant, the most important thing you will need to focus your time and energy on other than contract assignments themselves, is finding new consulting opportunities and clients to keep a steady income and expand your business. The marketing aspect of freelancing – the ability to sell your skills and services – is crucial to any self-employed professional or business owner. It is also the main reason why most consultants either never try to start an independent business for themselves or try and do not succeed in getting it off the ground in the long term.

Industry professionals and consultants who do succeed as independent contractors are those who know exactly where to look for freelance consulting jobs and business opportunities, who are good at maintaining relationships with their existing clients and business contacts, as well as at finding new ones. Below is a list of resources freelance consultants use to grow their business.

Contractor job boards and agencies

Surveys show that freelance consultants generally find more new assignments through intermediaries – established contractor job boards and agencies – than through any other channel. Both job boards and agencies are usually the first stop for any professional eager to test the waters of freelance consulting.

Consulting job boards are the fastest way to find the latest opportunities in the contract market. Our job board provides the latest freelance consulting jobs and acts as a trusted intermediary between contractors and businesses seeking their services.

To secure new contract assignments through intermediaries, it is essential to choose established agencies and job boards over those that are, for instance, still only trying to build a CV database, but do not have a solid, dependable record of bringing employers and employees together. The problem freelance consultants encounter with some recruitment agencies is that the agencies will occasionally advertise jobs which do not exist, but are listed only to help the agency build a database of contractor resumes or simply to make it look busier than it really is. Our contractor forum is a good place to visit to exchange different experiences in securing work through different agencies, as well as to get advice from independent consultants who have been successful in launching and growing their business.

Another issue that may arise with agencies if you are permanently employed at a consulting firm and trying to find an independent job, is that both agencies and potential clients are more likely to be wary of hiring you than someone just as qualified for the job who is committed to a freelance career and not just looking for the occasional contract assignment between steady jobs.

Contract jobs are also occasionally advertised on company sites themselves, even if the ads for a specific assignment can be found on recruitment sites and agencies. If there is a particular company or business that you would like to work for or feel that it may benefit from your services, make sure you visit the company's website and see if they are hiring people in your field of expertise.

Networking and referrals

Most businesses looking to hire a freelance consultant will always prefer an expert referred to them either by a trusted agency or someone in their own professional network. Knowing people who are in the position to recommend you for a contract assignment is not only a plus, but a necessity if you have an independent consulting business.

With the growing number of professional and social networking websites and communities, as well as various networking events, the opportunities to meet people who share your professional interests are endless and you should never stop expanding your network of business contacts. Keeping in touch with your existing contacts and clients is another thing you should keep high on your list of priorities, as referrals are a common way of getting new business. Find an occasion to touch base with your past clients from time to time; you never know where your next big opportunity is coming from.

The importance of having a marketing plan

Freelance consultants sometimes fall into the trap of pausing their marketing efforts if they have enough assignments on their plate and their schedule for the foreseeable future looks full. More often than not, this is a mistake. Setting goals, working out a plan to market one's services and then sticking with it consistently from week to week is a habit any business owner needs to nurture. You never know when one of your clients might cancel or what opportunities and new business contacts you could be missing out on if your marketing activities take a back seat for longer periods of time. As a contract consultant, you can't afford to spend time on the bench and always need to have a back-up plan.

To apply for the latest freelance consulting jobs, visit our contractor job board.