How to Use Facebook Groups to Find Your Next Freelance Writing Gig

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Finding work as a freelance writer can be boom or bust. Sometimes you’re overwhelmed with deadlines, and others you’re scrambling to find a gig that will pay enough so you can buy groceries for the week.

While learning how to budget so you’re never broke is an article for another time, there are a few secrets to the trade some writers rarely share that help them attract a steady of gigs — or even find big enough clients so that they rarely have to worry about the day-to-day hustle.

One of these secrets: leveraging Facebook groups to find your next gig, assignment, or client. We’ve listed some of the best Facebook groups for writers to join, but what do you do once you join these groups?

How to find the right Facebook groups for you

First things first: don’t beg for work. Some groups are great for discovering opportunities but have either explicit or unwritten rules about asking for work. Before you post anything, spend a week or two getting to know the group as a lurker and get a feel for the vibe of each community. Don’t forget to read any rules or files that share FAQs or resources!

There are two really easy ways to use Facebook groups to find your next gig.

Join groups that focus on posting new gigs, jobs, and other opportunities for writers. Set up your Facebook settings so you receive notifications for new posts.

Finding the perfect Facebook groups to be involved with can be as easy as a Facebook search using keywords such as “freelance” or “writer,” though these will only reveal public or closed groups for which you’ll need to ask to be added — you won’t see results for  “secret” groups where you may find more exclusive opportunities.

One new trend popping up: successful freelance writers like Leah Kalamakis have started their own Facebook groups. Some of these are exclusive to those who join a course or buy a package.

Other writer-led groups offer a community to source potential leads by way of discussion around their topic of expertise. People with a diverse skillset join these more open and free groups, meaning you may occasionally find a member who aspires to be a writer one day, but needs copywriting help now — hello, potential gig!

Your other option is to seek local or industry-specific groups where small-business owners or other entrepreneurs may look for writers, or ask for a recommendation. This second type of group requires you to be more engaged than just pitching your services, but establishing a helpful reputation can help you attract clients.

If you live in a larger metropolitan area, ask other freelancers if there are any groups where local digital or social media professionals connect. These are usually secret, but have the potential to connect actively networking group members to contract gigs.

Again, don’t just show up and ask for opportunities. Be sure to establish a reputation as an expert in your niche and be helpful to others first. Being generous, instead of greedy, may help you land more gigs than just asking outright.

The secret to landing freelance work from Facebook groups? Don’t ask for it

The best way to find work opportunities from Facebook groups is to simply enjoy the group, by being engaging and helpful.

“Sharing my time and expertise often [led] to new opportunities,” Veronica Wei Sopher of Seattle says about her experience in one local Facebook group, “Come to think of it, I haven’t intentionally looked for a job since my 20s. It’s all been through associating with wonderful groups such as this one.”

Eleanore Strong of Chicago built an email list of more than 2,000 contacts interested in developing a better personal or professional marketing strategy by being “insanely helpful when people have questions, and [not posting] links/promos — even when they are allowed.” Strong notes, “after reading my weekly content or attending my webinars, some people on my email list decide to hire me to consult for them.”

While Strong’s method may not be the fastest way to attract new clients or a quick gig, it might just be the easiest way to build your biggest base of potential clients for the long run.

Do you use Facebook groups to find new gigs or clients? What tactics work best for you?

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Kelly Clay is a featured contributor for Forbes.com and the co-editor of Wearable World News. Since building her first website in 1996, she has been obsessed with using digital me... .

Kelly Clay | @kellyhclay

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Comments

  1. “Eleanore Strong of Chicago built an email list of more than 2,000 contacts … by being ‘insanely helpful when people have questions, and [not posting] links/promos — even when they are allowed.'”

    What a powerful anecdote! I bet Ms. Strong has a great relationship with her peers and readers. I also bet she rarely ever asks for work and has to turn people down because her queue is so full!

    Thank you for sharing!

  2. A very awesome post indeed,
    I agree with all the points here. One of the best ways to get people to offer you job opportunities via Facebook is to first lend out a helping hand to others who needs it this way, people will start seeing you an authority and a helper and will also trust you enough to give you jobs even without asking for it.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. I wish people all the best with finding work in every way possible (without annoying the heck out of people who are trying to go about their business). I have had conversations with potential clients both online and in person at unexpected places and times.

    That said, I would caution freelancers who are new to social media promotion to proceed with caution. Social media can burn through incredible amounts of time and creative energy before you know it, and telling yourself “I’m promoting my business” doesn’t change the fact that most of it is a total waste of precious hours you will never get back.

    The key is being conscious and intentional in your use of social media for promotion. Set clear boundaries. Sometimes, a boundary is set by scheduling a specific amount of time; “I’m going to spend an hour on my Facebook group.” When the hour is up, you stop, no matter how easy it is to do just “one” more post.

    Other times, the boundary is set in other ways, such as limiting how “helpful” you will be for free. Remember that the reason you are being so helpful is to promote the services you SELL, not to destroy the market for such services. On my Etsy shop (a small part of my overall business), I have been approached to edit people’s shop text for free, because they like the ideas I give away on the forums. Nope. Not happening. I always come back politely with a suggestion that they purchase a package. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Each person must decide what my work would be worth to them. But I know that I am the only one who will draw a line at the point of its worth to ME.

    Know what you are willing to do for free and what is the way you earn your living. Make sure you know it before you start trying to promote yourself on social media, and hold firm.

    I wish you all success with your marketing strategies, on social media and elsewhere!

    Trish O’Connor
    Epiclesis Consulting LLC
    Freelance Editorial Services and Writers’ Coaching
    epiclesisconsulting.com
    epiclesisconsulting.etsy.com

    • I am Rotouel. I am a writer. I want to get into the freelance industry,but I’m not sure where to start. I am interested in your coaching services.I will definitely contact you soon!

      • Great, Rotouel! I’ll be glad to hear from you.

        My website does not yet have a page specifically for my coaching services, but you can still get a feel for my background by browsing the other pages, and then click the Contact link to send me a message.

        Trish O’Connor
        Epiclesis Consulting LLC
        epiclesisconsulting.com

    • Candice Williams says:

      Good advice Trish, thank you for your very sensible words of caution. I have spent an inordinate amount of time on social media developing relationships without asking for anything in return. So far it hasn’t paid off, apart from a modest degree of exposure for my blog. I currently have two “paid” writing gigs, but haven’t been paid anything at all as yet, despite having worked for one company for almost 3 months now. I’ve spent a fair bit of money promoting my blog and travelling around the country to write stories. I’m absolutely not getting a return on my investment at the moment, so I’m feeling very disheartened. I too, would advise caution – you can spent an incredible amount of time and money trying to get a foothold in the industry, and you may or may not get a return on it. Don’t sell yourself short, don’t take any old job just because it’s offered to you, especially if it pays peanuts or nothing at all. I would hate to see others in my position.

  4. I will ditto to a lot that trish has said.spending hours on social media means your writing or creativity getting badly hit.

    I was thinking of reducing them before reading that 2000 mailing list, now you have to read their works too?

    But the points are good, thanks for sharing.

    Sharmishtha basu
    Amazon.com/author/sharmishthabasu

  5. i have been searching for freelance writing assignments without getting good response can someone please help me thanks

  6. Candice Williams says:

    I’m new to writing, and I found my first job through an industry Facebook page. While I was thrilled to be given the opportunity, I’m not sure I can recommend it, as I’ve been writing for them for 2 1/2 months and I still haven’t been paid a cent. If they don’t pay me soon, I’m going to quit.

    • As you absolutely should, Candice!

      Let me give you two pieces of advice, from one freelancer to another:

      One, always, always, ALWAYS require an upfront deposit before you begin any work. This assures you of two things: that you will at least be paid something for your skilled labor even if you never get the full amount, and that the other party is taking it seriously as a commercial transaction.

      Second, always require a written contract. This can be done by email, by sending the contract to them and requiring them to send it back with a statement that they agree to the terms. This, too, is likely to weed out most of those who do not take the transaction seriously. It also helps avoid future misunderstandings by communicating expectations clearly, including payment terms. If (heaven forbid) you ever have to sue, you will have some evidence to present.

      I know it’s too late to do these things with your present client. In that regard, I would suggest not waiting for “soon.” 2 1/2 months is long enough! Contact them now and tell them you are suspending all work until their account is paid up-to-date.

      Best of luck!

      Trish O’Connor
      Epiclesis Consulting LLC
      epiclesisconsulting.com

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