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?