Let’s face it…you can create videos right from the comfort of your own home studio. From gathering footage, editing and getting final client approval, it’s not necessary to be face to face with clients for production any longer.
With a mean annual wage of $63,780 in 2020 and a staggering projected 22% growth in employment through 2029 (Bureau of Labor Statistics), video peeps will continue to have ample job opportunities for years to come.
It’s a competitive job market out there. How do keep on top and beat your competition to the wealth of work out there?
Note how the title of this article is “How to Get Remote Freelance Jobs” not “How to Find Remote Freelance Jobs.”
In 7 easy steps, I’ll show you how to do everything from start to finish to land those big productions.
Give yourself about an hour to complete this tutorial.
I help people get full-time remote jobs, but sometimes people don’t have enough experience to compete with others applying for these jobs. In these cases, I recommend they try to get remote freelance jobs.
Working remotely on a freelance basis allows you to earn money as you build your portfolio.
But how do you get these opportunities?
You can use freelance platforms like Upwork, but platforms like this take up to a 20% cut of your rate. A better way to get opportunities-or, a way to complement the opportunities you receive through freelancing platforms -is to reach out to hiring managers directly.
The best hiring managers to reach out to are those at startups. These types of companies have more flexibility and less restrictions in place that allow them to hire freelancers faster.
In this tutorial, I will show you how to efficiently find and contact hiring managers at startups that are most likely to give you freelance work.
Before getting started, create accounts with the platforms and tools listed below if you don’t already have accounts with them.
Free tools we will use in this tutorial include:
- AngelList to find startups that are looking for someone with your skills
- LinkedIn to identify the hiring manager at the startup
- Voila Norbert and Hunter to help us find the hiring manager’s email address
- Google Sheets to create a list of hiring managers, their emails, and other information
- Gmail to draft an email with variables (e.g. placeholders for names of hiring managers and startups)
- Yet Another Mail Merge to send emails to every hiring manager in one click (choose the individual install option)
You will also need a one-page resume and a demo reel.
Step 1: Find a startup to contact
You want to find hiring managers at startups that are actively seeking your skills. The best way to find these types of startups is to use job boards.
You can use any job board but I highly recommend using AngelList. Only job listings featured at startups are listed on this site.
Note: Startups that have open job listings are often willing to hire someone on a freelance basis until they find someone to bring on full time. And, in some cases, they end up hiring the freelancer for the full-time role. This happened to me a few years ago.
To get started, go to the jobs section of AngelList.
For our purposes, you don’t need to complete your AngelList profile. We’re just using the platform to locate relevant startups and hiring managers.
At the top of the job page, you’ll see two search fields for job title and location. Enter the name of your profession and the location of your country and any other country that is relatively close and speaks the same language as you.
For instance, I am located in the United States but I will also add Canada since it’s in a similar time zone and mostly English speaking.
In the location field there is also a dropdown with remote options. Select the option that says Include remote jobs.
With this search criteria, AngelList shows me 1,533 startups that are actively seeking people with my skills as a content creator!
Now, keep the tab with AngelList open and open a new tab in your browser.
Step 2: Identify the hiring manager
Make a copy of this Google Sheet by selecting File → Make a Copy.
Note: After making a copy, you can delete the sample data I added later on and add your own data.
Now, let’s go through the opportunities we found on AngelList.
Find a startup that has a job listing that matches your area of expertise.
My area of expertise is content marketing and this startup looks interesting to me:
Note: The higher-than-average salary also indicates that they’ll be able to pay me close to my market rate.
When you find a good startup, click on the startup name.
A new page will open that gives you an overview of the startup. This page will also show you the startup’s website in the right-hand column.
In a new tab, open LinkedIn.
Enter the name of the startup or startup’s website in the search field and select the startup’s LinkedIn profile from the dropdown.
On the startup’s profile, click the link that says See all employees on LinkedIn.
The page that loads is the page where you will look for the immediate hiring manager. For instance, since I am a content marketer, the immediate hiring manager would be the head of marketing, Maya Nijhawan.
Here we have successfully identified the immediate hiring manager! Contacting them directly will be more effective than contacting someone in human resources.
Step 3: Find the hiring manager’s email address
To find the hiring manager’s email address, log in to the tool Voila Norbert.
Enter the full name of the hiring manager and the domain name of the startup. After this, click the green button.
Note: If the tool finds the email address and is certain that it is correct, a green dot will appear next to the hiring manager’s name. If an orange dot appears, the tool is not certain but pretty sure that the email address is correct. If this tool can not find the hiring manager’s email address, try using a different email finding tool like Hunter.
Now, open your spreadsheet and add the company’s name, company’s description, hiring manager’s name, and email address to the second row.
Your spreadsheet should look something like this:
Step 4: Find more startups to contact
Find at least four more startups and hiring managers to contact by repeating Step 1 through Step 3.
When you’re done, your spreadsheet should look something like this:
Step 5: Write your outreach email
Open Gmail and click Compose.
In the New Message box that appears, leave the Recipients field blank.
For the Subject field, write the following: