Some things don't change.
In the 1970s, the book "What Color Is Your Parachute?" documented that the best work opportunities come from unsolicited contacts. We find the name of the head of communications at X Corporation and ask for an "informational interview."
Usually that's granted. While we're listening to the low-down from that director or vice president, we're also figuring out ways to showcase what we can offer X. Do that right and we could be asked back for a formal interview. Or the head might refer us to colleagues at other companies. It was through that tactic I nailed my first corporate position and made the transition from non-profit.
That's still the way the best jobs and contact assignments happen. However, what most of us in the on-demand economy have learned is that we have to leverage myriad ways to look for work.
The game is to identify which platforms tend to contain the lion's share of the kinds of assignments we can do and at the highest compensation. Admittedly, most have those soul-sucking listings for a penny a word. You better type 70 words a minute. And the expectation is that you will produce a 500-word non-paid writing sample.
Those who make it their business to analyze each platform will find where to most profitably invest their time. For example, overall, UpWork tends to have sophisticated requests for contract workers. Yes, there is actual demand for freelance ghostwriters of white papers, newsletters and articles to be published in brandname media. Those doing the posting tend to be willing to pay elite compensation.
Also, on UpWork the competition might not be as stiff as it is on Craigslist. Those placing the help-wanted on Craigslist frequently tell me that they had received about 300 responses. The number of proposals submitted on UpWork usually is a lot less. So, UpWork becomes the platform for ghostwriters to check out a few times daily. New opportunities continually appear.
Among the other ways to land work is word of mouth, of course. We make everyone on our network aware of our most recent accomplishment.
Another is advertising. We pay for space in our industry newsletter or a classified in the alt-weekly.
The most fun tactic is positioning ourselves to be noticed through social media and social networks. Usually that represents an integrated approach. A provocative tweet or blog post will motivate a peek at my LinkedIn profile. Then could come an email about my pricing.
Like politicos who constantly have to fundraise, we in the front lines of the on-demand economy never can stop hustling after new assignments. The shelf life of an anchor client keeps getting shorter.