Leverage your contacts.
When you are starting out as a freelancer get the word out to everyone you know. There are a lot of freelance opportunities out there and many are not openly advertised. Someone you know may suggest a freelance assignment that you would have had no way of finding out about otherwise. Also, stay in touch with your former employers. There's a chance they may need a contractor and they'll give preference to someone who already knows how they work.
Use the Web to find jobs.
The Web is a great resource to find freelance gigs. Websites such as www.elance.com post recent projects that you can bid on. The projects run the gamut from Web design to writing to financial projects. Another site to check out is www.sologig.com.
While this can be a frustrating strategy, it can be successful. To increase your chances, you must be persistent. Rather than call up everyone in the field, it is best to target specific companies where your services would best fit. The added time you spend researching these companies may well pay off.
By Marshall Loeb