How Do You Find Contract Jobs (When You're an unknown?)


I'd like to know how you guys find contract jobs in SEO/ SEM/ anything. Most of the contract jobs I've had I've gotten through people I know who have had excess work they needed to farm out, and honestly, I like that arrangement. My sites do all right, however right now, I've found myself in a financial bind, and I need some extra cash.

How do you find contract work?

BTW, do any of you need an experienced contractor in SEO/ SEM/ PPC/ Copywriting/ Usability/ or even menial stuff like keyword research/ link hunting?

My resume/ contact information is here.




Its here...

How about, post Request for Work on Threadwatch in a clever useful manner so it makes the front page? Thats a good idea for starters.

wait... is the true link. On the landing page there is an error.

I fixed it, thanks. And yes,

I fixed it, thanks.

And yes, Russ, I admit, I did hope to get some work out of this thread. Honestly though, what other things do you guys do to get work?

Other Forums

A number of forums have an area set aside for people who are looking to hire a consultant. At HR, the requests are listed under Contracting and Subcontracting. (Hope I'm allowed to link to that.)


It's cause we are friendly bunch here :)

Profile raising is the Key, when I went on a mission to try and get my name Branded I had to turn down more Jobs than I took. One thing always jumps to my mind when people are making a name for themselves is jump on the tail of someone Big, so Heather try and get a gig with a big name in the industry and ask them to promote you.


Oh, I agree...

I think that she proved herself as a marketing genius by posting here. While a little off track of what you are asking, what a lot of us do is create our own sites that bring in steady adSense or affiliate revenue while between contract jobs.

try and get a gig with a big

try and get a gig with a big name in the industry and ask them to promote you.

You hiring, Dave? ;)

Heather, have you thought

Heather, have you thought about taking something full time? With the frankly stellar references you could call on, you'd be able to write your own ticket in most any serious SEO / SEM house, I'd have thought


My chat client died...Please contact me again. I think you have be blocked from your chat client. I cannot reply to anything you send me...

It takes more than a CV...

It helps to foster a following of fans for fame and fortune, so keep the blog going. We can all look to Aaron for inspiration there! And CVs are boring, besides. Create some pages describing in some detail (without breaking client confidentiality, of course) what you've done. These are long-term things, though, so in the short term getting set to handle a Big Name's overflow is a pretty good idea.

I give the stuff away

I give away SEO clients 'cause I don't take them on. Unfortunately nobody else seems to want them either (I'm in a very competitive niche full of people not willing to pay money).

Seems to me that a lot of who I would consider to be the big names in the industry who are turning down business are those that tend to speak at conferences. Any conference speakers care to comment? I believe a lot of these folks also cruise for leads at the same conferences.

when I went on a mission to try and get my name Branded

I'd smell that tidbit as possibly the key to success. Yellow Pumas. Write a famous SEO book. Speak at conferences. Post on wmw/threadwatch/digitalpoint etc.Maybe try and get a gig as moderator at one of those.

I'm also curious about this as I've occassionally tinkered with the idea of taking on clients in less competitive fields.

Heather, have you thought

Heather, have you thought about taking something full time? With the frankly stellar references you could call on, you'd be able to write your own ticket in most any serious SEO / SEM house, I'd have thought

I'd love full time work. There aren't that many SEO houses in the area, and not too many hire unless you can be onsite. I'm very frustrated about this.

Wheel: I was a mod at WmW

Wheel: I was a mod at WmW for years. Guess I didn't make that much of an impact.

I've gotten some work from

I've gotten some work from small and freelance web developers in the past - difficult to find them I know, but luckily they contacted me :)

I used my site to target very localised people looking for services and it work first time - one guy who I have worked with for two years lives about a mile away from me and found me on Google.

Yellow Pumas

So that's how Rand did it. Suddenly, I feel like Mars Blackmon.

Become a Guru

a good place to find SEO/SEM/webdesign/database work is guru/com. Although most of the people on there that are looking to hire contractors aren't willing to pay much and have incredibly unrealistic expectations or goals. (ie. a post I just saw yesterday was looking for a contractor who could get them 100 PR5+ relevant links and raise their PR from 0 to 5+ in one month for less than $500, oh and their site is extremely niche... lol)

Heather, most of the real

Heather, most of the real clients come from recomendations.

I get from 10 to 50 e-mails per day regarding services (visitors which came trough organic google listings, or other websites i advertise on).

I think 1 out of 10-50 is a true client.

Instead, out of all the people who came to us, because some other person recommended us, 95% are clients.

Daven's right.. you should try to build your name a little bit. Be more active in the community.

A portfolio wouldn't hurt either, altough it's not the most important part of the client gathering issue :)

I gotta agree w everyone

I gotta agree w everyone else here. Branding is huge. It is what allows you to set your own rates and reject bad clients.

Even if you are a jack of all trades you need to be branded as an expert of one. What have you done to really push your brand? What does your brand mean? If you can't say exactly what your brand is then it is hard to gain ACTIONABLE mindshare in the minds of potential clients. It is not just about being known. It is being known as the expert of xyz.

Also when work is slow I spend tons of time reading or learning so that when I do go to work my time can be priced higher.

I did some work with Heather and thought she did great stuff.

The other big things are follow through and availability. Working fast and being reliable lead to being offered more and more work.

If you would have sent me an IM you might not have needed to post this thread, but I haven't bugged you recently because I am trying not to get burned out by doing too much, just went on two trips, and I thought you were unavailable for a while.

blacken your website

Go ahead and set your web page black and say you are too busy. They won't leave you alone. Really.

why not not just build affiliate sites?

Then you don't have to worry about finding jobs?

John, do you have some

John, do you have some issues ? :)

Texan Networking


During the period where I started moving off of building my own sites to jump into the SEO Consulting world, I found a hot little nugget of Texan After getting in there and helping them take a pretty novice site to a nice, informative branding tool, our Pastor pretty much vouched for me to hundreds upon hundreds of our city's business leaders. I never expected it but now it's the first place I point people who need a little push in Texas. There is no better evangelist for your work product than a man of the cloth! :)

Other stuff I did:
1) Sponsored a little league baseball team. They always need money and it's a good way to work with kids so they don't grow up to key your cars.
2) Did some local business association presentations at hosted lunches.
3) Did a metric shitload of pro-bono work. An age old marketing mechanism for law firms, doctors, etc...who runs non-profits? A lot of the time it's rich wives. They go home and lean on their husbands.

I'll keep you in mind as I have a few projects I'm looking to get going through my Texas biz. Good luck!

1. Get yourself on Rand's

1. Get yourself on Rand's seomoz recommended list.
2. Let's talk. I often have to refer people.

You've probably achieved your aim

>>Daven's right.. you should try to build your name a little bit. Be more active in the community.

You've probably achieved your aim anyway within the inbred and incestuous world of SEO with this thread.

But to respond to your original question, I would say be more active in a community outside SEO. Pick something that you are interested in (such as usability?), join a few forums, and without being noisy about it but just answering basic questions straightforwardly as a teaser, it is a pretty straight run to pick up a few gigs as a consultant or subcontractor. Hosting company internal forums (not general webhosting ones) can also be good sources, although they often have their own resident (ignorant) know-it-all.

I agree 110% with Aaron. Get a reputation for being reliable and always delivering on time and you shouldn't want for work.

Jumping on the Bandwagon

I am in a similar vote Heather, the only thing is I either have too much work or not enough. I have a mate over at WMW who get's a lot of adult consulting work and palms it over to me. The main issue is it's always at the wrong time (I am usually too busy). Also I only do SEO.

One thing I did was build some adsense sites for a cash buffer to keep me in times of need. I am also working for a small web dev company optimising local business sites, part time. While it's something different I am not learning much and I hate not learning.

I have often thought about offering my services to a bigger player for next to nothing (hint, hint) just to be working on something more interesting. The experience would be great and I am welcome to all offers.

As a non-technical SEO with a fair amount of diverse experience under my belt, I'd love to be 'button pushing' with a programmer that know's web. That's my dream, anyone care to take on an extra staff member with seo experience since 1996 let me know.

Finding Contract Jobs

Hi Heather. As other people have mentioned being part of a forum and posting helps, writing a few articles here and there, creating a newsletter, blogging, or using paid ads in industry newsletters may help. Being a member of SEM organizations (example: SMA-NA) or association (example: seoconsultants) may also lead to referrals.

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