If you are new to freelancing wanting to get yourself some projects to work on, local market is a good place to begin promoting yourself. Whether you contact your network or watch out for opportunities on local classifieds websites, it is something you can depend on. If you would like to get into networking, renting an office or a cabin in a business center can be a good idea. What it does is to expose you to various companies that operate under a co-working space and that’s where you can get some leads if you build connections.
Additionally, apps such as UrbanClap help you to get some quality leads where in you can meet local customers and do business with them. But before we understand how the local market works, it is important to understand what are the pros and cons
- In a local freelancing market, you get the opportunity to speak or meet your client which helps both of you build a sense of trust and connect
- You can either do this full time or part time depending on your interest and find small freelancing tasks that meet your skills in local market
- There will be less cultural gap between you and a local customer as compared to an online customer from west or some other country
- It is easier for a local client to get give you repeat business in case you end up doing a good job on the first project, although this is not a must, it is definitely a scenario which some of my colleagues that are active in local freelancing went through
- Pricing can often make or break the deal in a local freelance marketplace as clients end up squeezing a lot for less
- On a bad day, it would be difficult for you to get good quality leads as most local classified websites get a lot of fake leads
- Like on the web, you will have a lot of competition that needs to be penetrated which is not going to be easy
- Travelling to a customers location can become a pain at times because some of them insist you to work from their office and this will become even more difficult due to traffic and other issues
- You are not protected in terms of payment as compared to online escrow, so this is one factor that needs to be taken into consideration while working with local clients
- You might have to undermine your pricing and end up doing a lot of favors which can make you feel frustrated at times and most local clients get away with it because they are brought up in a market that is all about bargaining (not all of them, but you will get a lot of such clients that expect more and pay less
Whatever be the scenario, there are freelancers and companies that are doing well in local freelancing market because they have been able to find the right connections and have persisted over a period of time. If you are in a rush to make a name for yourself in local market, it might not be that easy. But if you can buy some time and find out which are the best sources for getting quality leads for a low investment, it is definitely a good idea to get into local freelancing and try your luck.