How do you find freelance work?

I'm what you would call an expert at web designer, IMO. I've been building sites since before Netscape existed, and if it did exist then, no one knew what it really was anyway.

I'm more artistic than technical. I know HTML "fluently" and I use a lot of graphics and/or design tricks to build killer sites.

I'm the webmaster for a multimedia ad agency, and it's fun, I guess. But, basically I need more money and I'd like to do some freelance work. I've left some posts on a few newsgroups, tried some small ads in local papers. Thus far I haven't gotten any serious responses. Yet, I know there's tons of people out there that make a living doing freelance web work, and I'd like to join that crowd.

I was wondering if anyone would be nice enough to give me some ideas :). What are good ways of finding serious freelance work? What do you look for in a client and what do you try to avoid?

I'm not looking for a new job, just something to do on the side/weekends (to begin with at least) so I can make some extra cash.

Can anyone help?

Thanks in advance,

--Tim
  necros@mci2000.com
  http://www.emamulti.com/tim
necrosAsked:
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EbenBrooksCommented:
Here's what I've done:

1) I've started teaching HTML classes for a local training company. Often times, my students will want to work with me on an individual basis outside of the classroom, and this kind of instruction/consulting can result in some serious extra money.

2) I've talked to friends who run businesses and offered to design websites for them for reasonable rates (less than what I'd charge for strangers, but still enough to make it worth my while). Then I make sure I put "Designed by..." somewhere on the page and use that page as a reference for future prospecting.

3) I've joined a local professional society (the Society for Technical Communications) and pass out my webmastering business card at meetings. I also collect the business cards of other members who specifically request freelance web work.

Look for whatever professional societies are in your area. The STC has branches all over the country, and they're listed on Yahoo (do a search for "Society for Technical Communications"). Talk to your friends, relatives, co-workers, etc. and see who wants or needs web work done. And if you can, get a gig teaching HTML to a corporate audience--it's not only fun, but it's lucrative and informative, and it will put you in direct contact with the audience you're after.

One other thing you might try: check out the sites of the companies your friends work for, then figure out how you can make them better. Then see if your friends can get you in to see the decision-makers and present your improvements. This could get you some very serious sideline work--the only reason I haven't pursued this myself is that I don't have the time, but a couple of friends have done this with great success.

Ads in papers and on newsgroups don't really work. You have to talk directly to your audience.

Hope this helps.

--Eben Brooks
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EbenBrooksCommented:
Here's another thing to try: you can post a request for freelance work here in the Jobs section. As they say in New York, couldn't hoit!
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xtacCommented:
Start a small page, and put it up in Yahoo, Webcrawler, and all that, and wait, make sure that you put your 'resume' on the page, and make sure that you are at a cheaper rate than others. If all goes well, you will start a 'bussiness'!
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