Finding subcontracting jobs can be relatively simple when you learn where agencies or service businesses typically promote these positions. You must first decide what services to offer and establish your rates, as these can be used as selling points to get assignments. Whether you are a consultant or subcontracting as a writer or Web designer, develop a portfolio that highlights your skills and experience and targets agencies that need your types of skills. Also, create a website so you can showcase work samples and testimonials from satisfied customers.
If you've been in your field for a few years, chances are you know vendors or agencies that subcontract work. Make a list of these people and start contacting them regularly. The best way to get work as a subcontractor is to have friendly working relationships with contractors. Join professional associations in your area to expand your networking base and attend some of the luncheons or lecture series. Introduce yourself to contractors and business owners who use your types of services and give them your business cards.
Ask for Referrals
When you complete a project for a business or agency, ask for permission to use the company owner or contact as a reference. Also ask for the names of other similar companies that might use your services. You can then use your contact's name as a reference for getting additional work. Only ask for referrals when you know a business was highly satisfied with your work. The best way to know if your work was satisfactory is to ask the person how you did. Obtaining a testimonial from him validates your success on a job and enhances your website.
Distribute Fliers and Business Cards
Distribute fliers and business cards to agencies or businesses in your area, especially if you primarily do business locally. That way you can meet business owners in person and discuss the types of work you seek. For example, if you work as copywriter, call on advertising agencies and public relations companies in your area. Inform these businesses about the types of work you've done and leave copies of your fliers and business cards with them. Include your website address on both the flier and business card. The strongest asset you have as a business owner is yourself, advises the "Business Know-How" website.
Advertise your subcontracting services in both print publications and online sites. If you're a marketing research consultant, for example, advertise in trade publications such as "Quirks" and "Journal of Marketing Research," which is published by the American Marketing Association. If your strengths lie in interior decoration, promote your services online through Craigslist and other social networking sites including LinkedIn, Facebook and Google Plus+. Include your phone number and website so contractors can find out more about your services.
Use Search Engines and Bidding Websites
Search Google, Yahoo and MSN for subcontracting positions. Type in the title of the work you desire followed by the words, "subcontractor jobs." For example, if you are looking for jobs as a graphic designer, type "graphic designer subcontractor jobs" in the search box. Check online job sites such as Indeed, Simply Hired and Monster for graphic design subcontractor work, as they sometimes list these jobs. Sign up for bidding sites such as Elance and Guru. These sites allow you to place bids for different freelance positions, including marketing, customer service, writing and proofreading jobs.
- Inc.: Small Business Subcontracting Plan
- U.S. Small Business Administration: Self Employed & Independent Contractors
- U.S. News & World Report: Get Your Foot in the Door as a Contractor
- Entrepreneur: Use Subcontractors to Build Your Business
- Tech Republic: Advice on Finding a Good Subcontractor
- Business Know-How: What You Are Marketing Is Yourself
- Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images