So you’ve decided to become a Catholic freelancer. Congratulations! You’ve got a fancy new website outlining your services, you’ve filed all of the legal paperwork, and you have business cards and pens with your name on it.
Now the only thing left to do is, well, find work.
And you hear yourself ask: “Where can I find a good job as a Catholic freelancer? Did God just give me this calling and then abandon me?”
I won’t lie to you: finding work as a Catholic freelancer can be more difficult than being a secular freelancer. When I first started out, it took me several months to find where all this freelancer work was hiding. But the opportunities are definitely out there. You just need to know where to look!
Chances are, the skills you hope to profit from as a Catholic freelancer can be put to use at your parish. Here’s a thought: volunteer your time in exchange for the pastor’s review of your skills and photos and testimonials for your portfolio. You’ll have real life examples to point to, and it’s easy to get involved and be trusted even without prior work experience, simply because it’s your parish. After that, you’ll have your parish to point to as a concrete example of your skills.
Keep in mind, your priests won’t be at your parish forever. If you do a good enough job, they’ll remember you and possibly hire you for real at their next parish. It’s worth it to put in the time now as an investment for the future!
Another alternative could be visiting your local Catholic store or Catholic Charities and offer to volunteer in exchange for building your portfolio.
Trust me. Social media isn’t just for posting pictures of dogs and babies anymore (although please don’t stop doing that, lol). Facebook job groups are a land mine for finding job opportunities as a Catholic freelancer.
For one thing, it’s a great place to grow your skills. All of the professional Facebook groups I am in are focused on a particular area I work in: social media, marketing, writing, etc. The days of keeping secrets from your competitors are over. Freelancers and small business owners have realized that the only way to survive is by helping each other out. You’ll find Facebook groups are a fantastic opportunity for free professional development.
At the same time, many small business owners especially turn to these Facebook groups to find freelancers to help carry their load. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve seen posts that begin with “HELP! Can anyone build a website or edit my book or fill in the blank for me?” This is a great opportunity for you to jump in and offer to help. (Even better, some professional-based Facebook groups will even have specific job threads where you can find open positions.)
But remember an important rule to follow: Don’t just be there to find gigs or self promote your business. Meaningfully contribute to the conversations and offer some pro bono advice here and there. It will increase the goodwill towards you among the members, and they’ll remember your help when it comes time for hiring.
But wait, I can hear you say it: “Isn’t having a blog just unpaid work?”
Yes and no. While you can’t pay yourself for your own posts, they can help you establish your professional credibility, thereby helping people to discover your freelancing services and trust you with their needs.
For example, if you are an IT freelancer, write a blog post about the number one mistake people make when creating a new password or setting up a website. If you are a copywriting freelancer, write a post about finding the best subject lines for emails or developing branding language for your company. Spend some time curating great keywords and subheads for SEO purposes and then wait for the internet to find you! In short, make sure you are answering their needs.
At the end of every blog post, make sure you always include a way to contact you for additional help and include references to the services you offer.
All of them. Everyone you can find.
LinkedIn is an untapped resource for Catholic professionals, in my opinion. Just type in local Catholic organizations like your diocese or Catholic organizations and start connecting away with the professionals who work there. People who you don’t know in person are much more likely to accept your connection requests on LinkedIn than on other, more personal platforms. A great tip is to include a personal note about why you want to connect! Often, the simple fact that you share the same faith will open doors for you.
You’ll not only learn from some of the best people in your industry, but you also open up a way of subtly communicating to these potential clients. Pose questions, comment on their posts, and share your blog posts and professional opinions on your own page to establish your credibility.
Additionally, you could try the Catholic version of LinkedIn, called OSV Inspire. It’s a new up and coming social media hub for Catholic professionals.
Obviously, this is our favorite. 🙂 But seriously, connecting with Catholic professionals has never been easier thanks to our platform. Make sure you sign up for a freelancer profile today and start finding work!
About the Author:
Emily Ricci is the president of Gloriam Marketing, and works as a marketing content and social media specialist at a Catholic college and previously worked at a church for over 7 years. Her past church titles and responsibilities have included working as a Parish Office secretary, sacristan, Weekend Coordinator (ministry supervisor and event coordinator), youth minister, bulletin writer, coordinator of the baptism program, and Faith Formation teacher and assistant. After years in church work, Emily recognized the need for solid Catholic marketing and promotion, but realized that there were no marketing firms in the area that specialized in faith-based marketing.