With the lock down rampant everywhere, there is an increasing interest among people to explore a freelance business. Freelance is indeed a great idea for you because of the following reasons:
- Time saved on commute
- Cost saved on commute
- More time available to spend with family
However, there are so many ideas available for your business that it’s difficult to select the best one. This article will help you with that. Read below top tips to grow your freelance business in 2020. This will help you up your freelancing strategy and stay on top of the cut-throat competition.
- Find out the Best Jobs
Before you start with your search it’s best to highlight the top jobs that could proves fruitful for your business. Web developer, video editor, graphic designer and content writer are the most highly preferred job among freelancers. It has been claimed that from around 15 million freelancers, 1 in 5 earn more than $ 100,000 per year. Read more about the most picked freelancing jobs here. However, with companies certain jobs like web developers, content writers, etc will always be in high demand.
2. List your Goals:
Like any other business, you can not start your freelance business without knowing your goals. With goals, it will be easy for you to know the right path to tread.
Before deciding your goals, ask yourself the following questions:
- Why do you want to start this freelancing business?
- How do you want to take the freelancing path? Should it be a means to earning extra income at the end of the day? or Do you want to make it a full time job?
- Why do you want to choose freelancing as your career? To enjoy the benefits that it consists of or for some entirely different goals?
You have to be very clear with your goal and understand as to why you have to become a freelancer. Also imagine, how do you see yourself as a freelancer – as a freelance writer? or as a freelance developer? or as a freelance designer? Once you have your answers for your long term goals, start setting your short term goals. Short term goals will involve setting your budget, your own hours and the decision of who you want to work with. Also keep in mind to take calculable risks. If you’re taking freelancing business on the side, keep in mind that you already have the funds and time for it. If you plan to start as a freelancer after leaving your job, be prepared with enough funds. Remember that you should at least make 75% of what you would make from your job.
Freelance business is a long-run game. It won’t give you immediate results and would also test your patience.
Read more about setting your goals to grow your freelance business here.
3. Find a Niche
This is a question that you will face mostly, as a freelancer. Once your start researching, you will also realize that certain niches have more demand as compared to others. However, if you believe that choosing a certain niche could affect your work, given by the demands, you have highly misunderstood the business of freelancing.
Think about it this way: You have some chocolate syrup with you for pancakes and you need to mix them with a set. Instead of mixing them with many pancakes and getting a mediocre taste why not add the syrup in a single pancake and get the best taste? This is how you also have to choose the niche.
It’s not wrong if you select more than 1 specialties of yours. However, see to it that it doesn’t exceed beyond 3. So, find out what you are good at, consider what your really would love to do as a freelancer and what would also give you a reasonable profit and get set to grow your freelancing business.
You can find here more insights on choosing your niche.
4. Don’t get Intimidated
Once you start your journey as a freelancer, you’ll find a lot of competition in the freelancing sites like fiverr, upwork and freelancer. You will will also be surprised to notice that many freelancers are ready to work at low prices. The trick is to not get intimidated and jump on the bandwagon. Take it calmly and stop comparing. After you have established your niche, start collaborating instead of comparing. Grow a network by making your presence felt in sites like LinkedIn. Let your work speak. Find out your Unique Selling Point that will build your brand and story. It’ll take time but if you keep on working your way, you will surely get there and once you get your first assignment, be rest assured that your journey has begun. Start performing well in your assignments, take your work seriously and once good quality work starts coming from you, you start attracting good clients.
Never compromise on your value. Let your value precede the price in the competitive market.
Read more about beating the competition in the freelance market to grow your freelance business.
5. Identify your Clients
Clients are the most important part of making your business thrive. After you have established your niche, it’s time to identify the kind of clients you would like to attract. Research, study a bit of freelancer interviews on their experiences with their clients and make a list based on your gut feeling about the kind of clients that you would like to work with. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What kind of business will benefit from my writing?
- What kind of business will be able to afford me?
- How do I contact these businesses for my work?
Target such clients, and after working with a few, you’ll soon realize whether or not you’ll like to work with a similar stream of clients. You can even prepare an e-mail and approach these clients by presenting your USP. Who knows, someone from them might actually consider you and you’ll land a great assignment?
In the initial stages, it would be difficult for you to work with the top clients but over time, as your brand name starts shining, you’ll have the top-notch clients considering you as the go-to person for their business.
6. Set the Right Price for Your Services
Have your heard the saying that ‘If you don’t plan for yourself, you fall into other’s plans?’ Well, this also applies for pricing in the freelance market. Hence, setting your price right, is very important.
Never let others decide your pricing for you because that would be them, deciding your value and worth. Also, the concept of high price and low price completely depends on the kind of clients that you target.
The best option is to build a pricing strategy, that would make you know your worth and charge the right fee according to your worth. You can list your pricing strategy on the basis of the following:
- Hourly Pricing: Base your work on an hourly basis and add an extra hour or 2 as a cushion time.
- Fixed Pricing: You can build a package mentioning your services and pricing
Always remember to base your pricing strategies on the basis of your value and the kind of your work, not on the basis of what your competitors are charging. Pricing won’t be a major concern once you have established a good rapport with your client based on your good work.
Read more about the pricing strategy to grow your freelance business, here.
7. Make an Amazing Portfolio
Your portfolio is your face as a freelancer. That’s the first thing, a client would want to see to gauge your abilities for their business work. Hence, always keep in mind to set the best digital footprint.
Your portfolio should consist of the following elements:
- About you and the choice behind your profession
- What will it be like for clients to work with you
- Details of the services you provide
- Details on how your services can make the lives of clients easier
- What makes you unique and better from the competition
- Your contact
Don’t forget to highlight your relevant skills in your portfolio but also don’t sing fake glories of yourself to end up seeming a narcissist. Don’t forget to update your portfolio from time to time, intending to provide a glimpse of how your work has evolved. Always seek regular updates from your clients regarding your work. To begin with, search for the best portfolios of freelancers.
Read more about creating the best portfolio to grow your freelance business.
- Landing your First Clients
Your clients are not only a reflection of the charges for your work but also the portfolio you build. As a beginner, you will have no idea about how to land clients. However, with proper research and networking, you will able t0 find the right clients. You will also know what exactly is a client looking for in a candidate.
Many freelancers are of the wrong opinion that if they all the right credentials and experience, they can easily land the best clients. There is a tough world out there with huge competition. So, gaining attention from the right client needs more.
The best thing you can do is to run through the best freelancer’s website and scan through the client’s he/she has worked with. You can get in contact with the respective freelancer and ask questions pertaining to the clients. You can know how the clients found out about the freelancer, how was the freelancer selected and what kind of word did they expect from the freelancer. While in this process, have zero expectations for a reply as not every freelancer would be willing to answer. However, out of all the freelancers that you have contacted, there would be at least a few, who would be ready to help.
Read more about landing a client here to grow your freelance business.
9. Try to involve the Potential Clients
This is another step to build your brand name. While writing your content, a frequent mention of potential clients or brands or companies in your blogs, can actually help you get noticed. You can start by jotting down the names of the potential clients and the companies you want to mention in your blog. Reaching out to them after publishing your content and letting them know about their mention is a great idea. Many a times, this can throw a great impact on your work and confidence and can easily get you noticed.
10. Pitch Yourself
Pitching in the world of freelancing is an art that could take you a long way ahead. To start pitching, you have to work on your personal projects. No matter how busy you are, taking time out to building your personal brand can actually attract clients in the long run. Personal projects also give you a lot of space for evolving and experimenting. Once you have worked on the personal project, work on increasing the traffic on your website. The final step would be reaching out to the clients with your body of work. You can use a professional and remarkable email or a visually attractive proposal to hog potential client’s interest.
11. Keep your Job Away from Your Business
It can get quite tough to manage the pressures of your job along with your business. The idea of sometimes prioritizing your job over your freelance business over your job can seem quite tempting but this can prove very distracting and demotivating for your business. It can also make you distracted in your full-time job, putting it at a greater risk. You should follow certain ethics while working freelancing as a side job. Never do your freelancing work in the office, never use the office resources for your freelancing business and never breach any contracts with your company. The biggest challenge of handling a freelance business with your full-time job is balancing. However, with time, you learn the art of balancing. You have to build a routine and adhere to it strictly.
12. Learn the Right Skills
Learning is a lifelong process and as a freelancer, you’re required to keep yourself updated about the latest developments. Enrolling yourself in relevant courses from time to tome, would keep you abreast on the latest market trends and give you a cutting edge above your competitors. Learning relevant skills as per your choice of niche.
13. Justify your Work with Numbers
You can give credibility to your portfolio by including numbers to highlight your work. Talk about the impact that your work had on client’s outcomes. You can talk about increased website traffic, increase in target customers and also development on the email list.
14. Work on the Testimonials
You won’t really have your freelance business growing, unless you have solid feedback from the clients who have worked with you. It is the best way to show that ‘your work speaks’. Once you submit your work to your clients,seeking an honest feedback and a testimonial not only helps you but also enables a client’s trust on you. However, don’t try to be pushy in your request from the clients.
Read more about getting customer testimonials to grow your freelance business, here.
15. Invest in self-marketing and Network
Your main goal to be a successful freelancer is to build a successful brand name. You can build your brand by investing in self marketing strategies. You can attend trade shows, seminars, workshops or even work on improving your website’s search engine optimization. Use your social media accounts to the fullest and specify your logo, your brand name, your services and testimonials in these accounts.
Read more about freelance marketing to grow your freelance business, here.
The next step is to grow your friends network. Network with people who belong to your field of interest. Join freelancers group in social media sites, be active in the groups, share your knowledge and get insights from them. Attend niche specific events and seminars and get a chance to connect with potential customers.
Some Popular Freelancing Websites that you can scroll through:
Advantages of Being a Freelancer:
- You get to be your own boss
- You can make some extra money
- Overtime, you can make more money
- Easier to manage work-life balance
- Happy and less work stress
- Escape from a monotonous structure
- Space to experiment
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
So, don’t fear to take that single step in to the world of freelancing. It will definitely test your patience and you would require a lot of self-motivation but with the right steps and the right hard-work, you will definitely end up making a mark and building a legacy. The journey will be fun-filled and exciting, and in the longer run, well paying.
What are your tips on growing your freelance business? Do comment with your views.