The gig economy is in full swing, and more people than ever are trying the freelance market to practice their skills versus going with a company full time. There are many reasons for this. Some markets may not have a lot of jobs where you live, but plenty of opportunities to work remotely. Others grow tired of office life and want to be able to work from the comfort of home. Others grow frustrated with their previous employers and want more autonomy over their own careers. There are plenty of pros for freelancing, but also many things to consider. For one, nothing is guaranteed. Every client you keep is one you need to constantly earn. As a result, you need to know exactly how to get those clients regularly to keep making money.
Finding a Niche
In some ways, being a freelancer requires you to think like any other business person. After all, you technically are your own boss. This means getting into the heads of your audience: your customers. Don’t you know what your customers are? That needs to change. This can be done by establishing a niche for yourself. Picking a niche generally varies based on your own experience and knowledge. If you are a writer, have you written for business before? If you are a web developer, do you specialize in certain programs or platforms? All of these will help you figure out your niche. Many clients don’t want generalists. They have specific needs and are looking for experts.
When you figure out that niche, the time has come to brand yourself and demonstrate it. Here are some resume examples to choose from. You may be asking exactly what is the use of a resume example or template as a freelancer? Think about it. As a freelancer, you are literally constantly looking for new clients, even when you have work. Having a unique resume makes it clear that you know what you are talking about when it comes to working in your field. Business cards and a personal website are a great way to add on to things.
Becoming an Authority
Ready to begin? When it comes to freelancing, a good way to keep a good circle of clients is to think of several different smaller goals and put them in action. Consider reaching out to local businesses often to see if they need your help. For small business owners, going local adds a level of security that may have them work with you over someone else. Leverage platforms like LinkedIn to build a network. Putting out content on LinkedIn and reaching out to influencers may not get you a client directly. But this all goes towards demonstrating your expertise, making you a more attractive prospect for the future.
When it comes to approaching the client, you can’t take the one-size-fits-all approach. A templated cover letter is easily detectable, especially by people who work with freelancers often. Doing your research before approaching a client not only shows that you take the project seriously, but can actively improve their business. Look around the client’s website and learn more about them. Is there a certain area that is lacking but that you can build up? Bring this up. Be gentle, but be clear that you can improve their success in an area where they are struggling.
In addition, when you get more established, you can use your clients to build new clients. This is all done through asking for referrals. After you finish with a client and things end well, be sure to ask them for referrals for other customers. Most businesspeople know someone else in their field, and their needs may be similar. This may help establish you in your niche.
Freelance work has its unique demands, but there are plenty of reasons why people choose to take it on more and more often. What you need as a freelancer is a plan. Even an experienced salary worker may fail if they don’t know how to approach the challenges of working freelance, including getting and retaining clients on a regular basis. These tips allow you to grow your base for the future.