For many of us, working as a freelancer is a dream job. You get to work on your schedule doing something you’re passionate about, and you can make excellent money doing it. But growing a young freelance business can seem like a tremendous challenge – how do you find clients and how do you get enough work to make a steady income?
While launching your freelance business is certainly a leap of faith, there are some tips and tricks that can help you succeed. Read on to discover what these are and start kicking your freelance career into high gear today.
When you’re working from home and on your own schedule, it can be very easy to waste time – a lot of time. What starts as a simple social media check in the morning turns into a quick game on your phone and then a deep dive into an article you saw on Twitter and before you know it, it’s lunchtime and you’ve gotten nothing done. Time is quite literally money when you’re running a freelance business, and you need to make sure you’re staying productive and meeting your goals.
There are a number of tips and tricks out there for how to stay productive during a freelance workday. From designating a specific workspace to using the Pomodoro technique, make sure you try out different productivity methods. Find the ones that work for you and use them to optimize your workday.
When customers are making a decision about any purchase, whether that be a product in a store or a contract for service, they like to know what they’re getting into. Hearing about previous customers’ experience can let them know if you can provide the kind of service they’re looking for. It’s a good idea to display customer reviews on your website and social media pages.
After you wrap up work with a client, send them an email asking them if they would mind reading a review. Pick a few of the best and display these on the home page of your website. You may also want to set up a separate review page on your site where potential customers can read full accounts of your previous clients’ experience with you.
As a freelancer, one of your most important assets for securing a new client will be your portfolio. This will give your clients a chance, not only to hear what previous clients have said about you, but to see your work for themselves. They can decide if your style fits their needs and see the more impressive things you’ve created.
Take some time every now and then to update your online portfolio. While you may not want to include this on your website, you should be able to provide it to clients upon request. Your portfolio should include your very best work, as well as a range of different projects, styles, and challenges.
When you first launch your freelance career, it’s a good idea to stay in your wheelhouse. You want to prove yourself on early projects, showing clients that you know what you’re doing and you can deliver the quality they’re looking for. But it shouldn’t be long before you start expanding your offerings.
Take a look at skills related to your industry and start learning them between freelance projects. For instance, if you work in the blogging or writing industry, you may want to brush up on your SEO to help clients get the results they need. If you’re a craftsperson, look into other media you could work with or new techniques you could learn in your discipline.
The internet has made freelancing possible in ways it never has been before. We now have access to an expanded client base that gives us steadier work than our local markets could ever offer. But just because you can work with clients from any area of the globe doesn’t mean you should neglect your local market.
As with any job, sometimes the key to landing a gig isn’t what you know – it’s who you know. Make efforts to create a strong network in your area, especially with people who work in industries related to your area of focus. When these people meet others who could use your services, they’ll send them your way, and your network will grow further.
One of the most important things you can do to keep your clients happy and grow your business is to be reliable. Too often, it can be easy to get overrun with projects or family demands or just burnout and put off a project. But missing deadlines, being late for meetings, and not responding to emails leaves your clients with a bad taste in their mouth.
Make sure you do your best to meet every one of your work commitments in the time you say you will. If you tell a client you’ll have a proof to them by Tuesday, do whatever you have to to get that done in time. If you find yourself absolutely unable to meet a deadline, let your clients know as soon as possible and apologize for the inconvenience.
Right now is the best time to be a freelancer – you can set your own schedule, make as much money as you need, and stay safe from the deadly pandemic. Growing a freelance business can be a challenge, but the tips we’ve discussed here can help you get on the path to success. Figure out ways to stay productive, show reviews on your website, and most importantly, provide a reliable experience for your clients.
If you’d like to discover more tips and tricks to grow your freelance business, check out the rest of our site at Moxie. We’re here to help freelancers just getting started get off on the right foot. Get early access to our program and manage your entire freelance business the smart way.