More companies seek ways to save money, utilizing remote working and freelancers for outsourcing tasks
The internet has made the world seem a lot smaller and enabled more people to quit their jobs and move into freelancing. It is now viewed as a genuine career choice rather than a surefire route to stress and bankruptcy, and one many people are taking advantage of.
According to a study by the FIA (Freelancing in America), nearly 50% of millennial workers are already freelancing, and those numbers are only going to rise in the coming years, as more companies seek ways to save money, utilizing remote working and freelancers for outsourcing tasks. That means it’s time for existing freelancers to knuckle down and gain that extra momentum they need to get ahead of the competition. With that in mind, here are six useful ways that freelancers can do just that:
Get Your Home Workspace Right
It doesn’t matter where you live in the world when you’re a freelancer, but what plays a huge part in whether or not you succeed long-term is your workspace. Sitting on the sofa watching Man V Food reruns with your laptop sitting on your knees may sound like fun, but it’s not how a serious freelance business is built. Having a home workspace complete with a desk, quality office chair and all the home office equipment you need will give you the boost of productivity you need to find the momentum you need to be a success.
If your current home doesn’t have the space required to make you feel at ease and productive, perhaps consider relocating to a property where you can create the perfect home office. Take advantage of local moving companies if you choose this route to ensure your equipment is transported safely and securely to your new home.
Get Your Pricing Structure Right
The majority of your clients will ask you for the cost of your services within a couple of emails, and it pays (literally) to be upfront and honest about your pricing from the start. When you first start freelancing, get your pricing structure in place so that you can fire over a document or email with all your pricing laid out for the client to see. If you are organized, honest, and your pricing structure makes sense, you are likely to get a straight yes or no from clients, and you can get started or move on without any confusion or complications.
Expand Your Rolodex
The first handful of paying clients is important, and there are many ways to find them on the web. However, if you want to find long-lasting relationships that are local and more than just an email address, there aren’t many ways more successful than going to networking events and forging relationships with local businesses. Talk to business owners, collect business cards, become a name and a face in the local business community, and remember to talk up your services. The idea of networking is that, when a business requires a service that they don’t cater for in-house, you’ll be the first person they call when the need to outsource work arises.
Offer Great Value for Money
Freelancers often misinterpret the term ‘offer value for money’ as ‘working for free,’ and that simply isn’t the case. It’s a case of putting in an extra 30 minutes to get a job done to the best of your abilities or writing an extra 100 words if the article requires it. The name of the game is to show your clients that they are getting great work for the money they’re paying out, which is likely to have a snowball effect, meaning more work, a great testimonial, and the likelihood that they’ll recommend you to other businesses they’re in contact with.
Make Sure Your Website Sings
In the years before the web coming to prominence, the resume and covering letter was the king when it came to applying for work. These days, and particularly for freelancers, the personal website is the new resume and should be treated with the respect and importance that it deserves.
Potential clients from both local, national and worldwide businesses are searching the web for freelancers who can help them out. If you have a website that sings, including a great design that is easy to navigate and shows off your work, social media links and an active blog, they are likely to contact you via the site and get the ball rolling on your working relationship. Check out Godaddy’s A-Z guide to starting a website for an excellent step-by-step tutorial that will lead you to have a fantastic website in no time.
Know Where To Find Clients
Believe it or not, freelancing existed before the internet explosion that made it easier for freelancers to find gigs without leaving their homes. There are ways to find clients offline as well as on the web, and these include:
Asking your friends – If you have friends who work for companies that you think might need your skills and expertise, ask them to recommend you to their boss. A recommendation from somebody who knows you is more likely to yield results than hitting and hoping with emails and promotional materials. For example, if you’re a freelance video producer and your friend is working for a company which is perfect for online video yet have none of their site, they could be the bridge that gets you the meeting that leads to them becoming a client.
The Business Directory – In the days before Google, people used business directories to find the services they required, and there are still plenty of people who do, so get your hands on a directory and start contacting businesses from there.
LinkedIn – A number of people dismiss the power of LinkedIn, writing it off as a posh version of Facebook. It’s much more than that. It’s a business directory where you can connect and converse with business owners directly, leading to plenty of work opportunities if you play your cards right.
Jobs Boards – There is a multitude of websites that have job boards for freelancers. Search the web for jobs boards in your chosen profession, and you’ll be surprised by how many you’ll find. It may take a while before you win the gigs, but you won’t grow your freelance business without speculating and putting yourself out there.