How to Launch a Successful Freelance Business
Many persons wonder whether they will be able to launch a successful freelance business. The number one concern among both existing and prospective freelancers is how to generate a steady stream of freelance jobs. Because, when all is said and done, your success as a freelancer hinges on your ability to always have jobs in the pipeline in order to support a steady income stream. In order to launch a successful freelance business, there are certain facts that you should bear in mind as well as certain steps that you should take to ensure a higher level of success as a freelancer. Here is some advice that I wish I had gotten early on in my freelance career
Market Yourself Online
In order to launch a successful freelance business, be prepared to market yourself online, whether you offer localized services or not. The internet allows you to reach markets and clients that you would never be able to find otherwise. The most successful freelancers know how to leverage the internet to acquire new business. If you haven’t yet done so as a freelancer, now is the perfect time to start a blog and give yourself the opportunity to reach new markets while establishing yourself as an expert in your field.
While online freelance platforms are great, and you should also establish profiles on them, the level of competition is great and it may be difficult to stand out among the sea of other qualified freelancers. A blog is the perfect marketing tool to use to launch a successful freelance business at minimal costs. A blog often makes the difference between a struggling freelancer and one who makes a steady stream of income. The choice is clear.
Image Is Everything!
You hear it being said everywhere that image is everything. This is not only true but unless you truly appreciate and embrace this advice, you may not be able to launch a successful freelance business. When it comes to freelancing, YOU are the product. Don’t take the mistaken view that the product or service that you offer is the product.
No, YOU are the product! And clients and prospective clients don’t go looking for “logo designs” or “voice over services”. They actually go looking for SOMEONE from whom to purchase those logo design or voice over services. So how you present yourself and the products or services that you offer, is going to make all the difference between a getting a buyer and simply getting another lead.
Remember that there are several other freelancers out there who are seeking clients just like you are. What is going to set you apart initially is your image. This means that your profile is an integral component of your marketing message in your quest to launch a successful freelance career.
Your profile should be:
- Visually attractive – Yes, people are petty and generally are more attracted towards attractive things. Get over it and do what needs to be done in order to make your profile visually attractive. It may simply mean using a professionally designed logo or a professionally designed banner on your social media profiles instead of using something that looks like a picture that your baby sister drew in kindergarten. And no, by “visually attractive” I don’t mean exposing skin. Taking a professional head shot and offering a smile in your profile picture can make a world of difference.
- Well-written profile description – It pays to spend some time to carefully describe what you have to offer to prospective clients. Even if you are not offering writing services, prospective clients do not want to see grammatical errors, typos and weak language on your profile description. Your description should exude confidence rather than cockiness or uncertainty. In other words, your profile description is not the time for you to be modest or overly-confident. It is where you should highlight your past accomplishments at the service that you are offering as well as indicate clearly what you are offering in exchange for the client’s business. It is important that your profile contains relevant keywords that will convince prospects that you are the right person for the job.
Show Me What You Can Do
As a new freelancer, prospects want to know that they can trust you to handle their requests professionally and skillfully. This is where having a portfolio is going to make all the difference. The portfolio is a tool that will help you to visually demonstrate to prospects what you have done in the past and to showcase your skills and talents.
A freelance profile without a portfolio will be shoved to the bottom of the pile while a profile that includes a well put together portfolio will give such a freelancer the advantage. Since the prospective client many times does not know you or anything about you, your portfolio is what you will use as a door opener. But it is important that you include only your very best work in your portfolio. Otherwise, you may be defeating the whole purpose of a portfolio in the first place.
Don’t be tempted to just throw together some random pieces of your work that fail to effectively demonstrate your skills and talents.
Know What You Are Worth
Far too many freelancers fail to appreciate their worth and therefore tend to undersell their services. This is not the best way to launch a successful freelance business. In fact, it is the absolutely worst way to market yourself as a freelancer and it not only paints you in a bad light, but reflects negatively upon other freelancers as well.
The services that you offer as a freelancer are the same services that employers would be willing to pay you for. The only difference is that you don’t report to anyone except yourself. So why should you charge less for your services than a regular employee? You should charge based on your qualifications, industry rates, experience and so on. I explained how to establish your freelance rates in a previous article which may be a good idea for you to read if you have no idea how to do so.
Simply knowing what you are worth will give you the confidence to launch a successful freelance business.
If you really want to launch a successful freelance business, be prepared to market your services online. Starting a blog and establishing profiles on online freelance marketplaces is a step in the right direction. But your profile needs to be visually attractive and should include a well written description that includes searchable keywords. Take some time to showcase your best work with a portfolio that is well put together. And finally
do not undersell your services and be prepared to ask for what you are worth as a freelancer with valuable skills and talents. Now go out there and launch a successful freelance business for yourself!