Guest Post by Dennis Muigai
Boost Your Credibility
The only way to make it in freelancing is to have clients, and lots of them. Convincing clients that you are the right man for the job is certainly not the easiest thing to do, and it becomes even harder when you have not created a name for yourself online. Proving to a potential client that you are a worthy investment is not exactly rocket science, but it still requires some hard work. Here are some tips that I have found useful to prove your credibility as a freelancer and thus be able to land better paying clients.
Get a website
How do you expect clients to hire you to write for their websites or blogs if you cannot show that you have done it before! As a freelancer, you have to consider what you will show your clients whether or not they ask for your portfolio. Some writers prefer opening a blog and making money with it while still using it as their portfolio.
On the other hand, others prefer opening a professional website where they can post their portfolio and contact information. There is an advantage to whichever you decide too do, but it all boils down to whether you are a generalized writer who can write on any niche, or whether you can only write for one niche.
Writers who can only write in one niche open a blog and grow their own community around it. However, being a generalized writer means that you can write on any niche after enough time and research, and it is not possible to open a blog for every niche you write about, so the other alternative is opening a writer’s website and posting links to everything that has your name on it.
Alternatively, you can decide to run a blog on your website which also a great way of letting clients see what you can do without sending them off your website.
A good point to note is that not every website that will land you clients. Bombarding your website with advertisements makes your site appear very unprofessional, so think twice before placing advert slots all around your blog.
Showcase Your Educational Achievements
Education is a very important consideration when employing someone. It is even more crucial when you are involved in a job like journalism or editing. This is where you need to show that you have what it takes to get the job done in the right way. Showing people that you got your skills from an academic institution is a sure way of boosting your credibility as a freelance writer.
Take a scenario where you have two published articles in your portfolio and another person you are competing with for the same client has the same in their portfolio; what will make you stand out?
Always explain a little about your educational background. It could be just a mention or even a badge especially when it was an online course from a recognized site.
Develop a Voice in your Industry
This means becoming a person worth the mention by other freelancers. For example, many times have I seen the name Neil Patel crop up whenever I am reading about online marketing. Maybe that could be you in a couple of months. But this does not happen by just taking on clients, you have to do something big in your industry. Maybe start a blog or write a couple or e-books in your niche. This proves to your clients that you are serious in your work. Not to mention that you can use your e-books and blog as a good marketing tool.
Craft a Professional Contract
Every business has a contract that must be signed by any party working with them. A contract dictates simple rules that have to be followed by your client and you. This could be in the form of payment frequency, means of payment or even frequency of projects. Having one ready whenever you take on a new client shows them that you are not another hobbyist writer.
Just start out with a simple contract and then as you grow in the business, you can add some more complex content.
Be Consistent With Your Rates
What happens when a client is only willing to pay a third of your normal rates? Most people are so good at negotiating that they are able to convince freelancers to pay at least half of their normal rates. However, if you want to be credible, you must stick to your rates. Accepting anything less than 3/4 of your rates means that you are not sure of the worth of your work, and it goes a long way in dooming your credibility.
Take some time crafting very reasonable rates and then stick to them. If they are not willing to pay up, maybe they are not right for you. However, be smart when choosing your rates; do not over-charge or undercharge your clients. In addition, always keep in mind the fact that some projects can be easier or way difficult than normal, so your charge should vary on such occasions.
Promote high quality products only
As our blogs grow, businesses start approaching us for the chance to be mentioned in them.These could be in terms of product reviews or just simple referrals in our posts. And it doesn’t only apply to blog owners; affiliate links can also be used in guest posts and e-books. While promoting products is not bad for business, there is always the chance that you are promoting a faulty or low quality product. This means that whenever a potential client is reading a post on your portfolio, they will also see you endorsing the ‘bad’ product, and this is bad for business. In fact, it will send away many potential clients that see your endorsements.
In the case that you endorse or review products, always ensure that you have personally used the product and determined its quality or you know many people who have.
Oh, and only promote products that will help your readers. Examples are hosting plans for blogs in the case that you write for bloggers or medicine and chemicals for those in the health niche.
Let Others Endorse You
All your clients will be human and there is a chance that most of them do not trust easy. Many people will not believe that you are great at what you do unless someone else tells them that you are. Always ask for endorsements from fellow freelancers or bloggers that you have in your social or processional circles. An endorsement goes a long way in showing that other processionals have trusted you in the past and you did not disappoint.
Clients can also show their endorsements by posting testimonials of what you did for them. Add these to your portfolio website and you will be as credible as can be.
Final Thoughts On Credibility As A Freelancer
Credibility as a freelancer is the single most important tool that could increase the number of clients that you have. Nurture it properly, but not over do it. Search for influencers in your niche and see what they do, then emulate their tactics and maybe you could be an influencer too.
Do you have any additional tips for freelancers? Do share them in the comments.
About The Author:
I am Dennis Muigai. I believe in using words to deliver helpful information that will help, advice and inspire readers. This is why I am a full-fledge writer on a mission to help others make it in freelance writing and blogging. I also write about a bunch of other topics like technology, health and Internet marketing.
When not reading or having fun with my friends, I craft articles and blog-posts for blogs and websites and offer free advice for anyone looking to succeed online.
Reach me at: Dennis Muigai.com