Guest Post By Michelle Bordage
There are so many Freelancing opportunities out there and you are part of this wonderful world. But lately, your Freelancing just isn’t busting at the seams; your business is staying at the same level as last week or even last month and you need some answers NOW on how to grow your Freelance Business.
WHAT’S A FREELANCER TO DO?
First and foremost, you must ask yourself these 4 questions:
- What does my Freelance business offer that sets me apart from everyone else?
- Are you connecting with your clients on a regular basis?
- Is your portfolio updated as well as professionally written?
- Are you seeking new clients regularly?
These are just a few things that you may want to go over, and review to grow your freelance business.
Flex your Freelancing flexibility!
Being a freelancer, you are in the ultimate place to be flexible. In fact, your clients are counting on it! You also need to be ready to not only accept, but to adapt to constant change.
- How you present your product
- Creating traffic that your clients can easily see
- Changing rates for different or more engaging projects
Knowing what the market is “REALLY” searching for….
You have probably figured out by now, there are markets for everything imaginable that a Freelancer can work with and create. But do you have the right system, for the right market, at the right time?
As the old saying goes: “Timing is everything”. It’s imperative to be ready at a moment’s notice to be able to adapt to change, go with the flow and make it look like you have everything under control at all times to be able to compete with everyone else.
Believe me, it can be a tough gig, but with the right measures taken, it can be very profitable, and very doable!
As a Freelancer, knowing your niche is one thing, but making the client/buyer believe you have what they want is another. I believe that is one of the primary well-kept secrets to grow your freelance business.
I have spoken to many Freelancers who think (flying solo) is the key to their Freelancing success. Nothing could be more far from the truth!
Let’s begin with Linkedin
Linkedin is an AMAZING network to get involved with to grow your freelance business and its free to join!
Linkedin is a massive opportunity to be able to meet Freelancers who are in either the same field as yours, or possibly a different freelancing field but my point is this: they may have some of the answers in which you seek, ways to get around things that you have been puzzled about, and in some cases, help you build ways to indeed grow your freelance business! I always say, “one can never have to many friends in the biz”!
There are a wide variety of (groups) you can join on Linkedin, and please keep in mind something I tell myself day in and out. “All Freelancers put their pants on one leg at a time, just as I do”. What I mean is this:
- All successful freelancers began with an idea that they fed, and it grew
- Just because your freelancing business hasn’t hit the top of the scales in sales (yet) means that you have more work to do, this is your (baby)… Rock It!
Reaching out to companies that are in need of your freelancing product can be a tricky situation, so my best advice is to not go it alone. If you find a (helping hand) welcome it into your freelancing business! Also, as I have stated in the past, “Rome was not built in a day.” Most of the time, things do not happen overnight. Stay persistent with growing your freelancing business dreams!
If I were to describe growing a freelance business in my own words, it would include:
I gave you four words above that I feel are the (real deal) to growing your Freelancing business. The first, (challenge) is your beginning… It is a challenge to begin anything that is worthwhile. If you never begin anything that challenges you or your freelancing business, how can you succeed? How can you prosper?
Your Freelance business is, and (should be), demanding! Putting demands on the quality of your work keeps you not only in the loop of things, but polished and ready for demands as they appear.
Growing a Freelancing business takes time, energy, and a lot of work! But, with that said, there is a math equation in this work equation in itself, and believe me, it’s as easy as 2+2…
The final example above that I give is REWARDING. Being rewarded in all shapes and sizes is the name of the game, correct? Growing your Freelancing business is challenging, demanding, work but exceptionally rewarding as well, especially when your plans and dedication come around full circle.
Other ways you can grow your Freelance business include:
- Invest your capital where it will increase your sales the most!
I know sometimes in a freelance business some corners need to be cut to make room for (bigger, better, more, more, more) but consider better advertisement, buying leads and pay-per-clicks.
- Your Golden clients
Do you have clients that have been with you from the beginning of your Freelance business? Don’t take them for granted! I have seen over time clients finding someone else to go through if they begin to feel neglected or left out of a loop! This was the beginning of your bread and butter, send a note, an email, a basket of fruit… let your long-term clients know that you’re not only thinking of them, but, that they are as important to you and your freelancing business now, as they were in the beginning of your freelancing business!
- Are you short-changing yourself?
In the beginning of your freelance business, I’m sure you wanted to either “beat the other guy/gal’s prices” by either offering a discounted rate, or, a lower cost for your services to get your foot in the door. Have you gone back over your service files and portfolio lately? Haven’t you “come a long way baby……” from (those) day’s? It’s time to re-evaluate your services because just as gas and milk have gone up over time, so does the cost of offering a freelance service! This in itself can raise the bar in your freelance business tremendously.
- Referrals & word of mouth
There is an old saying, “Word of mouth can make or break you” I personally have no idea at what point or time someone in history 1st stated that statement, but, to this very day it holds honest and true. Word of mouth is one of the largest and (free) tools a freelancer can obtain, or, ruin in any moment’s notice! Remember that each and every client is your most important client, even if some need smaller request’s than the bigger clients, they are all your bread and butter and should be treated as such!
Owning and operating a growing freelance business is much like having a child of your own. You have to learn about it, train it, feed it and most importantly love it! There are many things in raising your growing freelance business that can go astray, get overwhelming at times and even the greatest ideas have a tendency to fail sometimes.
If you have ever done anything really great, and I know you have, you already know that sometimes you fail prior to great succession. Following the suggestions above are only the beginning of your journey in building and growing your Freelance business. There is so much information easily obtained on amazing websites such as this one that you are reading at this very moment!
There are of course a million and one books written on the subject of growing your freelance business, but one of my personal favorites I suggest taking a look at would be “Rework” -by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier. The book was on New York Times best seller list and although not a brand-new publication, has a tremendous amount of useful information in understanding the art of growing a freelance business.
Freelancing is the ultimate business to be engaged with and it grows larger on a daily basis. It is vital for you as a freelancer to evolve as the business world evolves and growing your freelance business is the key not only to your success, but to outsource the competition as well!
I hope these guidelines will help, polish, and push you fourth in your journey to excel and grow your freelance business!