We’re living in a time where remote working is no longer a perk but rather, essential to safe, effective, and enjoyable business. That’s why there’s no better time than now to embrace becoming a freelancer. Work flexibility, the ability to work anywhere and everywhere, and being in charge of your income are empowering. And with the plethora of affordable (and at times, even free) tools available on the market today, it’s truly a rewarding and lucrative career for anyone who wants to achieve ultimate freedom.
But only if you do it wisely.
Introducing the freelancer economy
The freelancer or gig economy is growing rapidly. In fact, at the current growth rate, Website Planet estimates that “67.6 million Americans will be freelancing by the end of 2021”. Further, “by the year 2027, freelancers are projected to make up the majority of the US workforce—at 50.9% of the working population”.
Clearly, there is a need to stand out as a freelancer. Now isn’t the time to do what everybody else is doing and camouflage.
How do you do it?
It all comes down to finding your niche, knowing your audience, and tailoring your business to their needs and goals.
Here are a few simple, yet actionable ways to get started:
Make your mission about them, not yourself
Your potential clients may be interested in your service or product offering. But at the end of the day, they simply want you to understand them—their needs and goals and what makes them tick. Maybe even what keeps them up at night.
Make your profile, job descriptions, and business about who you serve, rather than what you offer. For example, rather than simply saying you are a graphic designer, say, “Graphic designer that specializes in compelling infographics to convey your message in a simple way.”
Do this on every platform of your business, including your website, social media, and in-person interactions to really drive the message home.
An eCommerce success, Warby Parker does a fantastic job of creating a brand-driven story for its audience. Everywhere possible, they drove home their mission: “to offer designer eyewear at an evolutionary price, while leading the way for socially-conscious businesses.”
By putting their customers, employees, community, and environment as the main stakeholders, Warby’s brand story becomes more powerful than ever.
Show thought leadership everywhere you can
Thought leadership comes down to your ability to share your thoughts as a subject matter expert and being consistent. Create and distribute value-added resources and thought leadership articles. Showcase your abilities and insights through pdfs, posts, downloads, or audio that will help your potential customers for free. From there, you’ll slowly, but surely, build and establish credibility with the people who matter.
Leverage social media to build credibility
Utilize social media, especially LinkedIn to build more brand exposure. Keep in mind tip #1 and make your profiles speak to the customers themselves.
Be consistent with it
Consistency is key. Whether you are following up with sales calls, sharing blog posts, posting Youtube videos, or attending networking events, make sure you are doing it regularly. People buy easier from those who they feel they know well.
Make branding a priority
Branding allows you to build relationships with your audience, which can eventually turn them into loyal customers. It also serves another important role—it makes a memorable impression on clients and distinguishes yourself from your competition.
Design all your customer-facing materials to include your brand.
Here are some ways to do it:
- Invoicing. When you send an invoice through TrulySmall, get your logo and branding language front and center to stay top of mind with your customers.
- Marketing Brochures. The majority of the time prospects would request case studies, portfolios, or brochures of your existing work. Make sure these are designed with your logo and branding on the document. And don’t forget to make it consistent!
- Website. Investing in a good logo, choosing the right theme, and being consistent and thoughtful with your style and the site layout is key to communicating branding to prospects and existing clients. Make sure the copy is spreading your website’s message the right way too!
By treat every external-facing material as an extension of your business, your prospects and clients will know exactly what your business is all about and keep it professional.
Be creative with it
A boring brand is a brand that never challenges the status quo. Show some personality in everything you do—from email newsletters and social media to how you approach in-person interactions. Instead of doing Zoom calls each meeting, ask your client to meet for coffee in person or go for a walk. When you find some downtime, try to approach the newsletter in a different way. From design tips to other catchy content (like the examples Hubspot provided), there are many ways to make your newsletter communications more engaging.
People also want to buy from others they like. Be interesting and engaging in your emails, articles, and videos—you’ll be surprised how many customers you can attract by just having a little more “oomph” in what you do.
Build a mailing list right away
As a freelancer, it’s more vital than you think when it comes to building a mailing list. The list should engage prospects and helps move them to a buying mode. In fact, some (if not, most) people aren’t ready to buy…yet. Send them relevant and helpful information that keeps them close and builds trust. When they are ready to make a purchase or even have a chat, you’ll be higher on the list. Overall, it’s always easier to sell to people you have a pre-existing relationship with.
Ready, set, freelance!
Navigating the market as a freelancer isn’t easy. There’s a lot of competition to beat and the market is extremely saturated. But one thing is certain. Your prospects care about your ability to solve their problems and help them achieve their goals. If you can get one thing right—it’s being able to stay interesting, noticeable, and most importantly, stand out using the tips above.
Interested in standing out in your invoicing? You can build your first few invoices for free using TrulySmall Invoices or take the easy-to-use double-entry accounting route, using TrulySmall Accounting. Try it for free today!