Just like any small business owner or entrepreneur, the best freelancers understand how to market their companies in order to achieve growth. If you are just embarking upon a freelancing career – or wondering why yours isn’t soaring – then you can improve and strengthen your freelancing reputation.
Businesses who have a successful growth ratio each have their own recipe for success, however, the fundamental reasons for the ones who succeed versus those who struggle is based upon comprehension of these principles. Customers buy from YOU, as a real freelancing individual, not just because of a fancy company name, snazzy logo or jazzed-up graphics. These may indeed be appealing, but they are definitely not the primary reason that a business owner will choose your company over another freelancer with similar products or services.
It may amaze you to realize that you do not need to have the cheapest price or portray your company to be larger than life in order to get customers. You don’t need to pretend you have a staff of 500 employees and look like corporate jet-setters. You just need to do these 5 simple things that the best freelancers already know and do…
1. Develop an awesome online presence and reputation. Get your name out there every way you can and add as much credibility for the reason your freelancing business exists. Use every resource you have available. In the beginning, this may be nothing. That’s okay, you can make something! Showcase your assets, whether those may be personality traits or skills you have acquired by another company. Don’t be afraid to join like-minded freelancers and find a freelancing job market that is right for you.
2. Sell yourself first, then your business secondly. Put your face out there and your name. Become known as the best freelancer. There’s a world of freelance sites, social networks, forums, places to submit articles, videos, podcasts and everything under the sun. Choose whatever fits YOU and go with it. Then, keep up with it vigilantly.
3. Don’t say YES to things you can’t do, even if you think you need the money. Make it known what you are good at, but also don’t be afraid to admit to a client if you’re not so good at something. For example, when I have customers ask me to do certain projects that are not within my skill level, I usually recommend another writer who I know is better suited to their particular project. In the end everyone will be happier. You’ll be happy that you didn’t say yes to anything you have no idea how to handle, your customer will be happy that they have someone capable and your friend /associate will be thankful for the referral.
4. Be REAL… Don’t pretend to be more or less than what you are capable of doing. Many freelancers try to take on too many things, leaving them short on time, resources and feeling overwhelmed. Just be real! For example, on your “About Us” page instead of portraying your freelancing business as a big conglomerate Fortune 500 (when you’re really a company with 10 guys), make it more personable. Tell customers WHY you are passionate about what you do and why you are a good fit for their needs instead of pretending to be someone you’re not. The best freelancers know this!
5. Always honor your commitments. If you do say YES and take on the work, or if you do have a return for products and have a guarantee, HONOR THEM. There’s nothing that will get your customers more ticked off than if you don’t do what you say you’re going to do. At least try!! One mad customer is not worth losing business, so if you’re late or just can’t do it, then find a solution that works for both you and the customer.
The underlying principle here is to develop yourself as the best freelancer, first, and business secondly. Many freelancers do the opposite. Customers come to trust YOU and then subsequently hire you or buy your products, depending on whether you have a service-oriented or sales-oriented business. Either way, it’s all about TRUST, INTEGRITY and HONOR which creates loyalty. It’s that simple, and before you know it, your freelancing business will thrive!