Freelance work has become a popular choice for folks starting their own business or for those looking to earn some extra cash. Along with this, the rise of various freelancing platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr have made freelance work accessible to just about anyone with an internet connection and some skills.
With a changing job market, a rising number of people have turned to freelance work as an alternative to full-time employment. In fact, freelance work has allowed many entrepreneurs to turn side-gigs into a full-on business.
Imagine you are passionate about football and all your life you dedicated to following your team around, you know all the players, the coaches and every move in the market. Who else better to write about it, to make predictions, analysis or maybe even create a podcast that gives a shout on the potential NFL MVP 2019?
Whether you’re a part-timer writer or designer or a dedicated entrepreneur, chances are you’ll always be on the lookout for the next big thing. Thus, with the help of our friends in the freelance industry, we’ve prepared a quick guide to show you how you can grow your freelance business.
- Take care of your clients
Clients are the lifeblood of your freelance business and you would do well to never forget that. Besides paying you for work, clients also act as ambassadors for your business. Satisfied clients are more likely to provide you with repeat business or pass new business your way. Repeat business provides your business with a steady source of income and word of mouth recommendations make clinching new clients a cinch.
On the other hand, a dissatisfied customer will likely leave a negative review which can have a drastic effect on your business. Clients can be dissatisfied for a number of reasons. They range from poor quality of work to missed deadlines and even unprofessional behavior.
While some freelancers believe in disciplining their clients, you’ll be better served by setting expectations clearly before beginning a job. Where possible, always ensure that your work is submitted on time and in perfect order.
Should you face a delay, reach out to your client and keep them abreast of the situation. Clients appreciate being kept in the loop and tend to be more understanding when you are honest. Never deceive a client and always ensure that you keep things honest.
- Charge what you’re worth
During the early phases of your business, you may be tempted to charge the lowest possible rates in order to attract as many clients as possible. At best, you’ll be inundated with an overwhelming amount of low-value jobs which makes it impossible to focus on other projects. At worst, you may not get any clients at all which leaves you even more confused.
It may be alright to take on several low-paying jobs to build up your portfolio, but you should then move on as quickly as possible and increase your rates. Charging what you’re worth is more profitable and shows clients that you’re serious about your work. Freelancers who charge the lowest possible rates are either new and inexperienced or grossly incompetent and incapable of securing clients.
As you begin charging more, you’ll notice that the quality of your clients also increases accordingly.
- Get creative
Most freelancers often make the mistake of expecting business to start flowing in once they’ve opened for business. This could not be further from the truth as you have virtually no presence on the market and little-to-no exposure.
Thus, you should get creative and start by advertising your business. Take to social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and get the word out. Print out business cards and flyers to be sent to any potential clients.
Having reached out to clients, make sure that you can be easily reached whether via email or phone. Oftentimes, businesses lose customers when they cannot be contacted by potential clients who give up and take to other alternatives.
- Take on long-term projects
Short-term projects are great for keeping the business afloat and the bills paid. But in order to get any serious money, you’ll need to take on long-term projects that offer the prospect of steady work.
Not only does this ensure a smooth inflow of money into your business, but it also helps towards building your reputation as a freelancer. Customers are more likely to hire a freelancer with a reliable history of long-term contracts.
The freelance business can be a competitive one. However, with the right attitude and skills, a career as a freelancer is very much viable.
Contribution by: Benjamin Lee
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