How To Start Your Own Freelance Business
Freelancing is one of the best ways to do the job that you love and earn money. You get to be your own boss, set your own schedule, take your own days off, and focus on work that makes you feel passionate and curious. But getting that freelancer business off the ground can be daunting, and you might not know where to start. There are a variety of methods that have worked for different freelancers in different industries to find clients or build up their portfolio.
Speak to Your Clients Through Your Brand
When clients look for freelancers to work with, they are looking for more than that. They want to see the personality and your personal business values.
When you’re a freelancer, you are your own business. This means that you’re in charge of your branding, values, mission, and vision. Even if you are a one-person operation, you need all of these. There are hundreds of freelancers on the market and you can stand out by how you position your brand. That doesn’t mean simply by how your site looks but how you find clients, how you message yourself on social or on emails, and what sort of work you take on.
Find Your Niche
Depending on your niche, your branding and personality will vary. Finance clients might value someone with a formal, serious, maybe with a more professional resume. A modern beauty company marketing to millennials may like a more friendly, playful personality.
To pick a niche, you have to really search yourself and your experience with different things. Different industries offer different niches and you should be able to find yourself in one of them. For instance, you may have worked in a pharmacy before or have had some academic experience with it so pharmacy can be your content writing niche or social media specialty. If you’ve worked with food maybe you understand more on branding or marketing for restaurants. Sit down and take a look at your resume or see what sort of industries you want to dive into.
Toot Your Own Horn
It might feel unnatural and it might feel like bragging but when it comes to tooting your own horn or talking about your expertise as a freelancer, you’re your biggest advocate. It’s a great way to to get people to notice you and your services. So, create a selling technique that’s comfortable for you and will help you get clients. You want to show you’re a stand out choice.
“Being a freelancer is all about marketing your services, networking and finding more work. Your marketing and selling is a part of the ongoing business of being a freelancer and caring for your business because without marketing, you can't get people to notice you” says Rhea Booth, a brand manager at Australia 2 write.
Keep Up Clear Communication
Clients are always looking for someone they can communicate with regularly. Their projects matter a lot to them and they need you to be there for their concerns and problems that they run into. They also need to stay updated. This builds trust and shows them that you are dedicated to helping them and really solving their problems. This should start from day one and continue through your collaboration. Set a schedule for check-ins with them or let them know how and when to reach you. It encourages full transparency on the project and builds their trust in your responsibility and expertise.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
If you disagree with a client, have questions on the terms, or the payment, feel free to ask for clarification or, when it happens, say no. This is always an option and you should do it when needed. That being said, working with clients or a project can bring on new challenges, and each situation gives you a new lesson or takeaway. But if you find that you’re not seeing the client’s vision or might not be a good match, saying no is as important to you and your time as it is to a client’s.
As a freelancer, you have the option to choose who you'll work with and it's much easier to work with someone you’re on the same page with than with a potentially difficult client. This will prevent you from having bad experiences and allow you to work to the best of your abilities.
Stick to Your Deadlines
Deadlines are the core of your reputation in the freelancing world. When you meet your deadlines on time, you build faith with your client, and they’ll trust you to take on different projects or even recommend you.
“People need their projects done on time and you, as their contractor, are responsible for this. In case you need a bit more time, ask a few days in advance and give a good reason for that,” says Penelope Fuller, a freelance writer at Brit student.
Being a freelancer is a hard job but it can work with the right strategies and proper understanding of what it means to be a good freelancer. Hopefully, these tips will help you build a steady business that will work for you and bring you success.
Katrina Hatchett, a freelance blogger at Phd Kingdom and Next Coursework, is involved in many business projects. She enjoys identifying project problems and find solutions for these, and her goal is to improve the effectiveness of our communication.