Saturday, April 20, 2024

How to Take Your Freelance Career to the Next Level

Deciding to go into business for yourself is a hard thing on its own. Now all you have to do is make your dreams a reality. As a freelancer, people can enjoy unlimited freedom, and the entire world at their fingertips, and at the same time, it can be very overwhelming looking for gigs that can grant financial freedom. Finding the right employers, gigs, or part-time jobs can be a hassle, and the first few months may be frustrating.

Once a freelancer has a few clients and a decent amount of gigs per month, they begin to wonder about how they can take this to the next level. Should they lean on a better marketing strategy? Should they work together with other freelancers? Or maybe rent an office or better workspace? Choosing where to invest and how much is a daunting task.

Whether someone admits it or not, being a freelancer is not far from owning your own company. While you probably don’t have employees or separate office space, you are still running your business, and you have to have the same mindset as the great CEOs of the world to succeed and reach higher goals. Freelancers need a marketing strategy, a financial timeline, and a plan for any emergency scenario. Although these are most likely not as sophisticated as at a multinational company’s, it’s still something to keep in sight at all times.

A great mindset to adopt when working as a freelancer is to handle every new contact with care. View new clients as employers of sorts, people who can give you great ‘recommendations’, and offer new and maybe even better contacts. While as a freelancer you have the privilege to demand equality in business affairs and gigs, at the end of the day, these new contacts, recommendations, and opportunities are there to serve you. Especially at the beginning phase of your freelance journey, saying no to a job is sometimes not an option. 

On the plus side, accepting one job is not like accepting a 9 to 5 office job position. You can back out at any time, once you’ve found a better opportunity. And most of the time, even these small, seemingly not that beneficial offers can lead to better contacts or can add that zing to your portfolio that makes a great difference. So the first step in taking your business to the next level would be widening your list of contacts and deepening your portfolio to showcase your talents even better.

Talking about portfolios, there are several great ways to make them stand out more. As a freelancer of any profession, your portfolio speaks louder than any other paperwork. It’s living proof of your talent, hard work, and amazing results. And anyone hiring a freelancer is looking for fast and quality results. To make a portfolio that much more noticeable, a lot of people make theirs into websites. Creating a quickly accessible link to your arsenal of experiences will make you stand out more. People don’t like to read through endless recommendations and browse through all sorts of experiences before getting to what matters to them. With a website-based portfolio, you can separate your jobs into categories, and make everything easier and faster to view. Value your future employers’ time and energy, and they will do the same to you.

Another great way to take your business one step further is taking a course. Depending on what your chosen field is, you can never go wrong with extra training. To determine whether this is the right investment for you, you first need to research your current standing in the industry of your choosing. Simply put, think about everything you can offer, and then look into what other similar freelancers are offering. Furthermore, you can put yourself in your clients’ shoes, and think about what you’d be missing when hiring yourself. As a designer, this may be a course in another style, or maybe marketing and psychology, to offer a more in-depth service.

Investing as a freelancer is a very overwhelming process. Whether it’s buying a new laptop, a new paintbrush, or higher quality envelopes, every cent matters, therefore, as a freelancer, you have to be very considerate when thinking about investing in your business’s future. An easy way to determine where you should invest is to research your demographic, your competition, and the economy, and ask: where should I put my money for it to profit fast?

Photo by Jeff Hopper on Unsplash

As a freelancer, there are only a handful of places you can invest. Three of the most important building blocks being training, new equipment, or marketing. For example, if you’re a freelance interior designer, but lack the background knowledge of construction, or can’t draw a blueprint that well, you could invest in a quick and cheap course, and you’ll be an even better professional. Or, if you’re a writer, you can invest in a better computer with which you can write more easily, or glasses so the computer doesn’t ruin your eyes. And before you know it, you’ll be writing twice as fast. As for marketing, any type of communication towards the public is marketing. Your online profile is the best way for new clients to get to know your brand and who you are. An advertising post on Facebook, your Instagram profile, a website domain, or an e-commerce site, are all great mediums of marketing. You can spice this up by investing in promotions, buying a domain, or even buying a camera to take higher-quality photos.

There are only so many ways you can spend your money as a freelance worker, but as mentioned before, when a person works for themselves, every penny counts. Each investment and expense needs to be researched and well thought through before diving in. And to take your business to the next level will demand a bigger investment in one of the three areas mentioned above. As for what is best for your company, only research will tell.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
Sam heads up Cheshire-based PR Fire, an online platform that has already helped over 10,000 businesses to grab widespread media coverage on their news at an extremely accessible price point.

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