15 Aug 8 Steps To Ensure You Stand Out As A Freelancer
No matter whether you’re a graphic designer, copywriter or consultant, you’re in a crowded market as a freelancer. Not to mention the fact that there are plenty of people out there who would be happy to undercut you on price. Standing out due to low prices is no way to build a sustainable business, instead, you need to stand out for other reasons.
Here are the steps you need to go through to ensure you stand out as a freelancer in a crowded market.
Find your niche
You might think that generalizing your business opens you up to a much larger market of customers when in reality, you’re never actually attracting anyone at all. If you can find a niche, you’re going to be able to better target your marketing efforts. For example, if you’re a copywriter, you might focus on one industry. Or if you’re a graphic designer, you might focus on logo design for sports teams and nothing else.
The goal here is to become known as the go-to person for whatever it is you offer, and that’s really hard to do if you generalize.
Understand your market
Once you have your niche, start to think about who you serve. Who are they and, most importantly, what’s their pain point?
It’s important to know this because if you know what your target market is struggling with, you can make it your mission to help them solve that problem. By using the same language they use to define their problem, you can reach them in a more meaningful way.
Ensure your portfolio stands out
Even if you’re targeting the right market and they’re listening to what you’re staying, you still need to have an impressive portfolio. Keep it updated and user-friendly so potential clients don’t have to work too hard to see what you can do.
Think like a business owner
Even as a freelancer, you’re still running a business, so you need to think like one too. That means charging appropriately and not working for free. It’s also good if you can be strict with yourself and hold proper office hours – at least in your client’s eyes – meaning you won’t be replying to emails at 9pm at night.
Don’t just rely on bidding sites and enquiry emails to get you work. Make it easy for people to connect with you on a more direct level. Building relationships in this way increases customer value over time and makes it more likely that they’ll recommend you to others.
Go above and beyond
While you shouldn’t let clients take advantage of you, it’s always nice if you can add that little extra touch. Introducing clients that might work well together, sending a holiday card or just giving a little bit more value with the work you deliver is a surefire way to get clients to remember you.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box
If you always do what everyone else is doing, you’ll never stand out. When planning your marketing activities, let yourself think outside of the box. Some of the ideas might be nonsense but occasionally you will come up with a gem.
Invest in your career
Investing in the right training and tools will encourage growth in your business. Don’t assume that just because you’re a freelancer you must stay on the same rate with the same processes for the whole of your career. It’s possible to scale a freelance business just as you would any other, but you need to be willing to invest in yourself.
Standing out as a freelancer might take a couple of attempts before you find the format and niche that suits you best but stick at it as this is the best way to start charging more for your work while bringing in an endless stream of clients.