Marketing yourself professionally as a freelancer is more important than ever. According to Fiverr Business, 85% of U.S. business owners plan to implement hiring freezes during the current economic downturn. Nevertheless, employees are still resigning from their jobs in search of flexibility, fulfillment and higher pay. As a consequence, many companies face a labor shortage and the need to fill employment gaps quickly. These keys to shine as a freelancer will help you to stand out:
🏁 Claim your niche
The freelance world is increasing quickly and there are many people offering their services online, so it is key to find a topic and become an expert in it. Find a niche and make sure to communicate constantly about your field of expertise. That way people will recognize you and ultimately choose to hire you. If you try to have a wider approach, you will probably not get a broad audience.
🖼 Create a portfolio to showcase your work
Sometimes concrete examples say more than a thousand words. Having a portfolio will help you as proof of your skill set and to market yourself. A good first impression is key to letting your customers perceive if you have what they are looking for and could say more about your work than a resume. Hint: in addition to showcase your work from previous project, you can also define a set of productized services that your clients can book straight away.
💬 Reviews and testimonials
Always request a review (especially if you are starting!) from a customer after you complete your work. Adding real reviews and testimonials from other customers will give you more credibility and exposure to potentials clients.
🧏♀️ Have an excellent communication with your customers
Once you have found a niche and become an expert, you will need to understand how to communicate this precisely to your clients.
The portfolio and testimonials may help, but it is essential that you keep a fluent and transparent conversation with them. You should have a personal approach and care about them as humans rather than let them feel just like clients.
❌ Do not over-promise
Setting high expectations is good if you are sure that you will be able to meet them. Otherwise, they will have the opposite effect. Having a trusted relationship is key when conducting a freelance business. It is better to promise less and deliver more.
💸 Set proper rates
A big question when you start freelancing is ‘How should I rate my work?’. There are many techniques to set these rates (here are some examples), but it is important to consider the following aspects:
- Find other freelancers that offer similar products/services to compare the prices in the market
- Consider your costs and expenses
- Set an annual salary goal and calculate the hourly income
- Reflect your value and expertise
- Geographic location (try to set standard rates considering your client’s location)
⏱ Time management
Having a flexible schedule can be a double-edged sword if you do not manage your time efficiently. Making a schedule and work at specific hours might help to focus on your tasks. Taking breaks sometimes does not have the importance that it should. Make sure to make active breaks, and schedule them if you struggle to find the time to make them.
Prioritise your tasks to ensure you are spending your time efficiently (a project management tool might help). Finally, try to identify your most productive hours. It could be in the morning or late at night. Do the most time-consuming tasks during these hours.
Of course there are many more important factors which determine your success as a freelancer. But following these 7 keys to shine as a freelancer will give you a solid starting point to stand out from your competition.