There was a time when freelancers and consultants were very rare because most jobs required people to be in the office. Working from 9 to 5 was the ideal professional life. But I guess that time is just about done. Because nowadays, a lot of opportunities have become available for consultants and freelancers.
How did that happen? For one, there’s the current financial situation we’re all in. Another would be because they offer small-budgeted companies the flexibility of having their service available without having to hire them full time.
Now, with many a freelancer out there looking for their next client, how can you make yourself stand apart from the rest and be the chosen one for the job? Here are some pointers worth considering:
- Know what you want to do. Is it going to be a long-term profit-making venture for you? Or are you just looking for extra cash on the side?
- Set-up a storefront. It can be your blog or your social networking profile. Whichever you decide to use, you’ll need to find a place wherein you can showcase your skills or the services you deliver
- Use ads and widgets wisely. Take out random ads or widgets that clutter your site. If you’re already a professional, you don’t have use of random ad messages or unrelated and useless widgets. Don’t mistake this with me saying you can’t have fun with widgets, because you can. But if you’re going to use it as your storefront, you have to be wise about which widgets to put into your blog.
- Use your posts to your business advantage. Write things that are related to your niche, or at least limit the off-topic posts. Be a thought leader who’s humble enough to be willing to learn at the same time. Don’t forget to link and be complimentary of other people in the same space as you. Always let your passion show, this makes you more believable. Don’t be afraid to explore new ideas in your space and you’re sure to rake in business.
- Make your about page say it all. Use it to make your own testimonial of what you can do and how well you can do it. Show them who you are, maybe add a picture and put your name on the about about page. Be creative in how you present yourself in the about page. It is, after all, about you.
- Put your contact info everywhere on your site. Be it on the main page, the about page, the contact or the archives page, make sure that your readers can easily access information that’ll help them reach you.
- Be your own promoter. Bring attention to your blog by adding your URL to your email signature or to your social networking profile. You may also want to get a Twitter or Flickr account and post it there. Joining a few blog directories can instantly bring some love to your site. Sharing links with other people through email works, too.
- Build a community. Get in touch with other people in the same niche and be active in interacting with them. Social media sites like FaceBook, Ning, Twitter, and Yahoo groups can help you find people to build a community with, or an existing community to join in.
- Don’t take real-life social gatherings for granted. Although most freelance work is found online, you’ll never know when you’ll find someone out in the real world looking to meet someone to do freelance work for them. Attend conferences, hand out decent-looking calling cards, write a somewhat promotional blog post about upcoming events, and don’t forget to attend local meetups or regular social gatherings.
- Make use of rich media. Aside from pure text blog entries, you have audio and video to make use of. Make audio podcasts or videoblogs about how you feel about the niche you belong to. This gives your potential market a glimpse of who you are, moving, breathing, and talking in front of the camera.
- Give a little to get a some. This may be the best way to establish a relationship with your future clients. You want to get people to see what you can do, you got to show them what you can do. Be willing to help people out, because when the time comes and your services are needed, you’re name is bound to pop up on the mind of someone you’ve previously helped.
- Don’t be ashamed to ask for the sale. It is, after all, what you’re after. But be careful that you don’t rub off as someone that’s too aggressive. Read into situations and be keen to pick up on who you can turn into potential clients.
With the unstable economy, this is the best time to think about becoming a freelancer. Some may not agree with me on this one but today, a lot of businesses are striving hard to make it through and some are skeptical in seeking services from large companies to do some of their requirements. You are the rock star in this thriving times. Your talent, passion, skills and determination will be one of your arsenals in becoming a freelancer. Don’t be afraid to try.
Do you have any additional pointers you’d like to add? Or do you have anything you’d like to ask about the different advices indicated here? Drop us a line and let’s talk.
If you enjoyed this post or found it useful, please leave a comment or you can subscribe to our RSS feed for future posts