9 Ways to Become a Better Known Freelancer
#1: Social media is your friend
Being a freelancer means you need to start networking. You won’t gain clients by hiding at your cottage with no wifi connection. Do you have people on your Facebook account that you don’t remember how you met? I think we all do. This isn’t always a bad thing and I’ll explain why!
If you set up a company page for your freelancing business, then you should invite all of your facebook friends to like this page, including the friends you don’t really consider friends. Why you ask? The more friends that like your page, the more their friends will see. This means they will potentially like your page also. Now that they liked your page they see your updates. Now, if you’re lucky, they will ask you for help on a project, which means $$ for you.
The more social media platforms you have and the more you post about your freelancing, the more potential clients you can gain. This means you should post about projects you’re working on, customer satisfaction, and more. Be sure to add photos to Instagram, posts to Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Behance and even updates on twitter and other social media sites.
#2: Business Cards aren’t in the past
Leave your business cards at the hair salon or barber, at the grocery store and even at the shopping mall. You may get no contacts, but you could gain many contacts as well. Remember to always keep your business cards in a card holder, because there is nothing worse than giving a potential client a ripped or bent business card, it doesn’t look professional at all. It is worth the $7 investment, believe me!
#3: Freelancing websites
There are some really great freelancing websites out there. Some include: Freelancer, Upwork, Localsolo and many more. Most of these sites let you sort through listings by verified payments and other options. Be sure to check off verified payment because there is nothing worse than doing 20 hours of work only to get scammed and not paid. There are thousands of freelancers using these sites, so don’t be discouraged if you aren’t getting chosen right away, just keep applying and eventually you will be picked! Once you get one contract, many more will come your way.
#4: Always have your portfolio ready
There’s nothing worse than getting asked to apply for a freelance job in a first-come-first-served basis when you need to submit a portfolio and you have nothing ready. My advice: use an online portfolio site, like Behance or even a WordPress.com website that you update on a weekly or monthly basis. This is one of my downfalls as well, usually blaming it on the lack of time I have. But you can always make time for 30 minutes in your week to work on it.
#5: Be social
Seriously! Go out with your friends, join a soccer team, a social club like a book club or a yacht club, and meet new people. Tell them what you do, most people will say “oh I could use a graphic designer / interior designer / fill in the blank“. This is the best time to pull out your crisp business card and show them your contact information and website link. They won’t all end up calling you back. Although, I definitely got a few freelance jobs with this and even my full-time job by handing people a clean business card.
#6: Hire a web developer or design a website yourself
You will look much more professional if you have your own website. If you aren’t good with web design, then hire someone. There is nothing worse than an ugly, poorly designed or poorly organized website when you are trying to promote yourself. Most people won’t even go past the homepage if your website is not attractive, especially if you are a designer or stylist of any sort!
#7: Dress appropriately
Okay, maybe you won’t always be able to look your best, but even if you’re going to the grocery store try to make sure you look presentable. You never know who you’ll run into or when you’ll meet a potential client. You know the saying, “Dress like you’re going to run into your worst enemy.”, well it’s true. Even if you’re going to your kids soccer game, I’m not saying wear a dress-suit, just a clean pair of jeans and a nice shirt (no stains or tears). Most people won’t leave their house unless they look presentable anyways.
#8: Write down your goals
This is not for anyone else to see, it is just for you. After you are done writing your goals, put it up on the wall or somewhere on your desk, in your agenda, anywhere you will see it everyday. Your goals may change, that’s okay, modify them if need be, but make sure you know what your goals are. The only way to achieve your goals is to know what they are. This way you will know what steps you’ll need to take to achieve them. This should probably be #1, because it is so important.
#9: Be yourself, but never forget the clients vision
You may have a signature style, but your clients should always come first. This includes their wants and needs for the project. Never let your personality overshadow the client’s goal. If they want something fresh and modern, but you prefer using classic fonts and colours, put your preferences aside. Give them 3 designs, maybe one of them is more you and explain why this will work, but don’t forget about the other 2 designs. Remember, you only make money if the client is happy!
So with these steps you’ll be on your way to having an overbooked schedule! Good luck and happy freelancing!
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