Freelancing is a world that seems to be on many people’s lips like never before. Rapid advances in technology over the last few years have put 9 to 5 desk jobs under real threat. People are beginning to question why they shouldn’t head out on their own. The opportunity to be your own boss, work from anywhere in the world and strike a better work-life balance are just three of the reasons people are looking to take the plunge and go freelance.
However, if you’re currently in a steady full-time job, it can be an extremely daunting process. If you’re overwhelmed by the idea, here are a few ways to improve your chances in the increasingly competitive world of freelancers.
Build Up Your Clients
Before you actually strike out on your own, you will probably want to build up some regular clients. Even some who only need your services on a one-off basis can be useful as they give you another valuable page in your portfolio. Once you go full time as a freelancer, you will have plenty of opportunity to increase the number of clients on your books but having a few as a starting point will help set your mind at ease.
Never Stop Learning
No matter what field you are freelancing in, you need to continually build up your skills to stay ahead of the crowd. This is doubly true if you work in a particularly fast moving field like software development, so make the most of resources such as stackify.com. Even if you work in a seemingly fixed field like writing, many clients will expect you to have a good knowledge of SEO so make sure you brush up. Whatever area you specialise in, keeping ahead of the curve can keep your career afloat.
Get Your Website Right
For many clients, they will make the decision on whether or not to hire you based on the strength of your website. Essentially, it will act as an online portfolio to show the work you have done in the past and what services you are able to offer. Ensure that you have a page telling your own story so that clients can put a face to the name. It’s also a good idea to have numerous ways for clients to get in touch with you, whether this is through social media, an online contact form or even a live chat function.
Do everything you can to get your name out there. Send out emails to companies in your field. Write helpful blog posts that you share through social media. Improve the SEO of your website and consider investing in PPC advertising. You may find that this is an on-off process as you build up clients and have a steady stream of work, before you start getting quieter and need to get your name out there once again.
As the number of freelancers out there increases, it will be an ongoing battle to compete but hopefully these tips should give you a head start.