Practical Ways to Grow Your Freelance Business
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Freelancing offers you job flexibility and workload control while broadening your knowledge on various topics and industries. Besides, you can choose your clients while enjoying financial independence and work comfort. An Upwork study revealed that 59 million Americans freelance, and 75% stated that they earned more money than traditional workers. This statistic indicates a growing trend in freelance that will not end soon.
Despite the numerous perks of freelancing, you might experience sporadic jobs and fluctuating income if your business isn’t growing. Studies have shown that some freelancers return to regular employment due to insufficient income, few clients, and rejection. However, you can thrive once you know how to grow your business. That said, here are some tips to consider.
You don’t have co-workers or supervisors to hold you accountable for your work, meaning your motivation is your responsibility. Therefore, it’s vital to discover how to enhance and maintain your productivity. Besides, you can finish and acquire more tasks, and earn more money when you meet your targets on time. What's more, you'd earn your clients' trust and loyalty, thereby building a more extensive customer base. Fortunately, you don’t have to stress to boost your productivity.
You can address your most challenging tasks first and break them down if handling them at once will take up your time. It’s also prudent to create a list of your daily and weekly goals according to their priority, using paper or productivity apps like Google Keep and Evernote. You may also tell your clients when to expect their projects, even if they don’t have defined deadlines. Since you might be working from home, why don’t you establish your working hours and ditch your pajamas for real clothes? You may also give yourself scheduled breaks to refresh your mind and stomach.
Communication is an essential skill to master, especially when it might be challenging to interact with your customers through verbal means or body language. It also strengthens your relationship with your clients and helps you understand what they require regarding their project. What’s more, satisfied clients would maintain their partnership with you and recommend you to others, translating to a more extensive customer base and more income generation. However, poor communication can lead to unrealistic expectations and substandard jobs, which isn't good for your business.
Therefore, it's best to improve your communication skills. You can utilize a freelance platform that enables you to describe your services, charges, how fast you can get the job done, and other vital information. It's prudent to be patient when discussing project details with your clients and listen to their needs with rapt attention. You may also break down technical terms for more understanding and be available whenever they need you. It’s also best to ask questions to avoid significant errors. By all means, avoid promising your clients things that you can’t provide, as you’d damage their trust and ruin your business reputation. Honesty will keep your clients loyal to your brand.
While it's prudent to carve a niche for your freelance business, you may consider extending your services to other markets or industries. This is because focusing on a particular sector might limit your income flow. A study by the CSA Research Institute indicated that freelancers who concentrated on specific markets like travel, recorded reduced jobs and income. While carving a niche seems professional, circumstances can make your chosen field redundant and make earning more difficult. Besides, generalizing your services may get you more jobs and expand your knowledge of other industries.
If you aren't sure how to extend your services, you can consider areas beyond your niche that you’re passionate about. You may then research extensively on them to know their requirements to tailor your services to suit them. Since you’d want to acquire diverse clients, why don’t you join networking events or utilize your existing network of family and friends? Your regular clients can refer you to people in another market. Therefore, you can leverage their recommendations.
Your website increases your brand visibility and serves as your portfolio and digital forefront. Potential clients might likely view your website for more information before awarding a contract to you. Besides, it gives your business a more professional feel, and builds your credibility. Research by the Transaction Agency revealed that 81% of consumers visit a company's website before purchasing their products and services. Therefore, you should ensure that yours is functional and up-to-date with the current market trends.
You can review your website's visuals and written content to ascertain what areas need an upgrade and integrate analytics and tracking tools to monitor its traffic. It's also recommended to examine other websites of businesses similar to yours to determine whether you're missing important content or information. Clients love reviews, so you should include them, along with your achievements and work activities.
You may also add practical multimedia elements and optimize your website's SEO to drive more traffic and increase sales leads. Fortunately, credible website developers like Cobiro can effectively upgrade your website for maximum consumer experience.
Freelancing enables you to work and source clients from anywhere, as location doesn’t matter provided you execute the project effectively. However, favoring international clients at the local market’s expense might not be best for your business. The local job market is a lucrative platform for acquiring more jobs and clients to grow your brand. Platforms like Freelancer.com experienced a 15% increment in jobs posted at the local jobs and services category in 2020. Besides, you have a higher possibility of getting regular gigs and loyal clients should you seek them in your area.
For instance, you can distribute catchy flyers in your neighborhood and avail your experiences for local journalists to publish. Hosting workshops have also been proven to be an excellent brand awareness tool, so you can leverage its benefits. You may also publish content concerning your vicinity on your website and post more local stories or pictures on your social media accounts. Additionally, you can get your family and friends to promote your brand to their friends and utilize your customers' testimonials to boost your client base.
Your customers are your business’s backbone, and you should treat them right to earn their loyalty. Their perception of your services can either bring or drive away potential customers. Research by the Qualtrics XM Institute indicated that 90% of customers would recommend a business that attends to their needs effectively. This shows that you have a great business opportunity to grow your freelance business by serving your clients.
You can ask your clients to assess your services and provide feedback on what to improve. Doing this communicates to them that you appreciate their contributions and will keep patronizing your services. It will also be a plus to thank your customers before and after they offer a contract and attend to their needs promptly.
While you can’t avoid mistakes, you can keep your clients by offering a genuine apology and making efforts to fix your errors. You should also complete your tasks ahead of time to impress your clients and boost your reliability. Being respectful to them will make them feel valued and happy. Always remember that a happy customer is a powerful marketing resource.
While people may quit freelancing, you can transform yours into an established business with regular projects and an increased income stream. Hopefully, you'll follow these tips to grow and promote your brand.