Getting and Managing Clients in a Freelance Business
Freelancing is not an easy industry to work in. Clients and employers, both feel equally clueless when starting work in the freelance business. Finding a new client and building a professional bond with them is one of the many hurdles faced in freelancing, although the process can be very profitable when done right.
Freelancing has started to get fair amount of attention and by now, there exist thousands of websites where people can find work and get paid without having to leave their office or meet the employer in person ever. Unfortunately, while all this sounds very tempting, it does not come without its own efforts. There are no shortcuts in freelance business and when you want quality clients, you need to have a portfolio. Experience and great professional skills make you the best in freelance business resulting in the top clients.
Like any other business, freelancing needs a strategy in place along with dedication and commitment. You have to sell yourself and your value to earn the trust of a client so you can get paid and have a brand to your name. In order to get worthy clients, you will need some tips when starting business, as a freelancer. Here are few.
Build a Portfolio
One does not become a millionaire in a day. You need to be able to give a client what they need and that is only possible if you know the job and the way to do it. That comes with practice and time. A portfolio is all about building something and selling it to get recognition, even if it costs you instead of the client. For a beginner, free work and lower rates are necessary to get freelance jobs and to make the clients sure that you are up and ready on take on the challenge.
The more diverse and unique it is, the higher are the chances of you getting more jobs and for diverse audience. Portfolio is most effective in securing a job when it is laced with glowing reviews and recommendations from clients. In freelance business, the chances of getting continuous freelance jobs and increased success are at the most rate when the client trusts you because of your previous work.
Secure a Blog
Apart from finding clients on the freelancing website, your personal blog on a website hold vital importance. Not all of your work gets paid and for writers, inspiration is everything. You can get inspiration without directions from anyone. Convert that energy into writing your personal pieces and publish them on your blog along with the work you are hired to do so.
A blog is the best way of self-promoting your brand which is your own self apart from the profile on a freelance website. Add the link of blog to website and sell yourself there to secure new clients. Blogs are also the way to find temporary clients who do not advertise on the freelancing website as they are looking to hire for one or two-time job. Promote the blog on social media and encourage your friends to do so as well.
Regularly updating and keeping a consistent presence by replying to the comments also gives new clients an idea about your commitment and passion to writing.
Successful freelancing is all about having meaningful connection amongst your community. To work online, you need to know people. Your offline group of friends is as important as the online community. Let your friends and their friends know that you are looking for freelance jobs. Attend events and talk to potential clients. There is no better of marketing yourself than through the word of mouth.
The networking is only useful when you get the message across as it was intended to be. Freelancing can be vague sometimes which is why you need to be clear to your network about what you do. Your friends must know the type of clients you can work with so they do not end up forwarding every other job to you resulting in the waste of your and their time as well.
Freelance and blogger meet-ups happen all the time locally and nationally. Make sure that you visit the important ones and make the best out of them to expand your business.
For online networking, use Twitter, Facebook and other social Medias to join groups, lists and communities. LinkedIn is very effective when it comes to finding serious professionals who mean business instead of spamming you with useless information. Twitter can be used to join in on conversations and share your opinions on relevant topics. Be sure to be genuine and friendly instead of being fake. Never endorse an idea if you do not accept or follow it just so you can get one job. It eventually plays a huge part in depreciating your business.
Do Your Homework
Getting clients and keeping them for long-term needs management skills. Knowing all the information and using it at right place and right time is you ticket to booking permanent clients. Freelancing is a job where you are bound by no rules and can move on from one client to another, but that does not mean you should not give it as much attention as for a full time job interview.
Knowledge of a company, client, the works etc. is vital even when it is a onetime thing. This can lead you to becoming the permanent outsource of a client whenever they need work, without being bound by the limitations like 9-5 timings of a full time job. Permanent clients are more substantial and their referrals are more noteworthy compared to the one-timers.
List Your Guidelines
Freelancing is a very flexible business where there are no standard rules. Each job and each employer has different needs, which makes it difficult for freelancers to stick to one set of conditions.
While flexibility and creative liberty is the key of a freelancer’s life, guidelines hold equal importance. Make a list of your own demands and ask for the guidelines from the client. Direction is crucial to do a perfect job given the enough creative freedom for writers’ own ideas to develop.
Understand the details of the job like audience, big idea, and main selling points and use them to produce the best content.