More than 90 million Americans are expected to be freelance workers by 2028. This statistic is just one indication that many people believe the future of freelancing is going to be positive.
Given the number of people who become freelancers every year, you can expect competition to increase. If you want to stand out and achieve success, you’ll need to implement strategies that can help you get ahead. The following strategies are a good place to start if you want to enter the industry or up your game in 2023.
1. Join Freelancing Platforms
You’ll struggle to find work as a freelancer if prospective clients don’t know that you’re open to taking on work. Advertising your skills is essential, and one of the best ways to do this is by joining freelancing platforms such as Upwork.
Create profiles on several sites to get your name and your skills out there, and to broaden your connections. Most freelancing platforms let you input your skill sets, portfolio, experience, education, and other information. This lets potential clients find you and decide whether they would like to work with you.
2. Find Your Niche
When creating your freelancing profile, don’t be tempted to be too broad when it comes to your skills. You might think that using broad skills descriptions would make your profile attractive to a wide range of clients. But the reality is that most potential clients are looking for freelancers for specific jobs. A profile with a vague CV or skills description is less attractive than one that identifies a niche freelancer.
Find your niche and include those skills in your profiles. For example, if you’re a freelance writer, specify the type of work you’re best at doing, such as informative article writing, corporate blogs, lifestyle articles, or children’s blog writing.
3. Broaden Your Reach
Don’t limit your advertising and potential work connections to the freelancing sites you’ve joined. Broaden your reach by connecting with your social circles, especially with potential clients you know personally. This includes family members, friends, acquaintances, and contacts you made through previous places of employment.
This could result in you getting more clients through their recommendations, as the people who know you well are aware of your capabilities.
4. Be Proactive and Responsive
Don’t take a fisherman’s approach to freelancing. Creating profiles and creating awareness about your capabilities and willingness to work through word of mouth is like baiting a hook and waiting for a fish to bite. And that’s not enough.
Being new and less experienced than many other freelancers also looking for work could lead some potential clients to choose another more experienced worker. Be proactive and apply for freelancing jobs through the platforms you joined.
In addition to proactively approaching potential clients who advertise work on your preferred platforms, you should be as responsive as possible, too. Reply to clients’ queries professionally, politely, and as soon as possible. If a client hires you, provide them with frequent updates about the status of the job while working on it.
5. Strive To Get Repeat Work
If you gain a client successfully, strive to get them coming back for more. It’s not enough to simply meet their expectations. Aim to go beyond what they expect and let them know that you’re open to working with them again in the future as soon as you deliver the work.
This means you must produce work of the highest standard. Impress your client, and they’re likely to trust you with other jobs in the future.
If the initial project you receive from them requires more work than they specified at first, put together a few ideas for a new project with different objectives. If your first submission impressed them, they might be willing to take your suggestion for follow-up work seriously.
6. Learn In-Demand Freelancing Skills
2023 is expected to see an increased demand for certain freelancing skills. Learn one or more of them to increase your chances of success. Some of those skills include:
Cloud computing: Working with a cloud company has several benefits, such as highly skilled professionals, fast development times, full source code access, and cutting-edge data management services that offer efficient resource use and the chance to avoid expensive upgrades in the future.
SEO techniques: Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential skill for a world where billions of people search for content and products online. If you’re new to freelancing, learn the basics of SEO and keep developing your skills over time. You can find any number of free and paid-for SEO tools and courses online.
Social media marketing: Social media can make a massive difference when marketing products or services. Up to 77% of marketers said that social media plays a critical role in their business. It’s not enough to know how to use platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You need to know what type of content works best for your audience on each platform, which means knowing who your audiences are.
Data analytics: Data science and analytics are no longer limited to large companies, such as Google and Facebook. Small- and medium-sized businesses have also started realizing the value of data analytics. While many SMEs have the ability to collect their own data, they don’t necessarily have the people to analyze it and use it to their advantage. Learn data analytics to gain an edge over other freelancers in your field.
7. Know Your Worth
As a freelancer, you have the freedom to decide what your rates will be, so it’s important that you know your worth. That said, if you’re new to the industry, you may need to advertise yourself at slightly lower rates than more experienced freelancers to offset potential clients’ concerns about your lack of experience.
It’s not always easy to know where to price yourself based on the skills and knowledge you offer. Work out your rates by:
● Identifying your niche, developing your areas of expertise, and communicating that via up-to-date profiles, a website, your portfolio, and client referrals or recommendations.
● Learning the market to know what potential clients are looking for, researching freelancing forums, and identifying the most in-demand job postings.
● Monetizing your skills by looking at the job market to find out what other freelancers are charging for similar skills and work, and by working out your pricing by taking your costs as well as ongoing market rates into account.
Once you’ve done this, create a professional-looking invoice template you can fill in for each job or client. This will help to establish your brand, standardize your billing, and reinforce the fact that you are a business.
The Last Word
Getting into freelancing and doing it successfully can be a daunting task. Use these strategies to improve your chances of success in 2023. With perseverance, hard work, and discipline, you’ll soon see results.