How do you ensure your freelance business that you recently started is growing the way you’ve desired?
What should you do to help your clients keep coming back to you and at the same time get new clients/projects?
I am sure you would be doing hard work with much dedication and after all you are too passionate about what you are doing but whatever you are doing, is it effective?
In this post, I will share what are the practices I followed, and have proved to drive results for me in my Freelance Career since 2010.
These are some of the tips, and I exhort my friends and followers to use it in their professional life. These Best Practices will surely help you grow your freelance business most efficiently.
Most freelancers start their business when they realize they are good at what they do, and they either are in one of the two situations in real life:
1. They are frustrated with the daily 9 to 5 Job, or have no clear vision for their career as an employee in the so-called Corporate structured life.
2. They have no great offers to join as an employee.
Any of the situation these freelancers have dealt with, one thing is sure – they wanted to make their life on their conditions, they wanted to what they love most to do or are competent to do. They never got satisfied with a Sales Job after finishing an engineering degree.
After I interviewed 40+ Freelancers and communicated on informal lines with 84+ Freelancers, I got to learn few things about how did they start and how good are they growing.
Here is the Overall summarization of what information I derived from them.
They built their website and social profiles, highlighting their expertise and started networking – joining communities, actively managing their social media profiles and participating in bidding on freelancing sites.
These were the only strategies of more than 90% freelancers I interacted, to reach and connect with clients.
Will all this truly suffice to ensure success for your freelance business?The above steps are unquestionably a great start towards your freelance business but growing your freelance business will require a lot more.
While you are managing your online presence, it is also important to re-evaluate your growth strategies and take active steps towards executing them. Better still, do this a part of your daily activity – think what maneuverings and efforts are required to attract more clients, win more projects and multiply the credit amount in your bank account.
Remember, the growth of your freelance business depends on what clients you get. So in the first place it is important to you find the perfect client.
Now, how do you do that?
Begin by asking yourself these questions:
Question 1: How well have you been able to put into people’s minds – the kind of assignments you do? How well people exactly know the type of freelance business you are in? Do they have a fair idea of your expertise?
Question 2: Should you focus on social media because everyone says that “Social media today is an efficient marketing tool.”
Question 3: Is social media sufficient or not enough to help businesses succeed. Apart from blogging, updating social media profiles is it important you build offline contact too?
Question 4: Whom do you focus more – your customers or peers?
These introspections are important to help you focalize on the most important aspects of freelance business and the common mistakes anyone can do. Thousands and thousands of experienced professionals today are turning to freelancers and consultants. They bring years of rich experience and industry knowledge. However, the critical fact is not all of them turn into successful money makers.
So what are the most efficient actionable successful Freelancers practice in their business?
Go through these 7 Best Practices to grow your freelance business. Adapt them and you’ll surely succeed!
If you offer online classes in French, do you establish connections with French teachers or students interested in learning French online? The point is you should spend maximum time networking with your customers simply because your competitors will not give you business. It is your prospective customers you have to touch base.
1. Know Your Ownself.
It is important that you understand your business offerings correctly. Do the homework before you approach any client. Make a list of all the services, skills, and expertise you offer. Once this list is final, think what does your freelance business offer that others do not?
This exercise will help you start preparing yourself for the best things that you or your consultancy offers and save you much time on learning the best things that may not be best for you.
Defining this can be tricky.
The simple way to define your USP is to get yourself into your customer’s shoes. Consider yourself a customer and think what extra you will or may look from the freelancer? Most clients will go through the online presence of the freelancer – his achievements, kind of projects he handles before awarding a project to a Freelancer. So ensure your website, Blogs, Profiles on Social Media and also on Freelancing websites highlights your abilities that are somehow unique from your peers.
What sets you apart from your competitors is your niche. Developing a niche is imperative. Remember there are thousands and thousands of freelancers in the rat race and success comes to those who have developed a niche and are unique.
Unique does not mean to make a telephone in the 1800s. Innovation in business to become successful is to do the same thing Differently.
2. Do something your peers do not do to give some additional value to your projects.
Freelancing is a competitive business today. There’s no lack of good freelancers, nor there’s any dearth of passion to succeed. In this highly challenging business, some freelancers able to scale newer heights, while others get lost in the crowd.
How to get towards Success?
Trust me there are lot and lot of freelancers who are just making notebooks when the client asked for notebooks. They are least bothered about advising customer about the quality of paper client supplied can damage his reputation. Does giving this advice cost you half a penny.
I do not know about you, but this kind of advice have earned for me Few Dollars in exchange.
An another example I learned this during an interaction with my early day client and the developer we appointed for the job.
Remember there are millions of web designers around and business does not come from just the best design because a well-designed website itself is like Zero.
I keep enjoying working with Manvendra Singh a WordPress Expert from India, who is one of the master in the clan of Business Labs.
He gave sufficient time to listen what client business is all about. He tried to replicate it with his other client’s businesses similar either in terms of business products or services or in terms of target markets.
It is also about the relation with the customers and how you help them achieve success with their goals. Freelancers have the benefit of working on various projects with different clients, encompassing many industries. This makes them possess unique experiences on success and failure of multiple businesses. As a freelancer you can employ your knowledge to help your clients with his goals, thus giving him priceless extra value.
So help your customers with your experience of working with other competitive or related clients, give them suggestions on how your client can achieve success with his business goals.
3. Present a Professional You.
While freelancing is about doing a job where you have your control, and you are not under continuous scrutiny of a manager. Moreover, it is also about your passion, disciple and respect for a project.
In freelancing, you may not be pestered with constant supervision but client follow-ups are essential. Client requirements and project deadlines are crucial factors of freelance business. To grow your freelancing business, you need to present a professional you. Punctuality, precision, and politeness are the essential qualities of a real professional individual.
You should always be present for your clients requirements. Respond to customer’s email as early as possible but with all information written in a systematic manner that helps your customer or its employee to understand the correct meaning in the optimum time. Give due importance to client’s feedback and incorporate them into the project as desired by the client.
4. Market your Freelance business
Market your freelance business whenever you get the chance to do. Send Email to prospective clients, respond to queries and do regular follow-ups.
Sometimes share some Educative series via blogs, webinars, or e-letters with excellent information in a simple and non-technical language which your customer can digest well, as well as they can practice well in their daily routine.
The more they practice, higher the chance your client will remember you. The more they remember you, the higher is the chance of you getting a future order from the prospect.
You can also promote your freelancing business by joining communities, participating in forums and discussions.
Building your brand is crucial to the success of any freelance business. Increase awareness and visibility of your freelance business. Explore both online and offline modes to expand your network and create new relationships. Enhance your social media engagements and increase your participation in networking events. This will help you build circles and connections. You may never know your prospective client is just around you.
5. Do not feel shy to ask a Referral
While you are busy marketing your freelance business, don’t let your ongoing projects be neglected. Your success with the present project will define your chances of winning future projects from the same client as well as from his connections.
LinkedIn advocates that converting a 4th or 5th layered relationship is much easier than turning a 3rd-degree connection. With each degree of conversion, the trust factor gets compounded. So just leverage the power of Trust your first customer bestow on you.
So needless to say, you should deliver high standard work to your clients.
Your present customers are always your first point of call. Ask your clients if they could share somebody’s contact from their network who could benefit from your skills and abilities. Ask for their Email ID or LinkedIn profile and send an introductory email right away. Don’t forget to do regular follow-ups. Also do not forget to touch base your all the old customers and take their help with a couple of referrals every three months. Trust me, people in this planet Earth are very helpful if you are kind to them.
Doing this will significantly increase lead funnel, lists of prospects and customers for your services. Once you accomplish a new project, you can repeat the same process after having completed your project.
6. Focus on long term projects
You might have started with smaller projects to enhance your freelance business but as and when you get old in the system, it is the time to grab bigger projects that are longer in duration.
It is not that smaller projects will do no good for your business, but your time is more important than ever. You may consider a smaller project if you see a long-term association with the client.
Long-term projects will make you secured financially. Once you get settled, you can start learning new things, improving or updating existing skill sets and your other important agendas on your to-do list.
7. Learn and Practice this art – Relationship Building
You are not just a freelancer; you are an entrepreneur as well, and your sole motive is to satisfy your client. Client requirements and his business goals should also find a place in your project. When starting a project, keep in mind what are the concerns that your client want to solve with the project.
Your work should be able to give that solution some or the other way.
Your job does not end with just submitting the project. That is one part of the business. The next part expects you to give more value to the client. Take an extra step and complete the project as it was your own business. Think of what your customers wants from you and how do you wish to deliver the same to them. Once you start thinking from your customer’s perspective, you shall automatically be able to address the problems and achieve the perfect solution.
Starting your freelance business and getting rid of the desk job is a dream-come-true for you.
However with thousands joining the rat race, it is important for you to take steps towards growing your freelance business. However, remember, freelancing is just like any other business where growth rate is as important as customer satisfaction. Growing your freelance business is not a day’s task. It may take few to several months to produce results. However, if done well, there will be no dearth of projects and clients for you.
I hope that the above list 7 Best Practices that I have followed personally will surely help you to Grow Your Freelance Business.
Have you used any other strategies that I shall have added to the above list, but skipped?
Why don’t you share your experiences in the comments below?
These 7 Best Practices can be even equally helpful for your prospective clients.
Why don’t you help them sharing this post within your social outreach?
We sincerely believe in sharing because always sharing augments – be it love or knowledge!
Let me know have any of the above tips served you or your client securing more business?
Good Luck everyone!