Working as a freelancer can be incredibly freeing. Whether you choose to work in person or as a digital nomad, freelancing is a terrific way to work for yourself. It also allows you to avoid the politics of being an employee or an employee. And you get to create your own schedule and control who you work with.
However, having tools in place is vital to make a successful go of your freelancing career. Read over these tips and techniques to learn how to succeed as a freelancer.
Build Your Portfolio
A portfolio highlighting particular skills can go a long way to supporting your brand identity. It showcases your work and the experience you have in your field.
You’ll need a history of projects in your niche to build a portfolio. Your portfolio can also include any licenses you may have. For example, you may have a carpenter small business license. (Check out this article on how to get a carpenter small business license here.) If you get your license, you can outline the number of successful projects on your portfolio.
Build Skills and Knowledge
If you want to do physical work in one geographical area, build solid skills and knowledge of that region. If you’re going to work as a carpenter in an area built in the 1920s, for example, learn to work with and around plaster. You can demonstrate expertise in window repair and replacement. Then, a strong knowledge of the variations of lathe and plaster will be necessary to build a deep client base.
When running a freelance business, you may have contractors of your own. Finding the right people to work with is essential to grow your business. You don’t want just anyone working with you. So, deciding on the right people is vital to your business’s growth.
A few examples of freelancers to hire may include a social media manager and website builder.
Let’s continue with our freelance carpenter example. If working on vintage homes is your chosen niche, hire a skilled freelance website builder to present your work.
Building your website may take more training and time than you want to commit. So, eliciting the help of a website builder can expand your business.
Your website doesn’t have to cost much money or be an elaborate product. However, hiring someone to create a great base will save you a lot of time. Plus, it’ll give you a better platform to expand on your own.
Hiring a professional photographer for shots for your website may also make sense. If you want to post “works in progress” photos, simple images from your phone may be enough. Load a polished, professional picture of the finished product simultaneously.
As a side note, consider taking a class on updating your website with new images of your latest jobs. That way, you can make easy changes whenever needed.
To build your brand identity, settle on a niche. Your niche must be big enough for your potential client base to keep you busy. If you have a strong interest, research the clients you’d pitch your services to.
Again, let’s go back to tradespeople. You may have strong skills in updating wiring or plumbing in older homes. For example, if you work in Phoenix, Arizona, you must know how to use mesh-mounted plaster.
Once you have a few successful projects under your belt, ask your happiest clients to serve as a reference for you. Having positive referrals can bring new work your way. So, go out on a limb and ask your clients for referrals to gain more work and experience.
Take the time to create a business profile on LinkedIn. It’s an excellent platform to post images and information from your website quickly. LinkedIn allows you to list who you work for and describe projects. You also can outline your skillset.
When outlining specific projects on LinkedIn, here’s the process to follow:
● Detail what challenges you face throughout each project.
● Outline what you learned throughout the project.
● Discuss your experience concerning the ultimately finished project.
Once your clients give you good reviews, ask them to post their comments on LinkedIn. Of course, you will need their permission to share images and work. Many may share your work and your story as messages or provide excellent reviews on that platform as well.
As a freelancer, prioritize doing the work necessary to build your skills and expertise. Hire skills and expertise in areas where interest and background are needed. Also, focus on having a digital presence, whether you work online or in person. A one-person business with the right website and LinkedIn profile can look like a much bigger project. Focusing on these tips and techniques will pave your way to a bright freelance future.