Branding and Positioning: 5 Best Practices for Freelancing
It’s a guest post by Mike Jones, a full-time writer.
Working for a company is no longer the necessary step to professional success. There are many out there who want to choose how they present themselves and what they offer.
Freelancing has numerous advantages, starting with the fact that it’s fully within your control. You decide your hours, your pay, and how you progress. However, you also have all the responsibilities, so you should make sure that’s among your strong points.
However, the problem with the growing popularity of freelancing is that you will have greater competition. It’s no longer difficult to find someone for the job anymore, whatever that is. All you have to do is head over to one of the many websites where freelancers acquire clients, and it’s relatively easy from there. However, in order to be a successful one, you have to stand out through your personal brand, positioning, and, naturally, skill.
Decide Where You Will Work
One of the best things about being a freelancer is that you can choose for yourself where you will be doing your best work. Be it at home in an office, in the park, at a coffee shop, or even in bed, it’s up to you. However, you must make a decision and understand where you will be the most productive. It’s a matter of following your rhythm and habits, and, most importantly, about understanding yourself.
It might seem odd for a freelancer, but you certainly should find your stable working space, where you will have everything you need. Otherwise, you might end up wasting time deciding, and the circumstances will not be so favorable that day. For example, if you work as a freelance writer and opt for heading to a park to write that day, many things can go wrong. The rain, the wind, the traffic jam around, the people, surrounding events, anything could disturb your progress, which will ultimately lead to less productivity.
Find a place where you will feel at ease, comfortable, and where you will have all the right tools available and where you will not be disturbed.
Become a Specialist
One of the gravest mistakes a freelancer can make is holding onto a broader range of services. No one can be good at everything, and clients will rarely be looking to hire someone who does a bit of everything. When you want to buy a new car, you never think “I need a vehicle”. You think “I need a car that will be spacious enough and safe for my family”. The same principle is applied when searching for freelancers. So, it’s your job to find your niche, practice it, and improve it.
Don’t think of it as a limitation of your skills. Think of it as a better promotion of your main talents. If your interest is photography, make some research on everything about it, ranging from how much you could make, what clients you can reach, and how you can get better. You might truly be good at more than just one service, but it’s less likely that you will be contacted. Instead, put your best foot forward.
The internet is a beautiful thing, and it’s the best tool freelancers could wield. Social media is the easier way to start showing yourself and your skill set to the world. Use it to your benefit. Create a stunning personal brand that boasts all your qualities and displays all your achievements. They are a significant part of who you are, and potential clients need to have a way to see them. No one will come out and ask.
Create a website for yourself and find several websites focused around freelancers where you can promote your services. Let the world know you exist. Ultimately, your website will be your virtual workspace, and people need to know where it is. Pay special attention to:
- Having a good, professional, and descriptive domain name
- High-quality and frequently posted content
- Writing in the “About Me” section
- Learn about search engine optimization (SEO) so your domain will be easier to find
Contact and Connect with Clients
A successful freelancer makes sure that they will always have new and a wide range of clients. It might be tempting to cling onto to your first and biggest customer because it’s familiar and has proven to be a fruitful partnership. However, resist that urge. Instead, never stop looking for fresh opportunities. Put yourself and your work out there, and always look over your shoulder at past clients.
Be it for recommendations or references, it’s paramount that you maintain active relationships. Never underestimate the power of the word of mouth, because it could be the best promotional tool a freelancer has. You do not have a big company name, but what you do have is yourself and your capabilities.
Ace The Invoices
It’s frustrating for a freelancer to see delays on their pay, but it’s equally frustrating for the client not to know what precisely they are paying you for. Remember that you do not have a company to mediate the problems or take care of finances. It’s all on you. Deliver your invoices with professionalism, detail them, and make certain that they are correct. It will impress your client even if you’re worried that it might draw out some questions that you do not want to haggle over. Not everyone is an expert like you, so they need to know what you did, how you did it, and for how long.
Becoming a freelancer is relatively easy but risky. Growing into a successful one, however, is the real trick because you will need to stand out from the crowd. You can only do it by combining your skill with your professionalism and the ability to promote yourself.
Authorbio:Mike Jones is a Boston University graduate, with an MS in Mass Communication. He is now a full-time writer, passionate about everything related to business and career development.