Today, freelancing is becoming more and more commonplace. Indeed, ten years ago the idea of hearing someone was a freelancer wouldn’t be something many people would resonate with, however, today, as people wish to live more of a freedom lifestyle the word has become more and more prevalent in today’s career and business discussions.
On the top of the freedom lifestyle, a lot of people today are valuing the freedom to travel and work on their own terms; for instance, remote working has become much more popular in recent works as has online studying. For instance, did you know that you can even do an online mba accredited by a decent university that will allow you the flexibility to manage your educational experience around other commitments?
Now, when it comes to living the freedom lifestyle and marketing yourself as a freelancer, the challenge is that you’re likely operating within a ruthlessly competitive marketplace that has strong international competition; meaning today you aren’t competing for a contract against a handful of local providers… you’re competing for projects against freelancers from all over the world; many of which can provide services at a drastically cheaper rate than you, due to living in a country with a lower cost of living.
That said, cheap isn’t always cheerful, and the business community have learned that going with the cheapest freelancer out there is usually a recipe for headaches, low work quality, miscommunication and frustration.
The challenge, with a solo practitioner business is that you can have the best skills, but if you aren’t able to market yourself effectively then nobody is going to do business with you because they simply aren’t going to know you exist.
Therefore, in many ways, today it’s actually your ability to market yourself that is paramount to your success – more so than getting the job done.
PICK A NICHE
It can be tempting to be a jack of all trades and promote a multitude of services, but the best advice is to mark yourself out as an expert within a particular field that can solve a particular problem or serve a particular group of people – as most people tend to like to know they are doing business with a specialist, or even an expert in their field, that understands their needs.
Furthermore, as a specialist provider you can usually increase your prices to reflect your specialist expertise in that one area. To put this into context, think about how much more a specialist consultant within a hospital is paid compared to a general practitioner.
WORD OF MOUTH RECOMMENDATION
Word of mouth marketing might be the oldest form of marketing yet it remains the most effective.
The social proof from online reviews, testimonials, and social media ‘likes’ works on this principle, but don’t forget, even in today’s digital age, people are still doing business with people – and actual word of mouth between two people is the most trusted form of recommendation and marketing available.
NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK
Leading on from this point about the power of word of mouth marketing, you want to get in front of as many relevant people as possible, for people do business with people, and whilst it’s important to have a LinkedIn profile, for instance, so that people can check you out after meeting you – that initial human contact is the spark that’s required to build a professional relationship.