On paper, freelancing is a fascinating career opportunity. You can work your own hours from the comfort of your home and be your own boss. The alluring freedom of freelancing is enough to entice anyone, including you, to want to grow your freelance business.
The truth, however, is that starting and maintaining a freelancing business is just like operating a small business. You need to acquire lots of clients and hold their business, to be a successful freelancer.
This requires you to consistently promote yourself and maintain outreach strategies to draw in new business. Otherwise, you don’t have the self-brand reputation or credibility to attract the clientele you want to expand your freelance business.
Read on for 7 outreach tips that freelancers like you, both old and new, use to grow your freelance business.
1. Understand the Value of Your Reputation
Selling yourself as a freelancer all comes down to your reputation. It’s your single most valuable asset. The outreach techniques included in this guide are based on growing this reputation and exhibiting it to potential clients.
The first lessons you need to learn to grow your freelance business can also be a difficult one to learn. It can take time to establish your reputation to earn what you feel you deserve for your skills and talents.
Sometimes, you may have to take less money, in exchange for growing this reputation.
2. Utilize Freelancing Communication Platforms
There are many sites on the Internet that help connect businesses and freelancers. This has made it much easier for independent contractors to find job opportunities outside their immediate area.
As a freelancer, these services are essential to include in your outreach program.
Some examples of these sites include Upwork, Workhoppers and Fiverr. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. Research the pros and cons of each platform. Utilize each service for the fullest effect and to find value clients.
3. Build Your Professional Credibility on Multiple Platforms
One of the core components of your outreach strategy is establishing your credibility. You want to create many different professional profiles that help develop a credible, professional reputation in your chosen freelancing field.
This can mean creating profiles on the aforementioned freelancing websites. In addition, have a LinkedIn profile or a professional web page to establish online credibility. You may even be able to find new clients through these platforms.
4. Continuously Grow Your Portfolio
Every job you take on provides a unique opportunity to grow your freelance business and portfolio. Even a small, one-off task could be a new learning opportunity that adds a valuable asset to your collection. This may be used in the future to land a new client.
Thus, it’s important to understand that no job is too small. Continuously build your portfolio and expertise with jobs outside your typical comfort zone. These can provide the building blocks to a robust working portfolio.
This will help you expand your outreach to clients across a broader range of industries.
5. Be Accommodating to Different Pay Services
Receiving payments as a freelancer can mean using many different services or types of payment options. This may seem like an unlikely outreach tactic. However, the more options you have available for clients, the more appealing you come across. After all, potential clients want to payment options that they are familiar with or have used in the past.
So, as you pitch potential clients, be sure to include the payment options that your freelancing business accepts. Be open to exploring new pay services that you haven’t tried before, especially if it means acquiring a new client.
6. Always Encourage Referrals & Reviews
Word-of-mouth business is incredibly powerful in the freelancing game yet can be incredibly under-utilized. Get in the habit of asking past and current clients for these urgent referrals. Clients won’t always make the connection on their own. But, they have professional contacts or friends that could also use your services.
To maximize your outreach potential, routinely reach out to clients and ask them to refer your services.
If they say they don’t have any contacts that need your services, double down. Ask them to review your services on-line on your professional page.
7. Evaluate Your Most Successful Outreach Channels and Tactics
Evaluation is a key, final step in your outreach process. You want to measure which channels and tactics are your successful. For example, what freelancing platform (Upwork, Fiverr, etc.) brings in the newest clients? What style of pitch works best? Which of your resume templates for Google Docs receive the best responses? Are there particular portfolio examples that are more successful than others?
Keep track of what tactics and platforms you’ve successfully used to reach a business or individual. Then, you can use these insights to understand better what tactics work best and with what types of clients.
Without evaluating your outreach strategies, it is impossible to know what is working and what isn’t honestly.
Conclusions to grow your freelance Business
The final piece of advice to grow your freelance business and maintain a great career in the freelancing world is to stay active. Don’t let your business become stagnant. Continuously work on outreach strategies, whether it is improving your credibility, building your portfolio, exploring new platforms or otherwise.
One of the hardest challenges is to understand how much work to take on. Find your limit to avoid getting overwhelmed or unable to meet the demand of your deadlines. When you can maximize your workload, without overworking yourself, you’ll have the ideal balance of a full schedule of projects and a healthy stream of income.
Written by Susan Ranford. Susan is an expert on job market trends, hiring, and business management. She is the Community Outreach Coordinator for New York Jobs. In her blogging and writing, she seeks to shed light on issues related to employment, business, and finance to help others understand different industries and find the right job fit for them.