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The Key to Freelance Startup Success


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Deciding to become a freelancer is an easy decision to make. The flexibility, power and earning potential stack up to make freelance work a brilliant side-income or main employment avenue. But once the decision has been made, how easy is it really to make your endeavours a success. I’ve seen it many-a-time. Someone makes the choice to go freelance, but then they fall flat on their face. I’m here to give you the key facts to ensure that you are successful in your transition to freelance – no matter how many or how large the obstacles in your way may be.

Arguably the most crucial and defining moment of your freelance career is choosing your brand. A strong brand is absolutely vital in order to make a mark in the massive world of freelance. There are hundreds of thousands of freelancers the world over, many of whom simply operate from job finding sites like Freelancer.com. Invest the time, money or both into building a website with a strong brand and house style. You have no idea how powerful a business identity is in helping turn sales and reinforcing professionalism. Only once you know who you are and how you want to be seen by your clients can you begin to work and turn your skills into a business.

When you first start out freelancing, it can be easy to try and offer your skills in each and every area, and spread yourself too thinly. When a potential client sees you’re offering video production services AND programming, they’ll begin to feel that you’re skills do not lie together, and your ability must be spread out — resulting in a lower quality outcome for their project. Instead, start by focusing on one (preferably niche) area in which you can work, and build from there. By pitching yourself as offering niche services, you will be reducing your competition as well as seeming to be a specialist in what you offer. Once you’ve begun to build a reputation and portfolio in your niche, you can begin to expand to other areas as your clients already trust your ability and the standard to which you work. Whilst offering numerous services may seem like a great way to attract and appeal to a greater number of clients, it will hurt your business in the long run as people begin to feel that you dabble in whatever brings in work.

As I briefly mentioned, it’s important to begin building a portfolio and getting feedback from clients as early and as quickly as you can. You can give all the sales spiel in the world, but nothing clomes close to the value and impact of real, positive reviews and testimonials. For the first few projects you work on, focus on your client and achieving their highest level of satisfaction. After the project, ask them if they wouldn’t mind writing a short paragraph about their experiences with you. Building s portfolio of work and including these testimonials will really improve confidence in you and lead you on your path to success as a budding freelancer.

Outreach, outreach, outreach. You know something is important when it comes in threes. Out reaching to potential clients at this stage of your business is an absolute must. With the relative infancy of your business, nobody is going to find you online, and certainly no one is going to be searching specifically for services offered by you. So take the initiative, and reach out to potential clients and pitch yourself to them. Whilst you need to be careful to not be pushy and make promises you can’t keep, putting ourself out into the market and letting people know what you’re all about is an important step in grounding your position in the competitive freelance market. Sending just a few emails each day can massively increase the number of potential clients you have — with even those who don’t immediately take you on being able to refer you to friends or come back to you at a later date.

I know that getting your foot in the door can be hard, but hopefully at least one of these short and simple tips will help you improve your current strategy and find success when starting up in freelance.

So tell me, what are you doing to ensure your freelance start up is successful?

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