There are many things you can do to improve your profile and reputation as a freelancer. All successful freelancers are willing to constantly learn new things, look for ways to improve and adapt to the changing situation in which they work. As such, your life as a freelancer is a process of evolution, and you need to ensure you change with the times and add to your portfolio as you go. It’s also important to maintain professionalism throughout your freelancing career in order to attract new clients and keep your current customers happy. Here are three ways you can reinvent freelancing without looking like an amateur and ultimately improve your bottom line.
1. Focus on what you’re good at and outsource everything else
Just because you’re a freelancer, it doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. For instance, you might be an incredibly talented voiceover artist, which is the primary way you make money. You spend lots of time every day delivering exceptional content for your clients, and you even invest in equipment that will help you improve your delivery. However, delivering great content is just one part of the jigsaw. Freelancers have to think about lots of other elements of their work, including:
- A professional website.
- Accounts, invoices, and payments.
- Social media content and blog posts.
- Other marketing materials.
Even though you’re an excellent voiceover artist, it doesn’t mean that you have the skills (or the time) to complete the essential tasks above. One of the most important things about becoming a freelancer is knowing what tasks you should work on yourself and understanding when you should outsource other tasks. Not only does this save you time, but it also allows you to focus on the things you’re good at so you can earn excellent money as a freelancer. Finally, this portrays you in a very professional image to your prospective clients.
2. Adapt your mindset and think like a business owner
One challenge that freelancers often face at the start of their career is their mindset. People get into freelancing because they want to work individually and focus on delivering content they know they’re good at producing. While this is an important first step, it’s not enough to just think about your output. As a freelancer, you’re responsible for so much more than just completing a piece of work. You need to start thinking like a business owner and be willing to take responsibility for all aspects of your career. Freelancers need to think about the following:
- Where will you find new clients?
- How will you reach out to new clients? What is your marketing strategy?
- What is your offer? Is it multi-layered? Can you offer gig extras to make more money?
- How will you manage your accounts, payments, and taxes?
- Do you need people to work alongside you to support your business?
These are just some of the questions that freelancers need to ask themselves. It’s not enough to focus on delivering a specific project. If you’re single-minded, you will find that work might dry up, and you may lose track of your business as a whole. Thinking like a business owner ensures you are prepared for the work that you take on and are also in the market for new business at the same time.
3. Regularly conduct a SWOT analysis of your freelancing business
As a freelancer, it’s imperative that you understand your business as best you can. One of the most effective ways of doing this is by regularly conducting a SWOT analysis to stay grounded and to identify the ways in which you can improve. It doesn’t take a lot of time, and you don’t need any fancy software to help you. Just a pen and a piece of paper will suffice! A SWOT analysis enables you to find out the following:
- Strengths: What are the strengths of my freelancing business? What am I doing well? What am I proud of?
- Weaknesses: What are my weaknesses as a freelancer? Is there something, in particular, I need help with or need to improve myself?
- Opportunities: What are the opportunities for growing my business? Can I adapt my business to get more clients? Is there a way I can search for new business?
- Threats: What are the threats to my business as it is? What could cause me to lose clients? Do I need to protect myself in some way?
Regularly conducting a SWOT analysis ensures you’re on top of your business and are able to reflect on your practice. If you don’t regularly take stock of what you’re doing and what you’re trying to achieve, it will difficult for you to monitor your progress and hold yourself to account. Performing regular SWOT analysis also keeps you informed of everything relating to your business; providing an even more professional look to your prospective clients.
Perhaps the most important lesson here is that you need to see Freelancing as more than just a single gig. You need to look at your work as if it’s your business, and you need to actively take steps to ensure your business is in good health. This means more than just focusing on your end delivery. You might be the most competent freelancer in the world, but if you don’t pay attention to the backend of your business, your career could suffer as a result.