Freelancing is an excellent side hustle or replacement for a full-time gig. But do you know how to stand out from the existing and growing crowd of other freelancers?
Whether you’re monetising your hobby or striking out on your own freelancing career, the one barrier every freelancer runs headfirst into is standing out.
There’s a hoard of freelancers out there, doing what you do and many established freelancers already have good industry experience behind them. So, how can your freelancing business beat them to the sale?
1) Be seriously bold
Time to break the mould and get bold.
If you want to stand out, go ahead and stand right out. No half measures. Get a bit weird. Do it your way and do it loud.
- Make your visual branding a serious eye catcher.
- Have a provocative tagline.
- Use language and content that oozes personality and doesn’t play it safe.
- Create imagery that stops people in their tracks.
- Capitalise on the unique aspects of your personality and skills.
- Create a quirky and out-there social media presence.
Just make sure you do it genuinely and keep some semblance of professionalism. You don’t want to scare potential clients off either.
2) Get reviews any way you can
Do everything in your power to get a good set of reviews! Ask or incentivise your clients to help out here.
In a competitive world of swiftly evaluated options, you’ll need those stars. Positive reviews build confidence when someone quickly glances at your online presence.
If someone’s pending decision to hire a freelancer comes down to you and some whipper snapper, the talent with the best and most reviews usually wins.
3) Pay real attention to SEO
SEO can be boring, but it’s so important in helping you stand out that you really can’t afford to ignore it.
Your competition may have more talent, more experience, better friends, prettier clothes and a nicer smile, but that doesn’t count for anything if people can’t search for them.
If someone taps ‘Adelaide wedding photographer’ into Google and your website and content has been designed around these search terms, guess what? You win the rankings, you win the attention and more than likely, you win the business.
4) Build a tight little niche
There’s a whole world of options out there and the better you can pin down and dominate a niche (or two) the better you’ll fare.
People often seek specific services, so they know they’re getting a ‘specialist’ not a ‘generalist’.
If someone needs a technology copywriter (not just a copywriter) make sure they know this is you.
You may shrink your pool in terms of opportunities, but you’ll win more business when you advertise and market the services you truly specialise in.
5) Don’t rest on your laurels
There’s always a new technique, new market, new skill, and new way to do what you do.
Find out what you don’t know, where the industry is going, how the market has shifted and learn the necessary skills to keep up.
Never rest. Keep that learning cycle flowing, no matter how good you are.
“No matter how much experience you have, how many degrees you have, or how well known you have become — there’s always something new to learn. Don’t rest on your past experiences. If you do nothing to improve your skills, you won’t stay where you are,”
Laura Spencer, successful freelance writer.
6) Use ads in the beginning
When you’re just starting out, don’t be afraid to get stuck into some low-end advertising spend.
Set a budget, make some eye-catching creative, and generate some awareness and interest.
Google ads, social media ads and boosted posts will all help to get some initial traction.
After you have some clients under your belt, organic social posting and SEO will be your friend but giving yourself an initial boost with ads really helps.
7) Seriously professional website and landing pages
Don’t skimp on your website.
Make it well branded, properly SEO oriented, fast, intuitive, mobile friendly and uncluttered.
Also make sure you create landing pages for social posts and ads to point to. Don’t just drop people on your homepage. Make landing pages are fit for purpose and with a clear call to action (CTA) such as ‘book me now’.
That’s another point – make sure you integrate booking software and/or eCommerce into your website to immediately fill your calendar with jobs and your wallet with cash.