There’s a lot to be said for being your own boss. Taking your career to incredible heights doesn’t always require you to work on a 9-to-5 schedule. Today’s digital age, along with the new normal brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, gave many professionals an alternative option in making a name for themselves and their careers— freelancing and remote work.
However, before you can dive into this exciting endeavour, bear in mind one crucial point: there is stiff competition due to global access to talent. This means that you’re simply not competing against other professionals in your area, but across the globe.
So how can you stand out among the competition? The key to a successful career in freelancing lies in how you brand yourself. Your personal brand signifies your identity in the freelancing landscape, allowing you to attract more clients.
Here are some tips on building your personal brand to succeed in freelancing.
Define Your Niche And Expertise
One thing that mainly attracts professionals to freelancing and remote work is the wide variety of niches you can take. Whether you’re in website design and development, digital marketing, or even accounting, there are many clients who’ll need your help. This is why before you can dabble in this work setup, you should first understand your niche and expertise clearly.
You can ask the following questions to know which niche your expertise and skills would suit perfectly.
- What skills do you excel in?
- Do you have any experience in a specific industry or industries? If so, which ones?
- Does your experience and skills position you to be an expert in your field?
Knowing the answers to these questions allow you to assess yourself in terms of how deeply you understand your abilities as a professional. After all, clients prefer those who have expert knowledge in their field because they know they can deliver exceptional results.
Build Your Online Presence
Compared to the usual job market, freelance and remote work takes resource hunting in a different place— online. Although many employers nowadays also use digital platforms such as Indeed.com to find potential candidates, their hiring process still involves physical processes such as in-person interviews.
On the other hand, freelance and remote work takes place online. From finding potential clients to meetings and interviews, everything happens digitally. This means that to achieve success in this career path, you’ll need to build a strong and impressive online presence. After all, the web’s your storefront in freelancing!
The question is, how can you create an impressive presence to potential clients online? Here are some tips that you should consider.
- Invest in a professional website (or portfolio) that showcases your previous work as well as skills and testimonials from satisfied clients.
- Be active on relevant social media platforms such as LinkedIn. This can help you connect with potential clients and professionals in your chosen industry.
- Update your profile with content that specifically highlights your expertise regularly.
Identify What You Can Bring To The Table
There’s no denying that other professionals in your chosen field of expertise and niche will have similar experiences and skills as you. However, what will keep you apart from them lies on how can you uniquely deliver results to your clients.
Your value proposition sets you apart from competition to your clients. It exactly tells how you can add value to your clients in a way that your competition can’t. So, when creating your own value proposition, remember to keep it concise, clear, and unique. This way, you can properly convey what you can bring to your client’s table.
In short, by defining and communicating your unique selling points, you can let your clients know how different you are from others in adding value to their business.
Create Your Own Consistent Branding Identity
Whether it’s business or yourself, consistency is crucial in branding. It shows your commitment to professionalism and values to your target market.
For example, when creating your branding materials, remember to be consistent in all of its elements, from the colour scheme to the typography to the logo for your personal brand. This allows you to build a cohesive visual identity that will help clients recognise and remember you, no matter how many professionals they encounter in your field.
Create An Impressive Portfolio
One thing that clients always look at when looking for freelance professionals is their portfolio. This serves as your visual resume, showcasing all the work you’ve done in the past.
In creating an impressive portfolio, it’s important that you curate it to display your best projects. You should provide detailed descriptions of each project, along with how it added value to your clients. This way, potential clients will exactly know what they’re in for should they hire you.
Despite taking mostly online, some clients still go the traditional route and hire freelancers in-person. This is why having a physical copy of your portfolio on hand goes a long way. Make sure to use high quality paper and ink for your portfolio to ensure details are clearly printed. You can use inks that don’t smudge such as HP ink to ensure your portfolio looks flawless every time.
Build Your Network
Regardless of your career choice, networking and building relationships is essential for career growth. This opens up new opportunities for you and even lets you gain new insights on how you can make your work processes more efficient. So if you’re thinking of going freelance, it’s important that you build your network as well!
But how can you exactly build a professional network if you’re spending most of your time online? Here are some suggestions.
- Industry events such as seminars and in-person trainings
- Online forums and platforms such as Reddit and Quora
Through these, you can connect not only with fellow professionals but also with potential clients. After all, they’re always on the hunt for talent that can help them grow as a business!
In short, when you build a strong professional network, opportunities for referrals and repeat business open up for you, leading to your freelancing success.
Deliver Exceptional Results
The most important secret to making your freelancing journey a success is to deliver exceptional results to clients. After all, your personal brand isn’t just about appearance, but it’s also about your reputation.
As you take on clients, it’s crucial that you consistently give them outstanding results. Strive to meet deadlines regardless of the complexity of the task. You should also know how to communicate effectively so that no misunderstanding occurs between you and your client. You should also think of ways on how you can optimise your tasks, so that you can deliver the desired results without taking up too much time.
By going the extra mile in doing your work, you can easily satisfy clients which can result in more opportunities for you.
Collect Testimonials From Your Past Clients
Client testimonials provide social proof of your abilities. Request feedback from satisfied clients and showcase their testimonials on your website and marketing materials. Positive reviews can greatly influence potential clients’ decisions.
Imagine you’re booking a hotel for a vacation. One of the first things you’ll look at are the reviews, right? These describe previous guests’ experiences regarding the stay, making it a deciding factor on whether you’ll book or not.
This is the same with freelancing. Many potential clients look for proof that you’ve done an exemplary job in your field.
Testimonials are a great way to showcase your professionalism and work ethic as it describes your past clients’ experience with working with you. You can request feedback from satisfied clients and display them on your branding materials. These can greatly influence potential clients’ decisions, and you might even get the thumbs up from them!
Adapt To Changes And Continuously Improve
The labour market is ever-evolving. Everyday, there are new trends that pop up in each industry, along with new technologies and best practices. Staying updated on and adapting to these changes give you a competitive advantage above others and makes you in demand for potential clients.
Not only that, but you should also continuously improve your skills. You should strive to expand your knowledge and invest in your professional development. Industries never run out of seminars and training, which will definitely contribute to your career growth. And, if you aren’t a fan of in-person training and seminars, you can always try online learning platforms!
When you seek continuous improvement and adapt to changes happening around, you can ensure that you’ll stay relevant and competitive despite the growing competition.
Take Your Freelancing Career To New Heights Today
Over the years, many professionals have tried to enter the world of freelancing and failed. It’s not that they’re not skillful or incompetent, it’s just that they don’t know how to properly sell themselves to clients. After all, freelancing is also a business, with you selling your services to potential clients.
To succeed in the freelancing and remote work world, your personal brand is your most valuable asset. It’s the image you project to your potential clients, along with the promise of value that you’ll deliver. Although there’s no exact formula on how you can be a successful freelancer, there are strategies that you can apply to yourself to rake in clients. These strategies all focus on how you can identify your niche using your skills and how you can use them to provide value to your clients. At the end of the day, it’s you and your skills and experience versus talents all over the world!
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