Lots of professionals carve out viable careers as freelancers. Indeed, some talented individuals even manage to make more money freelancing than they ever could have as a “traditional” employee. Yet, the reality is that many quality freelancers struggle to get their foot in the door, so to speak. If you’ve recently started freelancing, but are having difficulty landing new gigs, then this blog post is for you. Here are four tips for maximizing your opportunities as a freelancer:
Expand Your Skill Set
Having a deep understanding of a niche industry can be very useful. Whether you know all about complex lab equipment like 1000 µl pipette tips or you’re an expert in stone masonry, odds are there are companies who value pros like you with specific, in-depth knowledge of their products or services. The bad news is that niche fields can only offer a freelancer so many opportunities. That’s why it’s key for all freelancers to 1) build new skills and 2) advertise that fact! A copywriter who can also offer web development support is much more likely to find work than an individual with only one of those abilities.
Turn Off the Clock
Freelancing is a non-traditional job. So, at least at first, freelancers have to be willing to work non-traditional hours. Often, companies call on freelancers at the last minute to fix a problem that they didn’t expect. As such, being available to help a company out of a jam overnight or on the weekend can help you earn both lucrative deals and loyal clients.
There are tons of websites that provide platforms for freelancers to promote themselves and connect with potential clients. Don’t be content to advertise yourself on just one of those sites. Set up multiple accounts, create professional social media profiles, and build your own website to further increase your online presence. In short, make it easy for clients to find you!
Part of the appeal of freelancing is that you get to be your own boss and set your own hours. If you don’t like a job, you don’t have to take it. While that’s technically true, new freelancers would be well advised to jump at every employment opportunity that comes their way. Even if you don’t much enjoy the work, building up a solid reputation and gaining key referrals can help you secure much better assignments in the future.
At the end of the day, there’s no substitute for quality performance. Do your best and, eventually, clients will begin to seek you out and partner with you on key projects. Until then, keep your chin up!