The gig economy is booming, and there’s no stopping it. As of 2018, there were over 57 million freelancers in America alone, which represents a whopping 36% of the entire workforce. Traditional workspaces are losing their appeal, as more and more millennials choose remote and location-independent arrangements that freelancing offers.
Of course, this new labor trend is not without its challenges, and freelancers know all too well how difficult it can be to have a constant stream of income when clients come and go. A lack of business can be especially frustrating for those who rely on their freelancing income to meet their daily needs. Thankfully, there are several ways to attract and find new clients for both old and new freelancers alike — we’ve listed some of the more effective methods below.
Create Unique Content
We’ve previously pointed out here on Wiefling Consulting how content creators are in a unique position to monetize their talent, as the field continues to grow thanks to the high demand for content online. Conversely, the constant influx of new content means that businesses are always on the lookout for fresh ideas and perspectives that stand out.
To gain a significant competitive edge, find out what your niche market is, and tailor your samples to fit that audience specifically. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recommends setting up an electronic portfolio, as it is a great way for clients to find you and your work online.
Utilize Effective Platforms
Although it would be nice to lay back and wait for clients to approach you, it’s much more effective to actively seek them out through various platforms. Some of the more common ways include having a streamlined social media presence, as well as creating an online portfolio, as mentioned above. A less common, but highly effective, option is guest posting for high-traffic sites where clients may be lurking, and which can get your name out there. Aside from these, there is a myriad of other choices for the modern freelancer, as innovative platforms for connecting with potential clients continue to pop up left and right.
Content creators may feel stuck in regular freelance markets where the competition is stiff and rates can get uncomfortably low. The smart move at that point would be to move towards high-level freelance marketplaces, which are more exclusive and call for only the most talented freelancers. From there, it’s just a matter of choosing which platforms best suit your skillset and ideal client profile. Freelance platform Yoss points out that with advanced skills in Java development freelancers can find and connect with industry giants using effective platforms. On these platforms, only a select amount of jobs from leading companies are posted. Highly skilled photo and video editors are in-demand on other sites as well, which may charge a small monthly subscription for the service.
No matter how effective your digital marketing methods may be, networking in person is still a crucial part of success when it comes to freelance work. A study by Elon University found that people are becoming less adept at face-to-face interactions because of technological advances, but physical interaction is still more impactful than online ones. Hone your own interpersonal skills by meeting people at conferences or seminars related to your field. Hand out business cards and make a good impression on fellow freelancers and potential clients during these events.
Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and if you conduct yourself well at freelance events, clients will be more likely to come to you. Use these opportunities to build relationships in your field, learn new industry secrets, and discover important aspects of the job that you would not find out otherwise.
When things are feeling a bit slow for you as a freelancer, keep in mind that there are ways to jump back into a comfortable pace. By following the above tips, you’ll place yourself ahead of the growing competition, effectively sealing new deals and elevating your position in your chosen field.
Contributed article in our business series. Enjoy! – Kimberlyby