UNITED STATES—Freelance work can be cut-throat – yet exceptionally rewarding. Content writing, for example, is considered to be one of the most lucrative business ideas of the year. But all freelancers know that the road to success is paved with setbacks, learning curves, and adaptation. Soon you realize the importance of selling yourself before you sell a service. That’s not a negative; it is part and parcel of being a freelancer selling a service. Below we will discuss how you can highlight your unique skill, impressive talent, and network to sell yourself and your services.
It’s ironic because as a photographer, for example, you are your work. Creating an extensive and beautifully designed portfolio can attract business – giving people a chance to see the high-quality work you can produce. On the contrary, poorly designed portfolios won’t convey the quality of your work, and clients want to see the proof in the pudding. Portfolio websites are an excellent way of professionally showcasing your work – and they’re easy to create using WIX. There are some key things you should include on your website:
- An about you page
- Organized examples of your work – if you are a photographer, for example, you could have a page for landscapes and one for weddings, or whatever it is you capture.
- Contact page
- A section for reviews
The more you can fit on your website without overloading the space, the better. Your portfolio is personal to you, but you might find it useful to check out portfolio examples online to draw inspiration.
Whenever you finish a project for a client, ask them to write a review. One study showed that 93% of shoppers check reviews before purchasing a product or service – so they’re crucial. Reviews show how reliable, efficient, and professional you are. Not only will reviews help influence a client’s decision, but it also strengthens your credibility. Reviews help a client gain trust in your service, especially when combined with examples of your work.
Ideally, clients should be able to find reviews from multiple sources. You can collate reviews and publish them on your website. Or you can ask customers to leave a review on Google. Google reviews appear next to your business profile in the search engine and are visible when someone searches for your business, either on the Google search engine or on the maps.
Considering 4 in 5 consumers use Google to find local information, it bodes well for there to be as much information about your business as possible. Facebook reviews are another substantial source of information for clients, so have a business Facebook page set up.
Networking is an excellent way of ensuring a steady workflow, and there are multiple other benefits to it. For a freelancer, networking is a way of connecting with other freelancers, as well as clients. Collaborations can lead to new exciting avenues of income – something we will discuss further along. There are three main types of professional networking, all of which would benefit someone trying to sell their service.
- Operational networks – typically present or former colleagues or members of trade groups.
- Strategic networks – typically people who aren’t in your direct line of work but are visionaries who have advice that might help, such as how to network better.
- Personal networks – This can be family or friends, people you connect with on social media, school alumni members, etc.
Social media, in particular, is a great way to meet like-minded freelancers or people in need of your services. Not only is social media great for networking, but it is also an excellent way to showcase your work – especially if you’re a photographer!
You can find out about networking events by joining social media groups, Googling it, or looking out for news articles related to your niche.
Collaborations are crucial, and one way of finding natural collaborations is through networking. Or, you can directly contact people. There is more to collaboration than just the hope of gaining clients. Collaborations are the chance for you to build meaningful and valuable relationships with people within your industry.
Most respectable freelancers will have some sort of portfolio, if not a website, on LinkedIn – an excellent place for networking and collaborations. Having an up-to-date and active LinkedIn profile is essential for any freelancer. You’ll find natural collaborations that will reach out to you on LinkedIn; if you post regular examples of your work.
Selling yourself requires confidence in your work and abilities. You’ll find over time that selling yourself happens without even trying. Clients will naturally want to leave reviews, and you’ll gain loyal clients that help your business grow organically. Your work will speak for itself, so take the time to display your best pieces of work and ensure your portfolio or social media pages are kept up to date.