Freelance 101 - Part 1 Determine your skill set
- Determine your brand identity
It’s all about you! That’s right, as a Freelancer it’s your job to brag and boast about all your skills and talents, in a respectable manner of course. Here’s the bottom line, unless you pay for it, no one is going to market your business for you. You are a one man (or women) band – play loud and play hard! You’ll get the results you’re looking to achieve.
You need to be able to effectively market yourself as a true professional in your chosen field. How can you come across as professional? What are potential clients looking for? Let’s start with a few of the basics:
As a freelancer it is critical to determine how you want your brand to come across to your clients. You are your brand. Define yourself and you define your business.
Do you want to come across as friendly, open, trustworthy? Do you have high quality work that you can get done in a short amount of time? Do you create upscale, high-end products or services? These are they type of questions you should be asking.
Not quite sure what you need to ask yourself to come up with your brand? Take a look at this great exercise for determining your freelance business brand.
When working as a freelancer you may find that most of your business prospects prefer to review your portfolio and qualifications online. Although paper is not dead the most efficient and quickest way to get your name out there is to set up a website/portfolio. Showcase your most recent projects or articles, and include links to your blog and CV/Resume. This will give your potential client a quick way to view your qualifications and what you are all about.
Remember to update on a regular basis! This will show that you are actively working and have avid enthusiasm about your business.
Sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can be an amazing tool for the freelancing professional. Build your portfolio and profile page and invite your friends, family and potential clients to visit your page.
The most important thing about Social Networking sites is to always be actively participating. Clients don’t want to log on and see that your last update was 4 months ago – stay in touch and work those networking skills.
Get involved in your Community
While a lot of freelancing opportunities are widely available online through job boards and social networking sites you would be surprised to know how many potential clients are in your own backyard. Sign up for community events, offer your services up for a charity, go to your local networking breakfasts or luncheons – remember to always have a business card with you. You never know what opportunities are standing right next to you.
Next we will dive further into Freelance 101 - Part 3 – Landing the Gig.