If you do occasional freelancing, you may have given to some thought to doing it on a full time basis. That’s a worthy objective, but if you intend to go that route, there are some things you need to know about how to run a business.
Treating freelancing as a business is imperative if you hope to succeed. It’s not enough just to work hard at your business, you have to work hard on your business as well, and you want to have the right tools for the job.
Here are some steps you need to take.
Image source: Be Parallax Pre-Built Website
You Need to Treat Freelancing as a Business
If your freelancing activities are done on a sporadic or part-time basis, you still take them seriously, but you also may tend to think of them as assignments to be worked on at a time of your own choosing.
When you do the same type of work over a period of time, you tend to develop a certain mindset toward that work. When working for an employer, your mindset tends to focus on satisfying that employer.
You need to carry that mindset with you if you take up freelancing as a business. You may have treated your freelancing activities as a welcome diversion in the past, but now you are working for yourself, you have a business, and your mindset has to take that into account the fact that you are running a business.
Get Started – With a Great Portfolio
Be Portfolio– A Highly Popular Be Theme Pre-built Portfolio
You need to have a good portfolio to land a potential client or a juicy assignment. Throwing together a collection of examples of you work won’t cut it however. Anyone can do that. What you must have,is a portfolio that will grab a viewer’s attention – and hold it.
Assume you have only about a minute to land a client. Website visitors scan. They are not going to examine your portfolio in depth unless something hits them squarely in the eye; and creates an “ah-ha” moment.
For that reason, you want to include your best work, and only your best work, in addition to content that tells the viewer how you’ve accomplished what you’ve accomplished.
Deciding what layout to use can be a challenge, so you may want to look at the portfolios of several highly successful designers to get some good ideas. You should also look into a website and portfolio-building tool that is capable of providing awesome results.
An excellent choice will be Be Theme, with its 200+ pre-built websites that include an excellent selection of portfolio-oriented websites. This popular, best-selling theme has every feature you will ever need to put together a portfolio that will make potential clients sit up and take notice.
Perfect Your Marketing Tactics
Going online with your portfolio is a good first step, but there is much more to running a full-time freelancing business than sitting back and hoping a potential client will stumble across your portfolio while surfing the web.
You not only have work to do to attract traffic, but you also have to figure out how to optimize that traffic to not only keep your business running, but growing.
Marketing tactics you’ll want to familiarize yourself with and put into practice:
- Focus on your Client Acquisition Channels, particularly those you find most relevant for promoting your business and your work. These channels could include events, a SEO website, social media, or a blog.
- Clearly state your unique value proposition on your homepage. It should be the first thing people notice. You want to make it possible for them to understand what you do and how you do it in a matter of seconds
- Your business plan needs to take into account your target audience, and the steps you need to take to reach out to that audience.
- Have a content plan in place. This is especially important if a blog is to be one of your key client acquisition channels. Make a list of things you enjoy researching and writing about, and the topics you target audience is likely to find interesting.
A helpful tip with respect to content; people gravitate to experts. If you know more than 10% about a given topic than your audience does, they’ll regard you as an expert on that topic.
- Measure your content’s or portfolio’s traffic, and what that traffic is delivering. That’s the best way to know what attracts potential clients and what doesn’t, so you’ll know where to focus your efforts, and where you may need to make adjustments and improvements.
- Understand what CRO and the conversion funnel is all about, and how traffic can drive and grow your business. Take advantage of A/B test results, and what survey and content page analyses are telling you.
Making Your Freelance Business Grow – A Summary
If you enjoy occasional freelancing, the thought of having to run it like a business if you intend to pursue it full time might seem a little disquieting. If, however, you want to make a good income, you can’t treat it as a hobby.
The flip side is this; growing a business can be perfectly enjoyable if you go about it right, and you have the right tools to assist you.
- One of the first things to do is to adjust your mindset. You are going to be the CEO of your new business. This means you’ll be the one calling the shots. It also means you have to take responsibility for the decisions you make.
- Get started on putting together a stellar You’ll find Be Theme, with its powerful website-building features, including its pre-designed websites will be a valuable ally.
- Don’t be afraid to become a marketing guru. Marketing has its techie side as well; so you should enjoy learning and practicing its ins and outs. Applying good marketing techniques will be essential to your success.
- Take full advantage of your business’s social side. Attend events, and hook up with LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media. Learn how successful full-time freelancers conduct business. Don’t makes sales a priority; focus instead on making yourself known and building trust.