Opportunity in Digital Freelancing
The best part about digital freelancing is that you are not restricted by location. You can get national as well as international clients.
Businesses are sometimes more inclined to hire freelancers because it reduces overhead costs and results in better quality work. In addition, Digital Freelancers have increased efficiency because of the time saved on travel, office meetings, office politics, etc. An added bonus is the flexibility to work however and whenever, as long as deadlines are met, which means better productivity!
The most important opportunity is the experience you get by working for clients from different fields. Your versatility improves significantly, and you gain an in-depth understanding of how each niche works. This could help you in multiple ways. Whether it is using that knowledge for getting clients from a similar industry or; using the knowledge to help increase your own productivity.
If you are already in a job, digital freelancing could prove to be a great exit strategy. You can have multiple sources of income, which will increase stability for you. In addition, an increasing number of clients will also increase your revenue significantly, which would not be possible in a job. This will also enhance your business skills which will help you scale your own business in the future.
Types of services a digital freelancer can offer
- Market research
- Website development
- Lead generation
- Social media management
- Content writing and marketing
- Paid ads
- Marketing automation
- Copywriting and sales
- Other services like Design, Analytics, Financial management, etc.
Getting into the freelancing mindset
It takes a massive shift in mindset to move from being a salaried employee to a digital freelancer. Instead of thinking about what you can get from the company, you need to shift your mindset to consider what you can provide for your clients. A genuine intention cannot be faked.
Being a digital freelancer means that not only are you working on getting your clients results, but at the same time, you are also working on getting clients for yourself. You have to be a one-person army. The balance between content creation, lead generation, marketing and sales for yourself and the same work for your client is of utmost importance. If you are only working on getting clients but not servicing them well, they will leave you, and if you are too busy servicing a client that you forget to market yourself, you are limiting yourself to only that one client and it will be hard to find new ones.
This balance of work and self-promotion can only be achieved if you love what you are doing and have the freelancing mindset to put in all your effort. Remember, there is no paycheck at the end of the month, but at the same time, there is no limit to how much you can earn either.
Choosing your freelancing niche
Choosing your freelancing niche is not an overnight process; it takes time. It is an integration of your talent, your passion and the market trend.
If you try to be everything to everyone, then you will not get any traction. It would be best if you were a specialist in one aspect and a generalist in others. You should pick your expertise in a freelancing niche such that you enjoy what you are doing and kick ass while doing it. This will also help you get word-of-mouth referrals in a big way.
Industry-specific knowledge acts as a catalyst for attracting other clients within that same field. For example, you have already understood the kind of users your clients have, you have already done your research about customer personas, marketing trends in that industry, etc. When competitors in that niche see the work you have done, they want you to get them similar results for their business as well.
Read more about Discovering your Profitable Niche here.
Personal Branding for digital freelancing
Choosing your freelancing niche helps you position yourself as an authority in that niche. You can create a personal brand that will build trust in your audience, which will help get you more clients.
If your client feels you are a beginner in the field, you will lose the sale. Having a well-designed blog and social media presence will justify your premium pricing. Even if you do not get traffic to your blog from the masses, your prospective client has access to reading your blog and doing their due diligence about you.
Read more about Personal Branding here.
Designing your offer and sales pitch
You need to create an offer that looks like a profit for your clients. Creating a proposal is the most critical part of this equation. A well-made proposal communicates that you are professional and are taking your work seriously.
Confidence is key. If you are not confident about what you are providing, how will the client trust you enough to get customers for them? You have to be sure of what you are saying and what you are charging. Price your services based on the value that they will gain out of it. If you charge too low, you will not be happy to put effort into it, which will hamper your work and not get the best results.
Books I recommend for Sales and Negotiations: To Sell Is Human by Daniel H. Pink, Never Split The Difference by Chriss Voss and Start With No by Jim Camp.
Lead Generation and Outreach
Digital freelancing works on a B2B model. The best way to find businesses that need your services is through research. Check out websites, reach out to people on LinkedIn, etc. An effective strategy is to reach out to marketing heads and CEO’s via email to give them feedback on how they can improve their website or profile—providing some value in each message you send. Remember, people are not going to pay attention to you if they feel like you are trying to get a client for your own benefit.
This method works on the law of large numbers. This means that only when you reach out to a large number of people will you get a more significant response. So, for example, you cannot reach out to 5 businesses and expect all 5 to get back to you; you might have to reach out to 15 firms to get just one reply. So do not get disheartened by the low rate of response.
Read more about Lead Generation here.
In the end, I would like to say that every business wants more clients. No company in the world would say no to more customers. You have to approach your clients with what you can offer them rather than what they could outsource from you! Begin with the end in mind. Think about the entire transition by putting yourself in the client’s shoes!
Let me know what you thought in the comments!
Check out my personal brand @abstractbyaashna
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