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How to grow as a freelancer: 5 actionable tips

Regardless of where you are in your freelance journey, it can be hard to know where to start when you want to grow your solo business. There are so many things to consider and new strategies to try that it can feel overwhelming to handle. Here are five actionable steps you can take today that will help you achieve the results.

Nurturing your business as a solo talent

Freelance work can be more than just a side job. It can be a viable long-term career that can be rewarding if you are committed to finding ways to expand your business. To ensure your business is successful, you must plan and consider what will be best for your career. Freelance work is increasingly seen as a legitimate business venture and looks to be a growing trend in the US and worldwide so now is as good a time as any to start your new career.

These actionable tips will cover topics that are all helpful for looking at ways to grow your freelance business. Some of these tips help you take steps to start a solo business, while others are more suited to expanding your business. Regardless of where you are in your career, you’ll find something that will help improve your solo work.

Keep in touch with old, current, and prospective clients

Some of the best advice you can find regarding growing and maintaining your business as an entrepreneur is constantly being in conversation with clients. It’s the best way to build a relationship with your clients. Having a working relationship with your clients is an important habit to develop because it’s a great way to retain clients and grow your business.

Here are some things you can do for this purpose:

  • Provide your clients and potential clients with different means and avenues to contact you
  • Use resources like social media or even a blog with your contact information
  • Always make time to communicate with your clients in the form of answering questions or providing updates
  • Check in with former clients to see if they are satisfied or would be willing to recommend you

It’s critical to keep in touch when working with your current clients because it is a great way to maintain a relationship and provide the best service or product possible. Communicating with potential clients or leads is a great way to make them into actual clients. Finally, you should always have a line of communication with your previous clients because it can lead them to become recurring clients or even recommend your service to others.

Make an artistic portfolio

Making a portfolio is an essential step for any freelancer looking to establish themselves. Portfolios provide examples of your work in a convenient and well-formatted collection that highlight your skills and show potential customers what you’re capable of doing. It’s a great asset that you should work on and regularly update to make sure that you continually attract potential clients.

Portfolios expose your work to potential clients on a curated platform of your choosing. Think of it as wearing your best clothes when making a first impression. It can potentially be the first time a client gets to see you and your work. That’s why you must lead with your best work. Here are some helpful tips regarding building your portfolio:

  • Make sure your portfolio is short but sweet, displaying the work you feel most comfortable advertising.
  • Use only your best work and the work that best illustrates the skills you are looking to sell to your clients.
  • Make sure you include personal touches that emphasize your design elements but try to keep your portfolio free from clutter.
  • Try to add descriptions and even customer feedback if possible.
  • You can use websites to help design and manage your portfolio, giving you the professional tools necessary to make clean layouts.

Because your portfolio is one of your best assets, it’s best to take serious consideration when making one.

Use new technologies

Regardless of the trade you are in, you always need to be up to date with everything related to the job. For freelancers, this means being aware of and using technology in different facets of your business to help you improve. This can take several different forms, such as using the previously mentioned portfolio sites, finding appropriate job boards online to search for work, or having the actual tools or techniques necessary to do your job.

Keeping up with new technology doesn’t mean you suddenly have to start learning software engineering or programming. Keep up to date with the trends and changes in your specific industry and the things that can impact it. But, be on the lookout for tools that can help you improve your work and business like accounting software or other apps.

These tools can be almost anything. If you are looking to increase your productivity, for example, there are apps and other tools that you can use to find ways to work more efficiently. Many of these apps do things like log how much time you spend on given tasks, provide positive affirmations and track your daily habits. These productivity tools are just one more example of how you can use technology in many ways to improve your business and your work.

There are also great digital tools and platforms that facilitate administrative tasks and help you keep on top of your finances. You can join Ruul to draw agreements with your clients, issue invoices like a true professional, track your earnings, and get paid from anywhere in the world with no hassle.

Market your solo business online

You may give the best service in the world, but it means nothing if no one knows about it. Hence, when looking at how to start a freelance business, you should have a few key points in mind. You should have:

  • money to invest in your business
  • a good business plan
  • a brand identity
  • a high quality service
  • the ability to market your business to potential clients.

Marketing is how you get people to learn about your services and attract clients, and perhaps even investors, to your business. Marketing is flexible, and you can choose whatever way you prefer to promote your business. However, it would be wise to find a way to make use of social media to market your business because it gives you a large and diverse audience to reach.

You can tailor social media posts and ads for a target audience, adjusting the tone and message for the group you’re looking to attract. You can also choose which platforms to use depending on your services, for example, you should use Instagram to promote services that are image-oriented. Learning to appropriately use social media to promote your work will aid you in growing your business.

Highlight your unique selling points

Freelancing has become more viable, and more and more people have looked to join the ranks of solopreneurs looking to carve out their own space. While there is still plenty of space for you to try to do the same, it means that you’ll have to find the things that make you stand out from your potential competitors and highlight them. The good news is that you can choose what to highlight and how to do it.

Identifying your selling points is a high priority when deciding how you are going to run your freelance business. It helps you understand what the identity of your business is; who you are and what it is that you do. Once you have figured out what sets you apart, your next task is to find a way to highlight it. It’s directly tied to how you are going to market yourself to potential clients. Your identity is a part of your brand, so find what it is and start from there.

Highlight your skills or style that will help you set yourself apart. You want something that shows that your service is one of a kind and that when clients come to you, they will get only the best. It’s important to choose unique traits, don’t offer something that other people can replicate. Finding your identity is an important first step in crafting your business’s brand and how you want to differentiate yourself from everyone else.

Expanding your business

Hopefully, this list has been a bit of “how to start a freelance business for dummies” for those who are looking to get started. With remote work and self-employment taking off, it’s important to prepare yourself to ensure success.

Remember to:

  • find and create an identity that you can use to brand yourself and your work.
  • market yourself on the most suitable platforms for your target audience.
  • stay up to date with current trends in technology in your industry and find tools that make your work easier or more efficient.
  • create a portfolio to show off your talents and attract potential customers.
  • make sure to keep a constant line of communication with the clients that you have, had, and look to have in the future.

If you follow this advice you will be in a great position to start your freelancing adventure. For more tips, guides and news about how to start and improve a solo career, keep reading our blog and follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn!

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Leon Cordier
An American writer curious for work trends and freelancing ecosystem.

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