The internet has evolved the freelance marketplace in unprecedented ways. Freelance websites allow anyone to connect with a staggering amount of specialists (freelancer) to find the one which best suits their needs.
As a freelancer, it is important to develop strategies that make you different from everyone else and also be able to communicate that with your target audience.
Here are five (5) key strategies on how to stand out as a freelancer in the competitive marketplace:
1. Develop a personal brand.
As a freelancer, your success depends on your personal brand. You may very well have the skills to get the job done. But without effective branding, clients won’t trust you. Develop a personal brand that stands out. Become familiar with the client’s needs and set yourself apart from the competition.
A personal website is an effective tool to give clients an inside perspective. It provides a visual representation of your brand’s values and your work experience. One of the best ways to develop a personal brand that clients want to associate with is to create a unique website or portfolio of your works.
2. Always deliver on your promise.
Above all else, deliver on your promises. You can’t build brand credibility based on words but actions. Consistency is the ultimate brand builder.
Clients don’t want freelancers who deliver good work sometimes. They desire individuals who will provide quality every single time.
Completing your commitments is a sign of professionalism. It shows people you can be trusted. Be mindful of quality when fulfilling your clients’ promises. Subpar work will only diminish your brand’s value. Create a quality control checklist to ensure you’re producing excellent work.
3. Specialise in what you do best.
While it may be tempting to be a generalist and to go after every type of project imaginable, this will not help you create a unique brand identity. By specialising your talents you stand out from the jack-of-all-trades that crowd most freelance markets.
If you have a hobby that you are extremely passionate about, consider tailoring your brand around it.
By specialising you can command higher pay, tailor your marketing towards a specific group, and greatly cut down on the research you would need to do as a generalist.
4. Have a good pricing point.
One way to differentiate yourself from the competition is by offering your services at a price not typically seen from other freelancers in your domain. If your service is better than your competition, then charge more for it! It may seem to counter-intuitive but this will pique people’s curiosity and make them more interested in checking out your portfolio, leading to more work.
If you are an exceptional designer with many years of experience and the quality of your designs reflect this, it may be prudent to offer your services at a premium. By charging more than your competitors, you send a clear message that you are simply better at the job than the vast majority and by hiring you the client is putting their project in the hands of a true expert.
5. Offer excellent customer service.
Excellent customer service skills are vital for freelancers who want to leave the right lasting impression on their clients. If you want to keep your clients coming back for more business then you have to learn to deliver great customer service.
Remember, great customer service is about doing simple things in exceptional ways. Do everything your competitors do, and then do more.
When you complete the project, ask for customers feedback. This will help ensure you provide fantastic service when working on future projects. Another way to offer excellent customer service is by keeping in touch with your customers.