Running any kind of business is difficult. It doesn’t matter if it’s the traditional brick-and-mortar business or freelance business.
All endeavors of this kind require a lot of time, effort, money, and commitment. Committing to your goal is necessary if you want to succeed and make this freelance journey your full-time career.
Of course, growing and improving a business is usually difficult. And since you run a freelance business, you need to be aware of the fact that your field is a bit different from the rest.
Fortunately, below you can find some great tips that have worked for other successful freelancers. They will help you better manage your freelance business and grow faster.
Taking finances to the next level
So many freelancers often forget how important it is to keep track of all transactions that go in and out. They believe that they don’t need to run books since the income is most likely not as big as that of larger companies.
However, this is one huge misconception. As a freelancer, no matter how much you earn, you need to take good care and have proper financial records. You need to put as much care into your finances as you put into your clients’ projects.
For example, you could use one account for day-to-day life and that will be your spending account. The second account is dedicated only for taxes. It would be wise to have one more account where you put money for rainy days or retirement.
Many pros advise that freelancers should open three accounts and categorize them as it was mentioned above.
Also, don’t think that some fees are too small to be taken note of. Keeping a record of every single dollar you earn and spend is essential, especially in the starting phases of your freelance business.
If you are moving cash through PayPal, you can use a PayPal fee calculator. No fee is too small to be neglected, so make sure to keep track of all of them.
Your image has to be spotless
Seeing that you are a freelancer, you most likely have a website of some form where people can see what you have to offer.
That website is, therefore, the face of your business, so it has to be spotless. You need to do everything you can to make it functional and easy on the eye. For this, you can use some tools for freelancers to make it an easy task.
You should also think in terms of SEO. For instance, if you have a blog and social media pages, you should do some digging and find out how you can boost your posts so that your website can get more traffic.
In some cases, guest posting can really do wonders, but sometimes you have to invest in online ads.
Finally, don’t forget the importance of having a mobile-friendly website. More and more people nowadays use their phones to do all web browsing. So, if your website isn’t as good as it should be on the phone, you might lose potential customers.
Up your social media games
Social media platforms have never been more popular. There is no end in sight of when that popularity will reach a plateau or decrease.
So, you have to optimize all your accounts and pages for your business. Keep your presence there professional, do not engage in political humor, religious talk, or profanity. This should go without saying, but some people forget that nice manners go a long way.
The profile picture should either be your logo or a professional photo of yourself. Also, the username needs to be professional, not a nickname.
Clients would much rather take a look at some professional-looking accounts and consider hiring them instead of the ones where profile photos look like the crazy selfies of Generation Z.
Finally, do know that the most important platforms nowadays are Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. Of course, there are some other prominent names too, but these will be enough for a start.
When you start posting on these accounts, make sure that you share enough posts on every platform. This is the way to play the social media game effectively across different platforms.
Once you deal with these major things you need to cover, you can start investigating how you can further perfect your social media game, find out about the best time to post on Instagram, what hashtags you should use, who you need to follow, and so on.
Pro tip: You should consider the benefits of following social media metrics. Whenever you see a drop in the figures, you should reevaluate your game and think about your next steps.
Engage in networking
Networking allows you to make the most of your personal and professional relationships to further improve your freelance business.
When you meet people from your industry or other freelancers, you will get to learn some things you didn’t know. Even if you need help, there will be someone who will gladly assist you with whatever you need.
On top of that, asking for advice from experienced freelancers can never be bad. You will get important inside scoops that you can make great use of.
For instance, that is why LinkedIn is so good. The platform is designed to help people find jobs, advice, and better their skills so that they could advance in their careers. Therefore, networking is definitely something that you should take advantage of.
Learn to say no
This one might seem easy, but many freelancers struggle with it.
Imagine that you have a client you’ve been working with for a long time. As time goes by, you become better, grow your business, start making more money, and that the client becomes a low-priority client.
The project you have isn’t as important since you now have bigger and more lucrative projects. So, what will you do when you find another project that is even better than your current ones? How can you free up some space to take a good opportunity?
You will have to say goodbye to your low priority projects and clients. Of course, if you are a good performer, if your work is valued, most clients will try to keep you on board.
And, that is when it becomes difficult to say no. But you need to do it. It’s for your own good. Such a situation will require you to say no. So, try to be as professional as possible and part ways politely. Always leave some space for future collaborations. Never cut ties completely.
Amassing too much work is not good for anyone. With too much work, you have to put in a lot of effort, you might even have to seek reinforcements and the work you produce usually suffers.
Always remember that quality shouldn’t suffer because of the quantity. And that is exactly why saying no is important.
Don’t be afraid of asking for referrals
Freelancers always make good use of referrals. So, don’t be shy, but ask for them. Marketing your business through this method is often the best way to go.
If a client is satisfied with your work, they will be glad to refer you.
A lot of consumers are influenced to a great extent by their peers to make purchases. And it’s the same in the world of freelancing. When you get a referral, you gain more popularity and you grow your client base too.
A great thing to do would be to further motivate your clients to make referrals by giving them incentives such as discounts or even free products. If you see that referral marketing is working wonders for you, you should award those who have been spreading the word about you.
Referral marketing can really be effective, especially if you are just beginning. So, make sure to take advantage of it and also reward those who helped you find new clients.
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