A shocking 80% of freelancers fail in the first 18 months of business because of a lack of business know-how, research reveals. It’s a tough statistic to swallow, but don’t let it put you off. Here are five freelance success tips to bring out the entrepreneur in you.
A shocking 80% of freelancers fail in the first 18 months of business because of a lack of business know-how, research reveals.
It’s a tough statistic to swallow, but don’t let it put you off. Here are five freelance success tips to bring out the entrepreneur in you.
1. FIND YOUR USP
A key chunk of freelancer advice is to find your Unique Selling Point (USP) and market it effectively. What makes your skill set stand out from the crowd? There are thousands of photographers with stunning wedding storyboards or black and white portfolios of moody-looking models, do you have experiences or portfolios that offer some different from your competitors? Freelance jobs are not ten-a-penny, so dig deep to discover your unique experiences or skill set - and shout it from the rooftops.
2. RESEARCH THE MARKET
So you’ve found your USP - but is there a market for it? Do some thorough research into market trends and scour the online boards for freelance jobs to see if your skill set is in demand.
3. TAKE THE HIGHS AND THE LOWS
The freelance existence is one of famine or feast, and you must prepare for both scenarios. In quiet periods, don’t quit. Use this time to reach out to old contacts, form new ones, get your name out into the wider press, search for freelance jobs and keep plugging until the work rolls in again. If you’re snowed under, make sure you don’t over-commit and let clients down.
4. OUTSOURCE WHERE YOU CAN
It’s impossible to understand the nuances of every business service that will support you as a freelancer. For example, find a good accountant, web designer, blogger and marketer to help you manage your business in a professional manner and offer freelancer advice.
5. LOVE TECH
Your freelance business will need an online presence. Whether you want to go the whole hog and engage customers on every social network out there, or just put up a simple website explaining who you are and what you do - the internet is an important tool to find clients, engage with them and promote your work. You don’t have to be an expert either, website tool Weebly lets you set up a website for free using its simple interface, or apps like Hootsuite help you manage your social media outlets.