As a freelancer, you will likely enjoy lots of perks. Unlike full-time jobs where you get to work from 9am-5pm, freelance jobs can be done anywhere at any time. You can set your own time and you can choose where you are going to work.
However, starting a freelance career is not an easy feat. There is a massive growth in the freelancer population these days.
Here are some solid tips on how to grow your reputation and survive the freelancing world.
#1. Grow Your Connections
Increasing your reputation starts by growing your connections. One of the best ways you can increase your connections is through social media. There are billions of online users on social media and a small portion of it can come from your target market. By making social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn your viewers’ online gateway to your work, you attract them to connect with you. Aside from sharing what you know you can also use social media to answer questions or to provide the public with information in connection to the industry you are in.
Social media is a great tool to grow connections and people will become more familiar of your freelance business. Thus, it is also important that you should know the right strategy to utilize in using social media to increase your reputation. You should be aware that when you decide to use social media for business, you will be in the public eye so whatever you do, you have to do it right to avoid a social media crisis.
#2. Brag And Blog
Other people may say, “No, you don’t need a blog.” But as a freelancer, blogging is a great reputation-booster. Blogging is an effective way to showcase your expertise. It is a means to promote your freelance business and to establish yourself as an expert on your field. According to a research, 46% of professionals use blogs to search for the right candidate to do a certain job. When you are already known as an expert in your industry, you increase the possibility of clients contacting you for your services, instead of you reaching out to them.
Setting up a blog is not as complicated as you think it is. There are blogging platforms like Wordpress, Blogger and Tumblr which you can use to avoid the mind-wrecking coding. You also do not need to be an expert writer to start blogging. Aside from the usual text-based contents, video blog, infographics and images are other types of content you can create to diversify the contents in your blog.
#3. Join A Network
As a freelancer, you are on your own. You can’t rely on a team or your company to give you assignments; hence, you have to make an effort to sustain your career. Joining freelance networks is an excellent way to search for jobs or projects within your industry. Joining a network is as simple as collecting as many business cards as possible for your future use.
There are various popular networks like Upwork and Elance you can join to give you a supply of jobs on a regular basis. Additionally, there are also other job networks you can visit if you are in a specific industry. Examples of these are locumtenens.org for physician jobs and freelancelaw.com for legal jobs.
#4. Nurture Existing Relationship
The word of mouth is the most effective type of advertising of all. Thus, it is essential for freelancers to nurture their relationship with their customers. When you have given your clients the satisfaction they are looking for, it is easier for you to encourage them to leave online reviews about your business and you will likely to be referred by them.
Reviews, referrals, and recommendations are powerful factors that can influence the decision of clients as to whether or not they will deal with a business. The more positive reviews and referrals your business gets, the more likely clients will hire you as a freelancer.
Furthermore, having a good working relationship with your clients is a great way to make them returning clients. You will gain their trust and loyalty, thus, you will be assured that they will hire no one else but you whenever they need services within your industry. Sometimes, other than skills and knowledge, a good working relationship can make clients stick with you.
#5. Walk The Talk
This is perhaps the most important factor that can boost one’s reputation. If you are going to talk that talk, you have to walk the walk. Cliché as it may seem, but it is actually true. As freelancers, you have to live up to what you claim you are and what you say you can do. You may have the best PR or the best social media and communication skills to boost your reputation and attract clients but if you are consistently not providing them with service you brag about, your credibility will vanish.
It is fundamental for any business to give clients the kind of service that will give them satisfaction. You need to fulfill every promise you make to them to maintain an untarnished reputation. Sure, it is imperative that you boast your business’s best qualities and capabilities, but it is also important that you stay honest and genuine to your claims. Oftentimes, the loss of credibility of a business is not due to public hearsays, but it is because of over-promising. Over-promising will more likely lead in failure to deliver the service and when you fail, you lose your reputation which can drive away potential clients.
Freelancing has its share of challenges. As a freelancer, you have to understand that businesses or clients will be more likely to prefer freelancers with a good reputation. Your reputation is not built over time; you have to work for it. So if you want to grow your freelancing career, start working hard for it. Along with harnessing your skills and talents, you have to intensify your efforts to increase your reputation. Remember, the higher your reputation, the higher your chances of success in your career.
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