While freelance work has long been a dream of many, it's becoming a reality now more than ever before. This market, now worth $1.2 trillion, constitutes around 1/3 of the American workforce. This 22% increase from 2019 is partly fueled by skilled millennials who value flexibility and independence.
If you're a new freelancer, you are likely looking for ways to make a name in this large market. Luckily, modern tools and applications make success easier than ever before. Read on for some helpful tips and tools that will help you attract the business you need.
Before you can begin attracting clients, it's important to create a portfolio of your work. You need to show them what you can do. No one is going to hire you unless they can see a sample of the work that they'll be getting.
Some things to include are:
Make sure that you choose multiple different types of work for your portfolio. One of your goals should be to showcase range and diversity in what you do. People are more likely to hire those who can perform multiple types of tasks.
Social media is a wonderful way to get in touch with your target audience. Make sure to set up pages on the most common platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Those who are targeting a younger audience may also want to create TikTok and Snapchat accounts.
Invite those in your target demographics to like or follow your page. Make sure that you update these pages frequently to keep yourself fresh in people's minds.
Once you've performed some client outreach on social media, you need a way to conveniently and efficiently work on projects that you take on. This requires that you use an online hub to centralize your projects and activities. Hectic is the ideal all-in-one home base for freelancers regardless of whether you work on laptops or mobile devices.
Our business development dashboard will serve as the main landing page for your freelance operations. You'll always have a to-do checklist, project information, time-based schedule, and financial information close at hand.
This helps to keep you organized so that you meet every deadline and deliverable with minimal stress. This will make your life much easier as a freelancer, in addition to building you a reputation as a reliable contractor. When you complete tasks on time and give clients high-quality work, you're likely to get better reviews and quicker growth.
The business development dashboard also allows you to prioritize tasks and see the most important ones at the beginning of the workday. You can immediately take action on time-sensitive or complex tasks. This means better overall time management and smoother project completion.
Discovery forms are digital sheets needed to submit a proposal to potential clients. You can use this feature to learn more about the needs of those who reach out to you. Once you have this information, it will be easier to decide whether or not you and the client are a good fit for each other.
You can add a form to this section of your dashboard by clicking on an existing client or adding a new one. Open the 'Forms' tab and select the create button. Many freelancers choose to use past forms as a template, but you can also start fresh when tackling a new type of project.
Because discovery forms are essentially questionnaires, you'll then need to ask basic questions about the proposed project. Ask about the length of the project, what the client's budget is, and what exactly you'll be doing. Give your client a list of services that you're willing to perform and have them select those that best match their needs.
Make sure that you use a combination of informative text, free response questions, and multiple-choice selections. This will give your client all the information they need while keeping them engaged. It will also give you a form that's easy to peruse, interpret, and quickly understand.
Once you complete a discovery form and determine that you and a client are a good fit, it's time to begin the proposal and contracting process. Hectic allows you to create professional-looking proposals quickly. This will build your credibility with clients in addition to keeping all aspects of a project transparent.
You can begin a proposal from the ground up using one of many templates. This lets you keep your proposals on-brand and attractive for your target audience.
Another great thing about Hectic's tool is that you can alter and reuse proposals when needed. This means that freelancers that work on similar projects won't need to start from scratch every time they take on a new client.
You can then share this contract proposal with your client and collaborate within the tool. At this step, negotiations can happen and alterations can be made. After signing, you will have a legally binding, written contract that keeps both you and the client safe throughout the project.
After signing a contract with a new or existing client, it's important that you're able to securely collect some form of payment. This is made easy with Hectic's invoicing system since it's connected to the same dashboards as contracts and discovery forms.
This invoicing software allows clients to instantly pay you online securely and quickly. It also allows you to convey payment instructions clearly and transparently via web-based forms.
Once the client has sent appropriate funds, the Hectic app will notify you of confirmation that the invoice has been paid. Payment confirmations serve as receipts that you received what you are due, keeping payment status clear for both parties. Hectic will also notify you when it's time to send a follow-up on unpaid invoices so you never need to wonder if you'll be paid.
Branding is important in pretty much every industry, but it's especially critical for freelancers. Since you need people to remember you over the competition, you need to brand well and build a name for yourself.
Freelancer branding is different from traditional branding because the product you're looking to sell is yourself. Yes, you need to sell your work, but it's just as important that you sell yourself as an individual. Clients will work directly with you and communicate with you, so you need to be approachable and engaging.
Create a memorable voice and image that people within your target demographic relate to. A personal logo might be a good choice since it shows who you are in a fun and memorable way. Make sure that you're consistent with your branding methods across the board so that clients always know what they're getting.
While you can hope that clients will simply fall into your lap, this is unrealistic in most cases. You're going to need to find leads on your own to determine who is looking for your services. Look into those within your target demographic and determine who might be interested in your services.
You can do this by scouring social media and using Google Analytics to see who clicks on your page. You also can determine the search queries that people use to find you. This will let you know exactly which pain points your clients want to resolve so you can better market to them.
Hectic's business development tool also makes lead management easier than ever before. You will always be aware of the prospects available to you so that you can streamline your marketing process. This will allow you to follow up on and nurture the leads that you have already generated.
While there are many things that you need to do to make it as a freelancer, it's much easier to start out when you have the appropriate digital tools. Now that you know what they are, it's time to get started.
We're committed to helping you make a name as a new freelancer. Sign up for Hectic today to begin accessing all of the features that will help you grow as quickly and successfully as possible.