Online freelancing has been extremely popular for the past decade. Freelancing websites have sprouted by the handful, and freelancers have also done so like mushrooms in a rainforest. So, as a freelancer, how do you stand out from a sea of faces? The answer is simple — you build a reputation. This is much easier said than done though.
The most common “problem” with freelancing is that the jobs are “unstable” and that there is no permanent contract to be found. This is as true as the sky is as blue on a clear, sunny day.
Now, you might be thinking that if that’s the case, then there really isn’t any point to freelancing. That’s where reputation comes in. When you perform well consistently, your clients may recommend you to other prospects, thus granting you free marketing and an ever-expanding clientele.
This is where client feedback becomes paramount. Most freelancing platforms have a feedback system in place that helps clients determine whether a candidate is as good as he says. A perfect rating is a mute but eloquent testament to a freelancer’s skill, work ethic, and overall performance. However, this is simply not enough to earn you clients on a consistent basis. Either way, great feedback is always a must-have because this is the foundation of your career.
You need to take a few extra steps in order to have a steady stream of clients.
Interact and Network
Contrary to popular belief, freelancing is not a lonely venture. With each client that you work with, you need to make sure that you are able to not only deliver excellent work but also create strong relationships. This way, you are able to build connections that will help you market your services better in the future. It also wouldn’t hurt to have a few friends in influential places.
Register on a Freelance Network
If you truly want wide exposure, you need to sign up on freelancing networks such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Elance. These networks exist to help freelancers connect with clients. What’s more is that these sites often have a feedback system and also different types of programs depending on your performance as a freelancer. Aside from these networks, you can even opt to register on a freelance directory.
Open a Blog (and Maintain It)
A blog is a great way to show potential clients your skills and mastery over a particular subject. This also helps you attract a loyal audience if your content is something that resonates with them. A blog is also a great way to introduce yourself and what you specialize in doing. This is especially important for freelance writers because it showcases your writing style and your level of knowledge on your given topic.
Now, even with all these tips, you’re going to need to search for clients every now and then. Contracts will end, and well, a new hunt begins. First-time freelancers are usually shocked at how difficult it is to find new clients. But the most important thing to consider as a freelancer is that you should never stagnate, because the truth is, there are a lot of clients who need your help. It’s just a matter of being able to market yourself effectively in order to reach these clients.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.