Being a full-time freelancer is tough even in the best of times. With the COVID-19 global pandemic in full swing, millions newly unemployed cases in the past week, and a plethora of business shutting down, freelancing is even harder.
Don’t despair – here are a few ways to get more work as a freelancer even during a recession.
The Difference Between You and the Other 1,000
For every position, job opportunity, and a gig, there will be 100+ other applications. Business owners will have their pick of highly qualified candidates for any job. This means that you have to find a way to stand out from everyone else.
The first way you can stand out from other applicants is by building your own personal brand.
Right now, Google your name. What comes up?
If you Google my name, the very first thing that pops up is my own personal website. 33% of all website traffic goes to the top rank of Google, and that means I get to control the narrative.
The next top 3 hits are my personal social media pages, again, where I get to craft the narrative. Instagram showcases my lifestyle and allows people to get a feel for me outside of work. Linkedin showcases my professional expertise. Twitter showcases my communication and where I engage with the world’s news.
When you apply for any job, be it freelance work or a permanent position, potential employers will be Googling you. What does Google say about you? Go so far as to check the 2nd and 3rd page of Google.
Clean Up Your Online Presence
Your website is the #1 sales tool you have. Make sure it’s working for you. Have professional-looking images of yourself, a portfolio of your work and thought leadership articles. Dive deep into your social media as they are the best reflection of who you are as a person.
Remove any photos or videos of you that don’t reflect you in a positive light. Your online presence is kind of like showing up to a job the first day looking clean and in a nice suit. It doesn’t mean you can do the job, but you sure look like it.
The Secret to Closing Pitches: Give, Don’t Take
An aspect of winning more pitches is putting out more pitches. Pitching is a numbers game. The more you ask people to purchase from you, the more money you make.
That doesn’t mean you should copy and paste the same stock pitch to every single person/job. What this means is you 100% must streamline your process and make the pitch a no-brainer. How you do this is by focusing on a process that works while creating templates to build and scale your effort.
I learned this technique from Billy Gene in his 30 days of genius course.
Let’s say you are a web designer looking for more clients. What you do is you identify 100 small businesses on Google, looking at the 2nd and 3rd page of Google. Generally speaking, the first page of Google is a business that invests heavily and likely you can not help. The 2nd-page results are those who you can help the most.
From there, you look through and see if their websites are mobile responsive using Google’s free tool: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
When you find ones that are not, you shoot a quick 60-second video that says:
“Hey business, my name is Austin Iuliano at XYZ company. I’m a web designer and I was taking a look at your website, and this is what it looks like on mobile websites. As you can see, it doesn’t look too great, and I would guess this is affecting your business. If you want help getting your website to look great online, give me a call. My number is 867-5309.”
The secret to closing more pitches is changing up how you pitch.
Create Pitches That Are Results-Oriented
One of the easiest ways to land more work as a freelancer is to get paid on results. Everyone wants to get paid for their time investment, but very few freelancers want to get paid on their results. Now, before the internet rips my head off, this isn’t for everyone or every type of business.
When possible, though, pitch results. Pitch that you get a percentage of sales that come through or that you only get paid based on hitting key metrics. You will have to be more selective of who you pitch too, as you will only want to work with home runs.
Failing that, pitch on past work. Grab a pitch deck template from www.templatemonkey.co and drop in some case studies.
Show exactly what types of results you have generated in the past, talk about your process, and make it easy for the client to say yes.
You Will Stand Out and Win More Pitches if You Start by Giving Value Upfront
To get more work as a freelance even during a recession you need to focus your activities and change your approach. What has been your best strategy for finding more work as a freelancer? Leave your answer in the comment section.