Feeling stuck with your freelance career lately?
You feel like you’re shouting it from the rooftop that you’re freelancing.
You’ve talked to the friends of your friends several times. Even the birds on the trees know you’re taking on new projects right now.
And yet no one responds. *bird chirping*
You start thinking you’re out of luck.
Are you out of luck?
Nope — not really. Sometimes it’s not your luck — or your skills, or your credentials.
Sometimes, you may be — completely unintentionally! — making a few mistakes along the way.
And fixing those mistakes may help you get your hands busy — sooner than you think.
Read on to find out what are the most common reasons why you’re not landing clients as a freelancer and what you can do about each one of them!
1. You’re a Jack of All Trades
Are you offering one too many services in an attempt to land more clients?
Well… there’s your first — and biggest — mistake.
Here’s the thing:
No one likes to work with someone who knows a little bit of everything. If someone’s paying you money, they don’t want you to know just a little.
However, everyone wants to work with an expert in something.
Think about it.
Put yourself in the shoes of the client.
Would you hire someone’s who’s a WordPress guru, content writer & graphic designer — all in one, to do work that YOU need?
Yeah… I didn’t think so.
Solution: Niche down. Master ONE — a maximum of TWO skills that you’re really good at — and then sell those skills. You’ll also be able to charge more for your expertise.
2. Your sales pitch sucks
If only I had a dollar for every sales pitch I’ve read that looked like a resume.
Whenever you’re tempted to send a resume, think about this:
You’re a freelancer — and you work with people. Not for people. And that means — you do not send your resume to leads.
You’re sending a sales pitch!
Solution: Master the art of writing the perfect sales pitch. It’s simple really. Just answer this question: How can you help a prospective lead do more?
3. You don’t have an awesome portfolio to show
Talking about the right sales pitch… your portfolio plays a major role in it. It’s how you make yourself shine in front of leads.
Answer honestly now:
Whenever sending your sales pitch, do you send samples of your work?
If you answered NO, then that’s a major red flag.
No one will hire you if they don’t know what you can do for them. You can’t expect someone to pay you money if they don’t know what you can actually do.
Solution: Don’t have an actual online portfolio to show? No experience — and no samples or anything? MAKE ONE — upload samples of your work to a Google drive folder and then simply share the link. Voila — your portfolio is ready!
4. You’re not doing inbound marketing
You can’t look for clients only when you need clients.
Landing new deals is consistent work.
As a freelancer, you’re a small biz owner. And every small biz owner has to have a consistent inbound marketing strategy.
You’re probably wondering now — what the hell is inbound marketing? It’s a type of marketing that helps you emerge as a thought leader in your area, making people come to you!
Solution: Learn the difference between outbound & inbound marketing. Then, do everything you can to establish yourself as an authority in your field.
5. You’re not focusing on working with long-term clients
One-time projects are great — you do your job, the client’s happy, you’re happy.
However, looking for new clients all the time can be draining!
Imagine how much time you’re wasting each time you start working with a new client. First you have to get to know them. Then find out what they like — and don’t like. Then learn more about their business and how they do business.
That’s a lot of work, huh?
Apart from saving you a lot of energy, working with long-term clients helps you fight one of the biggest freelancing problems: the income predictability issue.
Solution: Focus on working with regulars. Build relationships with your clients. Trust me, most of the time, they’re just regular people looking to get quality work for their money!
6. You’re not planning ahead
Freelancing is all fun & games… until it’s not.
Hear me out now:
I’d love to tell you that you can be adventurous and spontaneous. That having no boss means F-R-E-E-D-O-M.
But then I’d be lying.
Freelancing is a serious business. And if you don’t approach it as such, then the feast-or-famine periods may become more common than what you’d like.
Solution: Plan ahead. Everything — literally. Your marketing strategy. How many hours per week you’re willing to work — and how many hours do you spend looking for new clients.
Pro tip: Book clients in advance. Seriously — there’s nothing wrong with saying that you’re not available right now but would love to work with them in a few days/weeks/months.
7. You’re not leaving the right impression
Do you know what’s the biggest reason why someone wants to work with you? Why would they choose YOU — out of all the other people in the world?
Why you — when your competitors are just one click away? It’s the same reason why you buy particular products/services.
It’s because they trust you!
And if you don’t leave the right impression — they won’t trust you enough to hire you. It’s as simple — and as hard — as that.
Solution: Work on your soft skills. Ooze confidence. Talk with authority. If you land the contract, update them of the work progress. Meet deadlines swiftly — and efficiently. Gain the trust of your clients — and you’ll get repeat customers!
8. You’re not hanging out at the right places
Are you updating your availability as a Facebook status on your private profile?
I’m sure Aunt Sally would love to see that you’re available for the rest of February but the chances of Aunt Sally hiring you are pretty slim.
*unless Aunt Sally is a Pinterest-savvy business woman*
In most cases, your ideal client won’t look at private Facebook profiles when doing the hiring. But they will look in other places.
Solution: Display your work online where the right people for you can see it. Think LinkedIn, Medium, Quora, Dribble, Behance. Make an official Facebook business pages & an Instagram business pages with your business name.
Are you a freelancer?
How do you make sure you’re winning in the freelance game?
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.