When you start freelancing, you’ll come to realize it’s more than transactional. It’s not just “do the work and get paid.” As you get into your groove, your mindset shifts.
You would want to figure out how to increase your productivity, increase your clientele, and raise your rates. Then, you’ll realize that you have a business on your hands. And you’re grossly underprepared to run it.
That’s a great feeling to have.
It will motivate you to start learning new skills to hit some of these targets. You will even take action without any prior knowledge, stumbling across innate skills by accident. Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned freelancer, start building these skills to take yourself to the next level.
1. Sales and Lead Generation
The best freelancers are constantly prospecting. They have a steady stream of leads they can convert in the future. At the beginning of your freelance journey, it’s easy to get caught up in service delivery.
But you can find yourself out of work if your clients suddenly jump ship, beginning a cycle of feast and famine.
With sales, you’ll need to learn how to find potential clients, how to pitch in writing, and even on the phone. Even if you end up booked to capacity or with a waiting list, you’ll be far better off than scrambling for your next client.
2. Customer Service
Getting a sales pipeline started is great. The earlier, the better. What’s more important when you’re just starting is your client relations. You must focus on your customer service and service delivery. Seasoned freelancers know customer service, and service delivery earns them long-term clients.
Customer service shows your client that they are valued, and by submitting work on time, you build your trust and credibility. You’ll easily earn more clients from referrals or word of mouth. Your customer service skills are on display from every email and interaction you have with your client. So don’t hesitate to provide that ‘wow’ experience.
3. Content Marketing
Whether you’re a freelance writer, editor, or web designer, Content Marketing can help you grow your business. By creating your own blogs, social media posts, and videos of your own process and content, you build your brand and attract your ideal clients. You can even use your Content Marketing skills for your clients, growing the value of each client. Picking it up as a skill helps freelancers understand where they lie in the content process to create the right products for that client.
As a freelancer, you’ll need to get a deeper understanding of a product, topic, and market to help your client. Whether it’s writing a long-form sales letter, blog post, or designing a website, understanding your client’s market can differentiate you from your competition.
Research is a skill. It’s all about planning, organizing your thoughts, and setting yourself up for success with the right sources. Freelance writers especially can build this skill almost by accident, as it will help them be more productive and create high-quality content.
In time, you’ll soon realize that you can’t do it all on your own. If you’re self-aware, there are some things you know that there are people out there who can do it better than you can. You will think about hiring help and turning your freelancing service into a full-fledged business. At this point, you are now a leader and need to have people buy into your vision to deliver the work you need to succeed.
Leadership is the difference between a 4 figure monthly business and a 6 figure monthly business. The better you get at leading, the easier it is for you to go after high-powered clients with confidence. Leadership is all about setting expectations, empathy, planning, and creating processes to better your team. If you can get leadership down, your freelance business will grow exponentially.
Freelance work is more than completing a task and getting a PayPal transfer. You are essentially running a business of one. And if you want to scale, you will need more than just your freelance skill. If you can learn how to market yourself, improve your sales and prospecting, and your service delivery, you’ll be a stronger freelancer. What are some skills that serve you well?