The Tough Get Gigging

It’s a target-rich environment for writers, designers and consultants looking to start up their own projects and build their own business. But if you’re thinking of joining them, get ready. You’ll likely find certain traits will be an asset to your success, such as the willingness to take risks, adapt to changing business environments and solve problems on the go, flexibility, tenacity and quick wits.

Choose the Right Niche

Though it may be tempting to cast a wide net, you can’t sell everything to everybody so don’t even try. Besides, the fastest-growing freelance sectors are specialties such as SEO writing and ASP development, rather than just writing and platform development in general, according to Forbes. Choosing a focus also allows you to fine-tune your marketing and better position yourself as an expert in a chosen field.

How do you decide what to concentrate on? Profitability is the main concern. Some successful freelancers recommend validating your business idea by choosing a target audience, identifying a problem they have and coming up with a solution. Of course, your specialty also depends on your expertise, and there’s nothing wrong with doing something you like. Isn’t that one of the reasons you’re freelancing anyway?

Develop a Marketing Strategy

You’re going to have to bring your message to your target audience, and do it effectively if you want to compete. Consistency is the key, says The Startup. You should know what you’re going to do to reach clients, and when you’re going to do it, before you even begin. All of that should be in your marketing plan, which also includes goals, a strategy and activities.

So, about those activities. There are plenty that you can include in your strategy such as building a website and blog. This not only allows you to demonstrate your expertise, but also to showcase your portfolio, which is particularly useful for designers, writers and other creatives. Email marketing is another old standby, while social media provide a new avenue for reaching potential clients with daily updates about your services and even discounts.

Manage Your Time Wisely

Of course, you need to work, so those marketing maneuvers shouldn’t fill up all of your schedule. You do have one of those, right? It’s what keeps your new business from going off the rails. Since all of your time is your own, it should include things such as waking up, showering and eating lunch, but there’s no need to work 9-to-5 as split shifts and wandering weekends are now on option.

There are a number of hacks to come up with a timetable that works for you. You might consider setting aside the morning to do the hard things first while you’ve got the energy. Meanwhile, prioritizing is an … um … priority. Marketing might take first place when you’re starting up your business but move down the list as you establish a steady clientele. And, don’t forget to mark due dates for deliverables.

Organize Your Work Space

You’re schedule may be in shipshape, but it’s tough to work through it if your home office is a mess. There’s no need for a separate room to plop down your laptop and start tapping out your first client proposal. A quiet corner set aside by dividers would do just fine as long as you keep it neat, as clutter causes stress. No, seriously. There are easy remedies for this, though, such as purging paper, setting up a filing system and storing things in containers.

The going may be tough at first, but dedication and a commitment to success will see those contracts start rolling in. Keep an ear to the ground and eye out for opportunities. They’re out there waiting.

Image via Pixabay.