Freelancing is a fantastic way to work the way you want to. It gives you the chance to run everything yourself, be your own boss, and fulfill your passions and make money at the same time. However, because freelancing is so appealing to so many, the market can become oversaturated. It feels like anyone who can sketch up a brand logo or write 500 words of readable copy runs a freelance business, so you need to find a way to stand out.
The best way to make your business stand out is to look professional, even if you don’t feel you’re there just yet. Whether you’ve been freelancing for a while and want to increase your client base or are just getting started and want to hit the ground running, here are some ways that you can make your freelance business look the part.
A Way to Get in Touch
Before setting anything up, you should create a way for potential clients to get in touch with you. The easiest way to do this is by using a business email. Sure, you’ve already got an email address, but when it’s something like firstname.lastname@example.org, it doesn’t scream professionalism.
Even an email address with your name may not suffice. No, instead, create a free email address to handle all business correspondence. Not only will this make you appear more professional when sending queries, but it also makes it easy to keep your personal and professional life separate and makes invoices and contracts simple to find.
An Online Presence
An online presence is vital in the modern world. People want to get to know the person behind the brand. But again, there’s no point in using your personal Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for business means.
When launching your freelance business, create a profile specifically for your business. This prevents client followers from seeing pictures of you looking worse for wear on a Friday night at the pub, but it also means you can focus all your business-related posts on this platform.
A website is also crucial, even if it is just a blog page for the time being. Owning a website makes you look more involved and helps potential clients get an idea of who you are and what you can do. It’s also better to direct them to this website first before your social media profiles. If possible, purchase a domain name to add an extra touch of professionalism.
An Official Portrait
A serious business does not deal with selfies or years-old photographs dragged from the depths of a long-forgotten Facebook post. Instead, consider investing in corporate headshots to make you seem more like a serious business owner.
Professional portraits may not seem worth it, especially with what smartphones can do nowadays, but unless you’re a photography pro, it won’t have the same sleek style that a corporate headshot can bring.
Clients are more likely to respond or offer to work with people who they feel are worth their time, and while a corporate headshot is not always necessary, it could prove beneficial for your business.
A Recognizable Logo
You could design a logo yourself, and if your specialty is graphic design, it’s probably the best idea. However, for other industries, it’s best to seek help to design the logo for you.
Professional logo designers understand everything from text placement to deciding colors. They know what catches the eye and will work with you to find the perfect logo. Again, it might be an expense you cannot afford at first, but using a recognizable logo will draw more eyes to your service.
Examples of Your Work
You are never going to get hired if you cannot demonstrate examples of your work. Clients want to see what you can do, so use your blog or freelancing profile to show off examples of previous work.
If you’re just starting your freelancing career, this seems impossible. How can you show proof of work if you’ve never done any work for anybody? You can use old school projects to start with, or you can create an example of the type of work you could do.
If you are a freelance website designer, then design a website layout and put it on your profile. If you want to be a freelance travel writer, write a short blog post about a recent trip. These examples may not have earned you money, but they will help you show off your talents.
Testimonies From Previous Clients
Again, client testimonials aren’t possible when you’re just starting, but those with a little experience can contact their previous clients and ask them to write a short review of their service.
You can embed or copy these reviews on your website or profile, which will show potential future clients that you are a professional who will complete the projects as requested, demonstrating that you are trustworthy.
Don’t Sell Yourself Short
The trap that many newbie freelancers fall into is not knowing what to set their rates at. They believe that as someone with no experience, they cannot charge too much, but this isn’t always the case.
Setting your rates too low is just as dangerous as setting them too high. Clients won’t respect people with too-low rates, and these rates often aren’t enough to pay the bills. You know your abilities, and you know your worth, so set prices that you feel are fair to you.
Use the Right Apps
Clients love freelancers who can show they are on top of the latest technology trends related to freelancing, so make a point to learn all about those. Apps such as Freshbooks makes creating and sending invoices easy, while Uberconference makes it easy to keep in touch with clients, as Skype or WhatsApp, while useful for social interaction, aren’t ideal in the world of business.
Moving away from the regular 9-to-5 work life can be scary, and you might have some doubts about whether it was the right decision. However, with enough dedication, patience, and a proper understanding of how to make you look more professional immediately, you’ll soon discover a fruitful freelancing career that’s yours for the taking.