Imagine if you could focus on your client projects more or spend the time working on your own ideas, without having to worry about chasing leads or driving sales as much.
That might sound too good to be true, but it’s possible.
There are successful freelancers out there making a living by selling their own products, creating content, and letting their site bring in the client leads for them. If you’re interested in doing the same, then you’re in the right place.
So how can you drastically improve your freelance business? I want to share with you three tips that will do just that.
1. Give your website a purpose
Too many freelancers think that if they can just get something – anything – online in terms of a web presence, then they’ll start seeing client leads roll in. I’m sorry to say, but that’s far from the truth.
If your website isn’t sending leads your way or educating people about who you are and what you do, then your site is nearly useless. Before you even consider your website’s design, it’s important to define its purpose.
What’s the goal for your website?
Do you wish to bring in more traffic? How are you going to do that? Visitors aren’t going to just show up to your site without having a reason to be there in the first place.
Think about the people you want to sell to. What could you give away that would be related to the services you offer and would also be of value to them? If you can provide something like this on your site, you will start attracting the eyeballs you want. Can you show them how they could do even more by buying your services? If so, you have all the ingredients to make a conversion.
A conversion takes someone who isn’t buying your service and turning them into someone who is. It’s the number one imperative for operating a successful freelance business.
Let’s say you have a blog, and it’s generating a few views a day. Do you have the necessary information in place that effectively sells your services or products? Do you have calls-to-action that convert those views into something more?
A call-to-action gives the user clear instructions or an easy way to accomplish the task you want them to complete. It could take the form of a large button or simply a sentence formatted so it stands out in your design. At the very least, your site should have a call-to-action that allows your visitors to express interest in your product or service.
These are all things to consider and plan way before you think about your website’s layout and design. Build the content to convert customers.
2. Use social media to enhance your brand
In today’s world it’s easier than ever to network with other like-minded people with the help of social media.
Social networking can expand your freelance career and land you many opportunities that you’d never otherwise have found, but it takes some time investment to see any real results. As long as you enjoy what you do and share everything you learn, then it’ll come naturally.
It’s not about your follower count either – it’s about gaining a connection and interaction with the people behind that number. I’d rather have a few hundred active followers that click my links than a few thousand bots.
The greatest value I’ve found in Twitter and other social media outlets is that I’ve been able to get closer to some of the people that inspire me. You become better by surrounding yourself with people who are better. They anchor your expectations of what you can achieve higher than if you surround yourself with slackers. This causes you to push yourself to greater things.
Social media means it doesn’t matter where these people live or how busy they are. You can still absorb some of that ambition for yourself despite the barriers.
Keep in mind that everything you share becomes part of your brand. If you’re a designer, no one wants to see an Instagram photo of your dinner every night. Instead, share photos of your work in progress. It’s okay to share some personal things. Part of your brand as a freelancer is that you’re a human being just like the people who may want to hire you. You just have to strike a balance between becoming a marketing automaton and being a regular person with a craft.
Give the followers you want a reason to follow you.
3. Diversify your income
Freelancing is not a get-rich-quick career path, and it’s not easy earning your own income. It can be quite unstable for the longest time until you can build up a reliable client base, but there’s more you can do to help stabilize your earnings.
A big freelance goal for many is to not have to solely rely on client work, and to do this you need to diversify your income. To diversify your income, you should be building more than just a client base — You should be building a product or service that can bring in additional income, even while you’re asleep (aka passive income).
Look at the skills you have, and see how you can use them to create some extra reocurring income. Repackaging your own resources or taking a little time to create something that can help others save time doesn’t take much effort.
If you like the idea of creating a product or service to help supplement your freelance income, then schedule time into your work day to make progress on these side projects. You’ll be more likely to have a finished product this way.
Each day you don’t have something online to sell, is a potential opportunity of lost income.
Try diversifying your income with these ideas:
- Blogging: You can get paid to guest post on established blogs or you can even build your own and generate some income through affiliate marketing and ads. Writing can be quite time consuming, but the benefit from getting paid and the traffic you can potentially get in return is worth the effort.
- Selling digital products: Like I mentioned before, it’s not hard to repackage your own resources or create something that could save others some time. It’s easy passive income, and it’s easier than ever to start selling these types of products with the help of sites like Creative Market and Gumroad.
- Information products: An informational product is an ebook or an online course, like something you see on Skillshare. Creating an informational product takes a lot of effort, but can be a great asset for you. It gives you more credibility to your customers, which puts yourself as an expert in their eyes.
- Software and web applications: This type of product is more for the developers. By working on your own projects and hacking together Worpdress plugins, you can easily package your code snippets for sale using the same services I’ve mentioned above. If you can devote enough time into a product or service like this, then it could easily replace your need for clients and become your full-time job.
- Physical merchandise: Almost any freelancer can create a physical product. This can be a t-shirt or something more complex that needs custom manufacturing.
None of these methods of diversifying your income are going to be easy. It will take time to develop, but if you can create just a few additional sources of income using your skills, then maybe it’s revenue can pay one of your bills, then two, and it’ll only continue to grow from there.
What tips would you like to add?
My favorite thing about the freelance community is that everyone has a unique experience to share. What tips and advice would you like to share with the other readers? How have you improved your freelance business in the past?