According to AARP, the number of entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals in the US could Taking triple by 2020. A large proportion of this community will be millennials. As you are reading this article, you have probably thought about self-employment as an option for your career. Taking the leap from employee to freelancer is equally scary and exciting. There are so many aspects to plan for and get in place so that you can get your small business off to the best possible start.
However, before jumping into this new lifestyle and the serious responsibility it requires, it’s important to have the foundation in place. For most ventures, the basis for an individual to launch a freelancing business is a network. Having a community to pull clients from is essential as your first revenues will be derived from an existing base.
In this post, we’re going to share with you some simple strategies for doing just that.
Low hanging fruit:
As a new business, freelancer, the first step to getting your initial clients is to reach out to the people you already know who could either be potential clients or who would perhaps refer you to someone in need the services you offer. This is where your influence and your networking skills in your community matter. These people are known as your low hanging fruit and could be friends and family, old colleagues or friends from college or university, connections from a professional group or association.
In the millennial world, unfortunately, I’ve seen many new business owners with sloppy habits. For instance, now that you’ve launched your business, make sure your personal email is separate from your business email. Setting up a professional website for your freelance business is easy nowadays. It’s also a good idea to add a professional email signature to your emails which should include the link to your website or portfolio for more information. If you’re looking for some email signature ideas or have never created one, take a look at https://www.templafy.com/blog/best-email-signature-design/ for some inspiration.
Have you noticed that almost every company out there incorporates a blog within their website? It’s becoming the norm; a way to communicate knowledge, expertise and interesting related content to potential clients. No matter what your business industry is, having a blog where you regularly share high value content that your ideal customers will find useful is a great way to build your influence and get more customers. If you’re not a writer, start small. The goal is not to publish a daily article. If you’re staying consistent and giving good value, you will drive organic traffic to your blog and get yourself in front of the right people. Many bloggers concern themselves with traffic to their site and fall into the trap of comparison. Comparing your blog to another already establish website will only increase your stress. Focus on providing content of great value and your audience will incrementally grow.
Social media is inevitable in 2018. Like blogging, you should have your business on social media if you want to increase your chances of finding new clients. You don’t have to be on every platform, but choose 1-3 where your ideal clients are present, share good content and connect with your audience by asking and answering questions.
Whether you’re a handyman or a freelance programmer, networking is indispensable. Whether it’s online or offline, networking is still one of the best ways to connect with the right people to help you grow your community. Don’t ignore other business owners who you could collaborate with you on projects or even refer clients. Several years ago, I discovered Meetup.com, a website that offers groups related to virtually any topic. On any day of the week, networking events are going on in every town and city. There are also plenty of ways to network online, and as a business owner, if you’re not using LinkedIn, you’re certainly losing on opportunities.
These are just a few easy and simple ways to getting started with your freelance business and acquire your first clients. As a business owner now, you should constantly be thinking creatively of ways to increase your network. Your network will be your enterprise’s lifeblood.