One of the fastest growing employment sectors is that of the freelancer. More and more companies are choosing to hire freelance employees, hiring specialists in their field on a project to project basis. In doing so they seek to free up long-term payroll and invest in dynamic and self-motivated short-term employees.
The freelance market is now a fast moving and an intensely competitive one. Advances in technology have opened up an untapped global pool of resources, freelance hires can literally work from anywhere. This, in turn, gives companies a huge amount of potential talent to recruit from. But how, as a budding freelancer, can you improve your chances of work or commission? What techniques can you use to stand out from the crowd and turn your work into a profitable business?
It may seem obvious, but you and your work are your best adverts, as a freelancer you are now part of a meritocracy. You will only be hired on the strength of your work, so ultimately the best way to be a successful freelancer is to produce consistently great work right! Sounds easy, doesn't it?
You can start by making sure your portfolio is tidy, professional and geared towards the job in hand, it's no use cramming all your work in, pick your strongest few pieces that illustrate your range and competence. It may be that you are judged on your weakest piece so it is essential that the work you do pick really showcases your qualities, capabilities, and standards.
Find your niche.
By this point you should know what field you are working in, be it writing that killer blog post or providing the perfect illustration for that new marketing campaign, but can you specialize further? Is there a particular niche that only you do?
The less people who do your particular thing, the less competition you have for that work. In fact the more niche the field of your freelance work, the higher the pay. Subject matter specialists get to charge more, So specialize!
If you have a particular qualification or interest that's sets you apart from the crowd then use it to your advantage, haven't used your degree for years, why not use it now? You may be able to turn that secret passion or lifelong hobby into a potentially lucrative revenue stream, all from the comfort of your own home or favorite coffee shop.
Show your workings.
It's no good being the self-acknowledged greatest artist or writer in the world if no one sees it. If no one can see it, no one can buy it. You are your own boss now and responsible for selling all of your amazing output. You need to self-promote. Art directors and editors aren't magically going to be able to find and fall in love with your work if it's not out there.
Get your work online, the internet has allowed for this global opportunity, so use it to your advantage. Showcase your talents on different platforms and network digitally, there are a plethora of different social media sites out there, find the right ones for you and promote your work. If you are not sure, then use as many as you can and see which ones work best for you. Be active, be nice, engage in online communities and build, build, build those connections, you never know if the most chance of encounters could turn into a profitable business relationship.
Building your own personal website is also a great way for clients to find you, a professional looking, easy to navigate website grants an established online presence and a permanent shop window for your work to be found in. This can be vital in the fast-moving and constantly shifting internet landscape where content can get lost under the sheer amount of work out there.
The perfect way to maximize your chances of employment is to sign up to an online freelancing platform. These dedicated sites act as global markets and meeting places for freelancers and freelance hirers. In bringing everyone together they allow businesses located anywhere to review and hire the best available staff, simultaneously
enabling freelancers to construct their own profiles according to their strengths, showcase their work and engage and communicate with potential clients.
A Freelancers past experiences, skills and relevant criteria can all be documented and stored in one place and ready to target potential employers. It's a common misconception that just small companies make use of these platforms, this is not true, even the biggest companies are now waking up to the power of freelancing and recruiting more and more from these online markets.
Another beneficial aspect of the specialized freelancing platform is one of financial trust. Trust is increased between hirers and workers, the hirers know they don't have to pay until the job is completed to their satisfaction, equally the freelancer knows that any discrepancies or problems can be handled and resolved through the particular platform.
Many of these sites use tools to track work time and payroll as well, time spent chasing payments and logging hours of work is taking up valuable time that could be being used to concentrate on the actual work for the client. By utilizing these platforms the freelancer is marketing themselves on a global stage designed with them in mind, a veritable one-stop freelance shop.
Ultimately there is no one particular secret to being a successful freelancer. Nothing beats hard work, and there will be plenty of that for sure, but by working hard and more importantly working smart you can gain an advantage.
Get your portfolio out there and embrace the new revolution in freelance employment platforms. By placing yourself in that global shop window you will go a long way to increasing your success and turning that dream of working from home into a reality.