The freelance economy is pumping. Certain businesses and employees alike take preference to this method of working and if you can, why the hell not? The structure of flexible hours and work environment can see you travelling, working from home or at the top of a mountain (wifi permitting) whilst still making bank. However, like most businesses, freelance work is a hard hustle and dry client spells are often a constant stress for freelancers.
Whichever the reason, a flat period will inevitably come around in a freelancer’s life. Not surprisingly, the only remedy to a lack of client activity is to put yourself in the driver’s seat. Seth Godin said it best when he said, “Don’t wait to be picked.”
As freelancers, word of mouth is often our best marketing tool.
But what happens when the leads dry out?
Here are my key tips for generating new business:
The freelance game can be a godsend for those who prefer email to be their only form of contact with clients. However, nothing matches the level of trust that clients get from a simple face to face conversation! This can be particularly intimidating for a lot of freelancers, particularly introverts; it can feel as if you have to continually be ‘selling yourself’.
To network effectively, all you need to do is communicate, be authentic and play the numbers.
Trust is the epicentre of all freelance deals, and despite remote working being an increasingly common practice, nothing comes close to matching the level of trust that can be instilled from a simple face to face conversation. Attend events that are likely to be a good fit for your target audience. Try Meetup, Eventbrite and even your local business chamber. Meet as many people as you can. The more people you meet, the more likely is that they, or someone they know have a project that requires your skills. You’ll find that you rarely find a flat period again.
Highlight your skill set: Create something interesting and shamelessly promote it
People are naturally attracted to and interested in working with cool people doing incredibly cool stuff. Nail your niche – build an app, design a piece of art, write an interesting professional essay (great way to gain exposure on Linked In!). Boldly do or create something that highlights your skill The more impressive the work, the more likely your name will fall into the newsfeed or radar of somebody interested in working with you.
Run your own event. Teach and preach what you know!
If networking events isn’t your jam, flip the dynamics and create an event yourself! Attract the people that only you want to work with.
For example, as a digital marketer, I might conduct a workshop for business owners of tech startups (my target market) on agile marketing methodology. You should know intuitively what your customers need.
Running an event like this is as simple as teaming up with an education company such as General Assembly or Collective Campus, or do your own thing by hiring a room at a co-working space for a couple of hours and investing some money in a bit of highly segmented social media advertising. Teaching something can be extremely lucrative both in the short and long term since it positions you as a thought leader and expert in your field to. People like to hire and work with people who can help them improve personally.
Check out all the Freelance roles that Agency Iceberg have going here.
Find our more about Freelance Australia here.