The latest employment figures show that the number of freelancers in the UK has increased. More than ever you’ll need to stand out in order to keep getting the work in.
To make sure you’re noticed amongst the ever-increasing pool of freelancers, you must ensure you’re offering something unique. Here are some ideas on making sure you shine.
Research the market
The most sensible area for a freelancer to work in is the one where they have the most experience. You’ll have a head start because you’ve already got contacts in that area who could become your clients. Also, you may already have some idea of what rates freelancers in this market charge (in fact, knowing this may have been the reason you went freelance in the first place).
However, while keeping good relations with existing contacts and demonstrating your experience in a market will help, you must also focus on any market dynamics that could really help you to succeed. Therefore, look into what is missing in your chosen market and which problems lots of people are experiencing, so that you can provide a solution.
Aim for a niche
As well as investigating what is missing in your market, you should also investigate where there might be growth potential. Even if these look like niche areas now, by focusing on them straight away, you could become the go-to specialist when things really take off. Equally, even if these areas don’t grow in significance, being a specialist in any area could allow you to carve out a profitable business.
When you’re starting out as a freelancer, it’s tempting to offer as many services as possible to as many prospects as possible in order to secure regular work. However, you’ll realise over time that offering fewer, higher value services to a smaller concentration of key prospects is often the way forward.
Companies are looking for specialist skills when they hire freelancers and contractors, so finding your niche and perfecting it is often the best way to stand out from the crowd.
Shout about your individuality
Once you’ve found your niche, you need to concentrate on making sure people know it’s your thing. The most obvious place to start is your CV, where you can rearrange your title, skills and experience to show exactly what you are offering. Also, don’t forget that prospects’ first port of call when it comes to researching you will be the internet so the same changes must be made to anywhere your information is displayed online, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or websites you control.
Finally, once you’ve got your business profile in order, start demonstrating your expertise by posting comments on relevant blogs and discussion forums or publishing your own authoritative blogs and articles.
Don’t forget to adapt
While making your offering unique by concentrating on certain niches is a great place to start, don’t forget that the world of business is always changing. Be aware that your chosen niche might be able to make you a lot of money right now but that it could be entirely redundant in a year’s time, as products and skills change. Just as you researched your market and competitors to find your niche in the first place, stay up to date with what’s going on in your market so you can remain unique in the long run.
Do you have any tips of your own to add?