Freelancing is expanding into every skill set you can imagine. From bloggers to Amazon experts to web developers, remote freelancers are taking over the business world. According to the World Economic Forum, “The majority of the US workforce will be freelance by 2027,” and in the near future “remote work will be the norm.”
What are the key components in joining this growing business trend? Finding the ideal freelance clients can be a breeze by following these 4 strategic guidelines:
1. LinkedIn networking and content creation
These days, networking doesn’t require hitting the pavement. There’s no question that social network profiles can help build your online presence. And on LinkedIn, business gets done. By using this platform, you can view examples of potential clients and easily network.
Creating a professional, eye-catching LinkedIn profile is key. Making the best first impression starts with your photo, so be sure to display a professional headshot. As well, ensure that your headlines stand out, your top achievements are on display, your work history is up-to-date and you share industry-relevant links.
Beyond this, creating exclusive content (such as writing a blog post or making an online video) is an underutilized strategy for networking. You can create exclusive content to expand your digital footprint, connect with potential clients, promote your skills, and even generate online revenue. Over time, people will begin to know your work and, ultimately, come to you.
2. Word-of-mouth referrals
As the saying goes, ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.’ Finding freelance clients can be easier than you think. Word-of-mouth referrals can be the most effective way to expand your portfolio. When it comes to getting hired, it makes sense to create connections within your own network.
Once you’ve started working as a freelancer, you’ve immediately expanded your networking circle. Typically, people with strong work ethic tend to attract the best in the business. When you’ve found a supportive client that you enjoy working with, it makes good business sense to inquire about their connections.
Being polite and professional (not pushy) goes a long way. Email is usually the easiest way to ask for a referral. Mentioning how much you’ve enjoyed working with a client not only compliments them, but also helps increase the number of potential clients you’ll be referred to.
3. Platform involvement
In this digital age, the most important branding is your own personal brand. Your digital footprint speaks volumes. Staying up-to-date with the platform where your portfolio lives is key. When working for a reputable marketplace like FreeeUp, your online presence becomes that much more legitimate.
Potential clients should be able to easily look you up. Everything from your basic information, to writing samples, to your LinkedIn profile should be a click away and showcase what you’re capable of.
The various other social media platforms are also a great place to market your skills. When checking your background, clients go to your online channels so it’s important to update (and professionalize) your presence.
Be purposeful in what you share. From industry-related links, to exclusive content, to quick tweets, stay mindful of the personal brand you are promoting. The goal is not only to be seen, but to impress.
4. SEO keyword targeting
A key component to finding the ideal freelance client is implementing a comprehensive search engine optimization strategy. Regardless of the particular search engine, a good SEO strategy starts with keyword research.
In reality, Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) only have 10 major spots, which means only 10 websites will rise to the top. SEO experts agree that targeting keywords takes time, effort and consistency.
Literally, keywords are the key to being found in a search. It is important to effectively select and place keywords on your various online platforms. To begin, your professional name should stay consistent on all of your social network channels. The other important personal keywords include your location, your languages and your education.
When it comes to your professional goals, take the time to wordsmith your target job title. When in doubt about the exact job title, uses slashes – “Content Writer/Blogger” or “Public Relations/Marketing Specialist.”
As well, it’s important to be specific about your industry (current or target), your work history, and your professional qualifications.
In conclusion, there are countless benefits of updating your online presence and promoting your personal brand. Take a look through your various social networks and make the necessary updates. Are your profile photos professional? Are your tweets appropriate? Is your LinkedIn page updated? Are you implementing a comprehensive SEO strategy?
If the freedom of freelancing is calling your name, it’s time to promote yourself, attract like-minded professionals and build your networking circle.