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12 Key Strategies for Growing Your Freelance Business

DAVID FAČKO

11 min

·

November 20, 2023

Growing your career and attracting fresh clients are frequently the most challenging aspects of freelancing. Breaking free from the unpredictable income cycle and establishing a dependable revenue flow may be possible, but you must hustle. 

When you elevate your freelance enterprise, you may increase your earnings, work with a higher caliber of clients, and access a continuous stream of projects. You must have a strategic blueprint and follow a precise path to achieve this. 

The first step is knowing what strategies work. By gaining insights into how accomplished freelancers have fashioned enduring businesses, you can start your journey toward realizing your business objectives.

Freelancing Trends

Freelancing underwent a transformative odyssey, adapting and reshaping itself yearly to keep pace with the ever-evolving professional landscape

Freelancers are navigating an environment molded by technological breakthroughs, changing work conventions, and the ebb and flow of global economic forces. Here are a few trends you must know to understand this ever-changing industry

Dominance of remote work

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a rapid and significant increase in the adoption of remote work, and you can still feel its effects today. 

Freelancers, who were already familiar with working independently, saw their services in high demand as companies looked for flexible talent to navigate the uncertain climate. 

Remote work has shifted from being an exception to the standard working method. Freelancers are not only providing their expertise remotely but are also breaking geographical boundaries, working together across borders.

Skill diversification

In the contemporary world of freelancing, adaptability is paramount. Freelancers are broadening their skill portfolios beyond traditional confines. 

For example, it’s easier if a graphic designer working on a telecommunication company’s website is into content writing. They can build the site while writing its landing pages, knowledge base, or simple blogs discussing what is a sim card used for

This diversification enhances freelancers’ versatility and opens them to various income streams.

Use of freelancing platforms

Online platforms remain essential in forging connections between freelancers and clients. Sadly, the market has become saturated with many venues catering to diverse industries and niches. 

This proliferation brings opportunities and threats for freelancers. While a higher number of platforms can lead to greater visibility, it also demands that freelancers craft their profiles with precision.

Choosing the right invoicing app is crucial for maintaining professionalism and efficiency in your freelance business. It should offer ease of use, customization, and integration with other tools, enhancing client trust and streamlining your billing process.

Emphasis on specialization

Amid the bustling freelancing landscape, the specialists genuinely stand out. Clients are now more inclined to search for freelancers with extensive experience and expertise in particular domains than those with general skills

Specialization allows freelancers to command higher rates and fosters trust, as clients understand the importance of collaborating with professionals with unparalleled knowledge in their field.

Focusing on a specialty, especially in business careers, makes you more valuable and sought-after in the freelance world.

How to start successful freelance career

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The dominance of the gig economy

The gig economy is constantly growing, erasing the distinctions between traditional employment and freelancing. An increasing number of professionals are embracing gig work as a credible alternative to the conventional 9-to-5 job. 

Companies likewise incorporate gig workers into their core teams, acknowledging the benefits of flexible, on-demand talent.

Rise of specialized communities

Freelancers are discovering the power of unity by creating specialized communities. These groups offer a support system, networking possibilities, and a space for exchanging knowledge. 

Freelancers can leverage these communities to access valuable resources, acquire insights, and engage in collaborative projects that resonate with their passions and expertise.

What are the challenges faced by the freelancing industry?

What might serve as a lucrative freelance income source today could become obsolete tomorrow. Adapting to evolving trends can be demanding, and staying competitive requires continuous skill enhancement.

Being aware of common freelancing mistakes and actively working to avoid them is also vital in sustaining your success and adaptability in the market.

Choosing the ideal platform

Choosing the right one for your freelance work can be challenging with numerous available platforms. For instance, while some individuals may choose Upwork as their preferred source of freelance opportunities, others might opt for Fiverr

Securing payment

After identifying the right freelance platform, the next hurdle you must overcome is ensuring you receive payment for your services. Spotting legitimate clients from scheming ones is challenging, so you must be diligent. 

Many of these platforms are rife with potential scammers, and it’s easy for newcomers to fall victim. It’s essential to clearly understand the terms and conditions and payment methods before embarking on any task.

Once you’ve secured a legitimate client, the next step is to ensure that you get paid for your services regularly. Ask your client how they prefer to get invoiced for the services you render. 

Check out our great guide on how to make invoices as a freelancer.

Make your life easier by utilizing invoice templates and free invoice generator. All you have to do is fill out the pertinent details like billable hours, job description, cost, and payment details. 

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Coping with rejection

In the freelancing world, only some clients will be an ideal fit, and some may need to acknowledge your proposal. Coping with rejection is necessary in this field, and how you handle these setbacks will significantly influence your success as a freelancer.

Adaptation to evolving technology

Staying abreast of the latest technology is imperative for freelancers to deliver the highest-quality service to clients. Nevertheless, this can be a formidable task, given the continued emergence of new technology

Participating in seminars, reading industry-related blogs and publications, and collaborating with fellow freelancers within the same niche are some of the most effective strategies for staying informed about industry-related changes.

Balancing work and personal life

Striking a harmonious balance between work and personal life presents a difficult challenge for numerous freelancers. Freelancers typically work remotely, and defining the boundaries between work and personal life is challenging.

Freelancers are perpetually pursuing available opportunities, which can result in limited personal time, particularly for those new to freelancing. All these make it difficult for them to balance rest and work well. 

The constant need to be “available”

Sustaining an online presence can be another challenge for freelancers. Many clients expect your availability at all times, leading to the need to schedule when to be online or offline, particularly as a newbie.

Establishing well-defined boundaries between work and personal life is crucial to preventing burnout and feeling overwhelmed. Ensure your clients know your availability and set times to contact you for work-related matters. 

In the contemporary freelance landscape, it’s not uncommon for freelancers to maintain two phones—one for work-related communication and the other for personal calls.

Growing Your Freelance Business: 12 Tips and Best Practices

For your freelance business to thrive, you must be at ease with marketing and fully embrace self-promotion. Fortunately, there are numerous avenues to promote your services.

1. Network with prospective clients

Building connections through networking is a crucial component of expanding your freelance business. It’s essential for promoting your services and making yourself known to potential clients. 

The greater your visibility among potential clients, the higher the chances they will collaborate with you. Market your skills within your community, at conferences and local gatherings, and establish connections with individuals online.

Additionally, pay attention to your existing connections. Inform your friends, family, and professional network about your freelance services. These individuals are often motivated to assist you in growing your business. 

communication with the client as a freelancer

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2. Participate in community discussions

Engaging in community discussions is a highly effective way of demonstrating your expertise and expanding your freelance business. 

Social media platforms like  TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn provide ample opportunities to become involved in industry-specific or local community conversations

To establish yourself as a specialist, you can discuss your services, address inquiries, and illustrate how you tackle challenges. This approach positions you as the foremost authority in your field, making people turn to you when they require assistance or services within your area of expertise.

3. Promote your services

The saying “you have to spend money to make money” doesn’t apply in all situations. However, at times, investing in your business can expedite its growth. There are many ways to allocate funds to ensure your business reaches potential clients. 

Effective advertising strategies can revolve around a singular platform or include a blend of multiple advertising channels. Identifying the most suitable approach for your business is crucial to maximize its effectiveness.

4. Maximizing freelance platforms

Freelance platforms serve as invaluable hubs for connecting with new clients. Among these platforms, Upwork, as one of the world’s most significant work marketplaces, boasts hundreds of thousands of clients actively seeking freelancers. 

On Upwork, freelancers can explore many projects, receive interview invitations, initiate discussions with prospective clients, and directly submit project applications, all within the confines of the site.

5. Broaden your revenue streams

Diversifying your income means safeguarding yourself against financial vulnerability. These may arise from events like losing a significant client, personal illness, economic downturns, client attrition, or virtually any factor affecting your income.

You can diversify your services by implementing strategic engagement plans that cater to your client’s requirements. 

Additionally, consider investing in passive income opportunities like fixed deposits, stocks, real estate, and more to ensure a steady financial inflow, even if your primary source experiences a setback.

6. Invest in your growth

Most clients seek freelancers for their expertise and competencies. Enhancing your hard and soft skills opens up additional avenues for your business to flourish. You can dedicate time to professional development in various ways, including the following: 

  • Stay informed
  • Experiment with new approaches
  • Attend events
  • Enroll in courses
  • Practice weaknesses
  • Join associations
  • Seek guidance

By actively investing in your professional development, you enhance your skills, build your expertise, and bolster your freelancing business’s potential for growth.

7. Establish your brand

A solid brand serves as the linchpin for business expansion. Your brand is the initial point of contact, conveying your identity and the services you offer to potential clients. 

Clients assess your brand through elements such as your testimonials, portfolio,  website, and reputation among previous clients. 

It’s crucial to allocate time for assessing and enhancing your brand to effectively spotlight your company’s value and how you assist clients.

8. Hone your pitch and enhance your sales acumen

Achieving a 100% success rate in closing prospective clients might only be feasible sometimes, but there’s always room for refinement in your business pitch. 

Freelancers frequently need to pay more attention to the effectiveness of their business pitches and proposals. Keep tabs on how many bids you send out and calculate how many lead to client interviews. Determine how many discussions result in winning projects.

Evaluate if your proposals need rewriting or refining to resonate with potential clients better. Practice and enhance your interview and presentation techniques to make a compelling impression. Sharpen your negotiation abilities to secure better terms and deals.

Proactively assessing and enhancing your pitch and sales skills can increase your chances of securing new clients and growing your freelance business.

9. Ask for customer referrals

Data from the Wharton School of Business show that referred customers are more profitable, more loyal, and less expensive to acquire. The first step to getting referrals is to provide excellent work for your clients. 

With this practice, knowing who among your clients will most likely refer your business to others will be seamless. The next step is to ask your past clients if they know other individuals or ventures that could benefit from your services. 

If they know a potential client, you can ask for an introduction or for them to recommend your business as a solution.

10. Raise the price for your services

It might be the perfect time to reconsider your pricing strategy when aiming to expand your business. Elevating your rates can boost your income without increasing your workload or having you looking for new clients. 

Determining the optimal price for your services may involve some experimentation. Begin by pondering the following inquiries:

  • Is your pricing commensurate with your level of expertise and the value of your skills?
  • How does your pricing stack up against that of your competitors?
  • What impact will a rate hike have on your current customer base?

set the right price as a freelancer

(Source)

11. Enhance your portfolio

If you’ve historically declined requests for services beyond your core offerings, picture the delight of your clients when you broaden your array of options. 

Additionally, explore the prospect of restructuring your services into a bundled package, generating a consistent, recurring revenue stream.

12. Build long-term partnerships

Engaging in long-term and continuous projects is a cornerstone for nurturing a sustainable business. These enduring client partnerships offer a dependable monthly revenue stream. 

Such engagements permit you to schedule and allocate a fixed number of hours, eliminating the need for additional non-billable time spent procuring projects from potential clients. 

One of the best ways of building lasting partnerships is by communicating well with your clients. This practice means you need to make them feel they’re on top of the project you’re working on. 

Give updates on the task status and ensure that you reply promptly to their messages. When they ask you to edit your submission and such a request is reasonable, acknowledge and work on it. These soft skills are vital in winning your client’s trust. 

When you finish a particular project, ask for feedback and referrals. You can use your past clients’ feedback as testimonies of your work quality and caliber as a freelancer. 

Grow Your Freelancing Career With the Right Practices

Competition in the freelancing world may be cutthroat, but it doesn’t mean you can’t stand out. The industry brought unique challenges that enabled freelancers like you to craft unique strategies to overcome them. 

Start by assessing what unique services and added value you can bring. After that, put a price tag on your services and establish a brand that resonates with your values. You must also leverage technology to outsmart your competitors.

You can soar to incredible heights if you continuously improve and adapt to the changes. Act now and watch your business career grow by leaps and bounds. 

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DAVID FAČKO

SEO Specialist at Billdu

David Fačko serves as an SEO and Content specialist at Billdu, globally recognized as one of the top-rated invoicing software solutions for freelancers and small businesses.

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