Why Some Freelancers Struggle to Find Customers (and How You Can Avoid It)
Most freelance work is specialty work. There could be potential customers who don’t even know they need your services, or people who have no idea how to find a freelancer when they’re looking for one. With so many freelancers seeing success working independently, there certainly has to be an effective way to bridge that connection. All you need to do is take a page out of the same book the pros use.
Issues with Branding
A brand doesn’t necessarily need to involve a ton of people. If you are one person who works for yourself, you are your own personal brand. You need a logo, and a color scheme, and a job title. When someone stumbles upon you, they shouldn’t be confused about who you are or what you do. Branding will help people recognize you, and they’re more likely to remember you when they need work done.
A Lackluster Portfolio
It doesn’t matter what service you provide – you’ll need some kind of portfolio. Things like writing, design, and photography create easy portfolio opportunities. If you work in something like coding or app development, you may need to think outside of the box. Screenshot and client testimonials are always great when you’ve worked hard on something that’s difficult to show. If you don’t have any experience building websites, you can always find another freelancer on Gumtree to build one for you.
If you think the best time to start marketing is when you need a new client, you’re mistaken. Marketing takes a while to travel. You should be marketing to some extent around the clock, especially if some of your clients aren’t perceived as permanent arrangements. While you’re waiting for your message to get out, you’re struggling. Having a marketing message that constantly moves forward will keep your name out there, generating a pool of potential new clients and job leads that might still be there when you need them most.
Trying to be a Jack of All Trades
Do you have a niche? Your area of focus should be something a little narrower than the basics of your specialty. It doesn’t matter what your skill is if you don’t know who you’re marketing it to. Throwing out a large net will inevitably catch you fish, but you can hook the ones you want if you’re putting out the bait they crave. Identify your corner of the market and carve out a spot for yourself. Keeping a few areas of focus will make you appealing to customers seeking in-depth work that specifically caters to their needs.
Failing to Network
Big businesses use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to interact with customers. Why don’t you? Simply maintaining an active presence on social media or regularly updating your blog can improve your outreach. It’s not direct marketing, but you’ll be surprised how many potential customers stumble upon you while browsing the internet. Strengthening your presence and meeting people can lead you to ongoing contracts you’d never dreamed were possible.
Building a large customer base isn’t going to happen overnight. You won’t wake up one morning to check your email and find that you’re suddenly an internet sensation. The key to great marketing is consistency, and adding great testimonials to your portfolio to serve as proof of a job well done. Keep at it, and everything will come together in time.