In this economy, there are three types of winners in the job world. There are the charming/charismatic (aka bootlickers), there are the experienced, and there are the cheap. Managers are always going to want people around to kiss their behind. They may claim that they hate sycophants, but secretly they complement the boss’s ego. The experienced ones have an advantage over anyone who has put in fewer years than them, and the cheap have to work hard for very little.
What if you are not able (or don’t want to) do any of those three things. You are left with two choices; state benefit programs or going into business for yourself. Going into business for yourself is not as difficult as it appears. You don’t need an office, a mailbox rental, or even a company car. All you need is a skill and a lot of determination. If you have a skill, any skill, you can be a freelancer. If you can dig gardens then you can be a freelance gardener (call yourself a landscaper) and if you are great on the guitar then you can be a freelance guitar teacher. here is how to become a freelancer.
1. Take Stock of the Skills That You Have
You may be surprised at just how many skills you have. There are freelance jobs for just about anybody. There are beauty specialists, cooking specialists, carpet fitters, web designers, and advertising experts. Having just one skill is good, but if you have more than one skill, you should use it as an add-on service.
For example, you may be a diva with a chainsaw. You could trim the hedges of old people who cannot do the work themselves. As an additional extra, you could offer your services as a garden pond cleaner. The best thing is that as you are working on their hedges, you could have installed your pump into their pond and started it draining (remembering to remove the fish at some point). Another great thing is that these add-on services are often things that people wouldn’t think to purchase on their own but are happy to have done whilst you are working on the primary project.
2. Look at How Other People Market Their Services
Do not start running advertisements online or putting ads in your local newspaper. First, have a look at how other people are marketing their services. A great way to do this is to act like a customer and search out the service for yourself. You will often see ads in the most unexpected places, such as on the back of toilet stall doors.
3. Price Your Services Based on the Industry Standards
Do not “Low-ball”. This is what many new freelancers do. They price themselves very low in order to gain a few customers to start them off, but this is a massive mistake. Imagine it for yourself; you are looking to hire someone to write the promotional blurb for your e-commerce. You see lots of people who are charging $30 per page of promotional text, and then you see an advert offering $12 per page. You will automatically assume that the $12 rate is for a discount/sub-par service. You cannot afford to compete on price, and you have to be willing to turn down the really low offers, otherwise, that is all you will ever receive.
4. Offer a 25% Discount to Those Who Complete a Testimonial
This is actually a cute marketing trick. You are new to being a freelancer, so it is plausible that you would offer a discount for testimonials. But, what you are actually doing it taking money out of the pockets of your competitors because they are the ones the customer would have gone to otherwise. Plus, you get a testimonial and an opportunity to gain a few referrals if you make a good impression on the client.
5. Build a Website to Refer People to
You can build them with free website builders. All you then need to do is choose a domain name and buy hosting services (they are the ones that make it available online). You then use the website as your online brochure. Refer people to it in your adverts (online and offline) and add it to the bottom of every email and Facebook private message you send.
6. Solicit People and Look for Work
Go on social media and find people who need your services. Go online and email websites offering your services. Make your messages very personalized so that they are not viewed as spam. Introduce yourself and tell them that you are just starting out.
7. Look Online for Trade Directories
There are online directories for everything these days, from shoe repairers to dating escorts. Many of them will ask you to pay for inclusion, so make sure you check that they are legitimate directories. There are some directories out there that are just trying to rip off innocent freelancers.
8. Consider PPC Marketing and Add a Landing Page to Your Website
Add a new page to your website. This is going to be a landing page. Fill it with promotional offers (or just one) and link it to your website’s main page. You run adverts online that point to the landing page. People click the adverts and see your offer(s) on the landing page. They then decide to visit your home page, or not.
9. Offer a Percentage Discount for Referrals
This can be a very good way of getting new business if you sell the idea correctly. In a fresh move, offer a discount to both the referrer and referee. That way the referring person has the benefit of doing the referee a favor, whilst also getting a discount on their next purchase too.
10. Re-invest a Percentage of Your Profits into Advertising
Advertising does work, but it costs money. So, you need to re-invest money from your profits to pay for advertising. Stick to a certain percentage because it is very easy to spend all of your profits on advertising, which will leave you in a precarious position because you risk losing all your money with (potentially) no return. Also, do not invest lots of your start-up money because it takes a lot of trial and error before you figure out what adverts work.