When you start freelancing, you often get a first wave of new projects, clients and work to do. It’s all very new and fun but once the excitement quiets down, you suddenly feel like you’re in a rut - not enough new work is coming your way, your big projects are nearing their conclusion... Now what?
At this point it’s important not to lose hope or your mind, but to focus on growing your business and keep making a name for yourself. Here are a few helpful tips on how to do exactly that.
1. Work with better tools
When it comes to your work, don’t settle for mediocre tools - they will only keep you from creating top notch work. Find yourself the best ways to create your designs and your clients’ websites. Check out Webydo, a professional website creator that lets you build a website from scratch without having to write code. Invest in finding the best workload management tools too - they will help you keep your process in order.
2. Find your niche
As web designers, and especially when starting a new business, we tend to have an instinct to go as wide as possible. It makes sense that the wider the services we provide, the more clients we can work with. But sometimes this sort of thinking works against us and makes us look unprofessional. The answer is finding a niche: decide for yourself which type of client or type of work you would most like to do, and try to specialize in it - sell yourself as a specialist and you’ll be surprised how many people will buy in.
3. Use every opportunity to network
There’s no need to be obnoxious about it, but do find a way to introduce yourself and your work whenever the situation is appropriate. Your service is relevant for so many different people, and you never know when you’ll run into someone who’s just opened a new business, or wants to redo their personal website - be friendly, let them know what you do so well, and make connections.
4. Be flexible
If you’re hungry for work, try and be flexible with your prices - some clients have a smaller budget and yet the value you will get from working with them might still be pretty great (maybe they’re well connected and can recommend you to others, maybe it’s a unique project that would look great on your CV.)
5. Build long-term relationships
Your client might be in for a small project at the moment, but you never know what they’ll need next. Don’t disappear - keep them updates with a newsletter (more on that in a moment,) let them know you’re available for whatever else they need later on, and offer them services for later in the process, for instance a discount on extra pages they might need to add to the site someday.
6. Create original content
To strengthen your brand, create your own original content and invite clients and potential clients to follow. You can create a blog with tips for business owners or a newsletter with updates on the industry you’re trying to service (and links to your blog of course). You can also volunteer to guest-write for others with credit, or talk in relevant conventions - that will help you create your image and spread your name.
7. Have a strong social media presence
Social media is key for any brand these days, and the same goes for freelancers. Open yourself a Facebook page, a Twitter handle and an online portfolio where people can come and check out your work. Social media is a great way to stay active and keep in touch with potential clients, and you can really create yourself an image there and give your brand a personal voice.