A freelance way of life and work is becoming increasingly popular. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a huge rise in the number of independent copywriters, designers, photographers, filmmakers and podcasters that constantly search for new clients and new gigs.
BY LARRY REED
As much as 37 percent of U.S. workforce are now freelancers, with this number constantly rising and possibly reaching the 50 percent mark in less than 10 years from now. So how can an up-and-coming talented freelancer deal with this huge amount of competition and get noticed? Here are a few pieces of advice you might find useful.
You Need a Website
In the era of social media, a lot of freelancers feel as if having a website is an unnecessary commodity. However, this is very far from the truth. Apart from giving out a sense of professionalism, a website can help you lay out a clear and concise portfolio and place it in a visible spot, without any danger that it will get lost in an ocean of new posts and irrelevant info.
Your website is the briefest and most elementary expression of your work and your online presence. You shouldn’t hesitate to take full advantage of this fact. The competition among website development companies is also severe and thus it’s quite easy to find some of the best web companies online today and hire them for a price that’s more than reasonable.
You may be good at what you do, but being good and being noticed don’t always go hand in hand. You’ll have to be smart and different when promoting yourself. Social networks can play a huge role here, drawing attention to your website and your work in general.
Addressing hot topics in your work and posting it on social media is one of the best ways to go, as hitting the right spot can make the post go viral and help you rise from obscurity. Trending topics come and go, but you can use them to gain just the right amount of initial attention you need.
Moreover, designing an intelligent content marketing strategy is an excellent approach to achieving your long-term goals. You can use both your website and your social networks to carry it out. Writing, speaking or making tutorials and how-to videos about topics related to your niche can help you get noticed by potential clients and industry professionals. Once you have their attention you can direct them to your work and your services. It’s a tactic that demands patience, but it can definitely pay off.
It’s clear that if you want to get recognized, your content has to be top-quality and appeal to the right audience. But the visual look of your promotional channels has to be in order as well. This doesn’t go just for designers, who should obviously see this as a part of their job, but for all other freelancers as well.
Don’t forget that the point of your promotion is creating a strong, well-rounded brand around yourself. The way you’ll do it depends on your industry and your target group. Adjusting your visual identity – brand colors, logo or filters to intrigue people you want to attract is the essential step in this process.
High Quality Sound
In order to really stand out, you have to think about every detail of your online presence. Apart from looking good, you need to sound good as well. This goes for filmmakers, podcasters as well as everyone whose content or self-promotion includes any sort of audio recordings.
Fine sound recording gear is not that expensive anymore, so spending a few bucks in order to have your sound perfectly clear is money well invested. Same goes for background music you’ll use. Choosing to go with stockmusic.net is a perfect choice for creative freelancers. Wherever you get your license, take extra time to ensure the library is truly royalty-free. Royalty-free allows you to re-use the track as often as you like, where ever you like, including YouTube, Vimeo, social media, commercial TV, and radio, without having to obtain a new license.
Finally, meeting people from your branch and making new contacts is extremely important, not just in order to get noticed, but also to pick up some useful tricks that can help you in your career. Attending meetups, conferences, seminars and other types of “offline” events and getting a chance to meet these people face to face is the best possible option, but online networking can be very valuable as well.
In this context, you can benefit a lot if you manage to reach out to respected and well-known influencers from your field. If you can impress them enough to earn a mention or a share, others may also take notice and that can give you a much-needed initial boost in drawing attention from audience and clients.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that getting recognized isn’t something that happens overnight. Sometimes, if you’re lucky enough, your rise can be quick and sharp, but normally it’s a long and tiresome process. The abovementioned pieces of advice will improve your chances, but often you’ll need to try over and over again until you hit the jackpot.
Whatever you do, it’s vital that you keep the good content coming and not get discouraged. Someone, somewhere will be intrigued enough, the word will start spreading and then it’s up to you to use this to your advantage.