How to Start Freelancing While Working Full Time: Part 2 (another 3 steps)
Okay, so lets not waste any time. I’m excited to jump straight into part 2 of this series. But before I do, here’s a quick recap of part 1. If you haven’t read part 1, please click here to read it. In part 1 we covered the first 3 steps I recommend you follow to start freelancing while working full time. There are:
- Goal Definition
- Find a Niche that is Profitable
- Identify Your Target Customers
The next three steps are:
4. Calculate Strategic Pricing for Your Services
I’ve covered extensively about the right price that you should set for your services before you get started, and to re-iterate, your price should be based on your value, and not be based on what your competition is charging.
Do not allow anyone else to determine on your behalf the terms by which your value is defined. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned through freelancing, is that the higher your rates, the less customers complain. The reason is that I have spent much time targeting customers with larger budgets that are more willing to spend money. These customers understand that they will make their money back by investing in your value and quality services.
On the other hand, smaller customers, more often do not have the money to spend and therefore cannot sustain losses in the event that a project doesn’t deliver big returns.
There is no such a thing that your prices are too high.
The price you set may be too high or in some cases too low for the customers you’re targeting. Research who exactly you should be pitching to, and find out exactly what your customers need at the prices they’re willing to pay.
I’ve been writing well researched, detailed blogs for many years and a lot of what I write is more that 1000 words a piece. My blogs are designed to rank well in organic search results, and they add a lot of value to most companies. The work I do often extends far beyond just writing a headline, or modelling an article, and into strategic distribution that drives maximum traffic after the blog is published. More value is added to customers than any other blog writers can offer. For all the extra value I offer, my rate is R5.00 a word and increases sharply from there, depending on what other requirements the customers may have.
Customers are going to hire someone for their projects, now it’s important to show them that you are the right freelancer. If they are convinced that you are the right freelancer to help, then price becomes the secondary concern. Bear in mind that you will not always be the right freelance for every customer.
5. Build a Portfolio that is High Quality
The purpose of having a high quality portfolio is that it’s the first impression that a customer will have of you, your type of work, your style and your references you’ve worked with as a freelancer. You need to be able to communicate your services in an effective manner, and indicate who they are for. In addition to this, you need to sell yourself and be convincing on why you are the best freelancer for the job.
Your portfolio needs to achieve the following goals in order to be really effective at selling your services:
- Tell prospective customers about what you specialise in, and give examples where possible.
- Show customers who you are by displaying a clean profile picture.
- List your education, outstanding accomplishments, but most importantly your skills.
- Where possible, showcase your customer testimonials.
- Regularly update your portfolio to show you’re progressing with new customers, testimonials and more work samples.
While you are creating your portfolio, search other freelancers who inspire you and gain insights on how they are positioning themselves, communicating their value and how they’re going about building a successful freelancing career.
6. Create Striking Work Samples
You want your portfolio to serve as a place where your expertise are showcased. Keeping that in mind, publishing new content, video or images on a regular basis shows you know what you’re doing. Ensure you’re publishing content that will impress your target customer. Once you have gained an understanding of what your customers need, create examples of their requirements as if they’ve hired your services to produce that work.
This is by far the best way to sell your services, showing your customers your ability to create the work they need. Moreover, it will make the customers work easier when you have created a library of work relevant to their requirements to access when they place the order with you.
If you’re a graphic designer, your portfolio should be carefully crafted as everything about it showcases your abilities to be creative and to show you have outstanding attention to detail. If you are a writer like me, then your personal blog posts need to showcase the quality and value you deliver. For photographers and designers the same thing applies, ensure that the your images represent the style and value you will be creating for your future customer.