Working as a FreelancerFebruary 14th 2013 Sally Ormond being freelance, setting up a freelance business, starting a freelance business
For a lot of people, working for themselves is the ultimate dream. No more bosses, no more 9 to 5, no more horrible jobs that you don’t want to do and the opportunity to choose who you want to work with.
That’s all true to a certain degree, but freelancing isn’t always the Holy Grail you may expect it to be. It does have it’s downsides too.
For example, you’re on your own. Suddenly, you go from a business that had specialists in each department to just you. Overnight you’ve become the MD, Financial Director, Customer Service, Operations Director, Marketing Director, Sales Director – the list is endless.
Rather than trying to juggle all the balls, find out what your strengths and weaknesses are and then farm out all the weak areas.
Then you need to find out what it is you’re going to do.
When I started out as a copywriter I decided not to tie myself to a particular industry. After all, good copywriting isn’t about knowing every aspect of every industry, it’s about understanding the mechanics of language and how it can be shaped to be persuasive and reflect the needs and desires of a particular market.
The one thing I didn’t do was think ‘I’m a copywriter and I’m also going to offer PR and design services.’
By focusing my business only on copywriting, I’m out there offering niche services to a broad range of companies. That way, I knew my marketing activities would get me in front of the right people.
Taking of marketing
Keeping your services clear and simple will make your marketing more powerful.
If you offer umpteen services, how will you convey that in your website and print materials? There could be the danger of coming across as a Jack of All Traders and that’s not good.
So before you charge headlong into setting your freelance business up, think about:
- Your main strengths – stick to those and farm out everything else (you’ll save money in the long run)
- Your skills and how you can market them effectively
- Who you want to work with
- What service will you be offering
Of course, once you become established and have built up a solid customer base, there’s nothing from stopping you adding new services as you see a need for them. In fact, that is a great way for your business to grow.