In this article, I will share the personal experience and mistakes I made in the process of growing up from a single freelancer to a team leader. Hopefully, this will help you grow faster and achieve more in less time. This article is for those who want to develop and scale their activities, projects, and revenues.
Don’t work with everyone.
When I was a beginner, I took on any project that was offered to me. In principle, it is necessary to do as long as you don’t have a good portfolio and cases at the start. When they appeared, it was a mistake to work with everyone.
You need to understand who is “your” client and why and who is not. Then, write out clear criteria and follow them.
Create a product, not just provide services
In the case of a freelancer, a product is a service that solves specific customer problems. Therefore, it should be better than the products of competitors. Below I will tell you why it is essential to make a product.
If you do not have a product – you slide to dumping and work with all the conditions you will be offered. That is, in fact, error No.1.
For example, as an SEO specialist, I have favorite topics, and the central part of the projects relates to these topics. On the other hand, there are sites that I won’t take to promote because my product is not sharpened for them. Now I think to refuse consultations, as I am more interested in taking the project and comprehensively dealing with it than giving one-time recommendations on specific issues.
Here is a snapshot of my work in 2020 on Fiverr.
Optimize your work
The goal of any work is to get a result. Therefore, when we create a product to solve specific problems, we can sharpen the production process for this task. In this way, we will increase our productivity, and therefore our income.
Here is another guide for content creators: How to start your career as a content writer?
For example, you can customize contextual ads for customers who do furniture. It’s good to understand this niche. Over time, accumulate a lot of typical solutions. Then, campaigning will take less time to set up, and the result will be better. Because you have a lot of experience in the niche, and you already know what will work and what will not.
But it’s essential not just to choose a niche but to work on optimizing the product constantly. Invent schemes, checklists, automate everything you can. Don’t do things that don’t work.
Look for a niche without direct competitors.
Niche and specialization are some of the tools of scaling. It is best if your niche will be without direct competitors. For example, many people set up targeted ads, and you decide to customize such ads only for customers from a specific topic. In this way, you will move away from others.
It is better not to choose niches where agencies can compete, and there are no micro-and small business clients—the more small customers in the niche, the better for a private professional.
In the case of niche, the sundress works poorly. On the sundress usually come friends and acquaintances of customers, but who will advise you to his competitor? Therefore, if you choose a niche on the subject – you will need to promote their services.
There are many options here: from keeping a personal blog to promoting the site in search. Also, here can work aggregators and exchanges, contextual advertising, participation in profile conferences.
Advertising allows you to attract the attention of certain people – your potential customers. But, unfortunately, waiting for them to find you (if at all) means slowing down their growth.
Determine the rules for working with customers
This point is essential to understand correctly. You have to have boundaries that customers don’t need to cross. So, for example, there should be a time when you are resting, and you should not be bothered about working matters, excluding really urgent ones.
Working 24/7/365 is a way to earn chronic diseases that no one needs quickly.
Also, it is not necessary to form inflated expectations for customers. However, customers need to understand the time frame in which you respond to emails, make edits, etc.
To remain in demand in the service sector, you need to develop. A freelancer’s fees are determined by the level of knowledge, skills, experience, and the complexity and importance of the tasks he can solve.
Here is a guide on copywriting: 20 useful tips for a copywriter
Therefore, for material growth, it is necessary to develop constantly. But not just watch or read something, but purposefully look for something you might need in your work.
Don’t play full-cycle agency.
Don’t try to embrace the immense. You can’t become a full-cycle agency because the agency employs 50 people and you’re alone. I had a time when I tried to provide clients with many different services. In the end, I realized that it is better to concentrate on 1-2 services than to try to play a “full cycle.”
This way, you can better organize your production, improve the quality of services and improve efficiency for customers. A freelancer cannot be an orchestra man if he wants to scale and remain in demand in the market.
Good luck with your freelancing endeavors!