The main point is to find work that will last and when you start your own business, there’s nothing to worry about if you follow the current trends and put the right steps into practice.
46% of people worldwide are freelancers and this is quite a large number that can help you expand your business, especially when you are operating internationally.
Let’s dive deeper into this article to learn more about how you can grow and expand your freelancing business.
6 Ways to expand your freelancing business
Growing a freelance business wants you to focus more on self-promotion and marketing. It’s all about marketing your services when starting out and here’s how you can do so.
Register as a freelancer (autonomous)
Before you take any further steps, you need to be sure to register as a freelancer. You can’t start a freelancing business if you aren’t initially registered. Keep in mind that each country has a different procedure on how to register.
In this case, we can use Spain as a good example. Here’s a short guide on how to register as an autónomo (freelancer) in Spain:
- Meet all pre-registration requirements: Getting a work permit, social security number, foreign identity number (NIE), bank account and other requirements the authorities might ask from you.
- Use the form Model 037 and IAE for registering with tax authorities in Spain.
- Get a social security number and register. After that, you’ll need to pay social security contributions.
- Create and submit invoices. Also, don’t forget to possess clear accounting records and file a tax declaration.
If you don’t know which steps to take, being a freelancer might be harder than you think. You need to find your own clients, file taxes, and take care of administrative tasks. However, don’t let that demotivate you.
Breaking everything down into smaller parts is an excellent idea for making the registration process easier. Always read about the requirements in the country you want to start your freelancing business. While they are all similar and general rules like filing taxes, getting a social security number, getting a work permit are all the same, some small rules might differ.
Expand your network
Creating new connections is always a fantastic way for growing your freelance business. It’s important to expose your services and introduce yourself to clients who are in need of them. The more visible your business is, the easier your word will get across to potential clients.
There are plenty of popular methods you can use for expanding your network and they are:
- Word of mouth: This is considered a powerful marketing tool and as a start, you can tell your current connections (family members, friends) and others about the services you offer as a freelancer. These people are close to you and will try to help you as much as they can. The great part about word of mouth is that it’s like a snowball effect, it’ll just keep on expanding over time.
- Social media channels: Are great for quickly getting the word out. For instance, LinkedIn is a B2B social media channel that allows you to connect with other business professionals. The more connections you have on the platform, the better chance you’ll have of connecting with others. On the other hand, you also have social platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, which allow you to create a business page and share important information. It’s always important to only create a social media page on platforms that your target audience is most active on. For example, if your audience is more active on Instagram, but not Facebook, it’s best you avoid using the platform altogether.
- Online communities/forums: Alternative methods you can use for growing your network is to form an online community or joining a forum. Forming an online community and joining a forum means you are finding and engaging with people who share the same interests and goals as you.
Networking isn’t just about attending an event or passing out business cards, but looking for numerous ways on how you can connect with like minded people and solve a problem for them with your services.
Focus on long-term clients
You have several options when you begin searching for new clients, but over time, it might become tiring. Focusing on long-term clients is a much better option and allows you to benefit more in the long-run.
Looking for new clients continuously because you lost older ones might be problematic since you’ll need to invest more time in sending out emails and pitching your services. On the other hand, long-term clients are great for building a sustainable business. You aren’t wasting any time on trying to secure a new project, but are focusing more on delivering high-quality services to your current clients.
Statistics show that selling to an existing customer has a higher probability of being sold by 60-70% compared to a new prospect that is only around 5-20%.
Always remember that 80% of profits are made from only 20% of your existing customers.
Set the right prices
You need to price correctly if you’re thinking of attracting new clients and ensuring your work is rightly compensated. Prices are usually set based on your skill level, experience, market rates and the amount of value you’re providing to your clients.
There are different types of price models for freelancers. Here are the two most important ones:
- Project-based pricing: This includes setting a fixed price for the entire project, regardless of how complex it is.
- Retainer pricing: Usually involves a negotiable price with clients where you’ll stick to this price over time and provide ongoing support for consumers.
- Hourly rates: Many freelancers will usually charge an hourly rate. This is an ideal pricing method for long-term projects and for offering flexible prices.
If you’re stuck on which rates you should offer in your freelancing business, you can take the following approaches to determine them:
- Research market rates: Research more about your niche’s average rates and location for correctly positioning yourself.
- Assess your experience level: Pay close attention to your experience level, value and level of skills.
- Evaluate project requirements: Check up on project deadlines and the complexity of the task. This will better help you set the right price.
- Analyse competitors: Avoid undervaluing your work, but check up on your competitors. Unless your quality is much higher than theirs, don’t over price your services too much.
After you set your price rates, communicate your services to your customers and show them your results and even experience level. Don’t forget to always include some level of flexibility in your rates, especially for your long-term clients.
Focus on which skills you will sell
Each freelancer has their own skills, so it’s important when you have a team to know which services you’ll be offering. For example, a copywriter will offer services such as writing blogs, creating engaging copy on landing pages, writing your social media copy and more.
In this case, when you are presenting your copywriting services, you’ll need to mention what you’ll do for clients. This accounts for all your skills that your freelance business will offer.
If you want to offer high-quality skills, always make sure to be an expert at your skill and even hire a team of experts. You have lots of competition online, so it’s important to deliver high-quality services.
Ask for good reviews and referrals
Reviews and referrals are always a good way to improve brand awareness. You may ask why? 49% of customers will trust positive reviews, meaning that when they see a good review about your services, they’ll much more likely consider it compared to if they saw none or a bad one.
If you want referrals, you’ll need to provide excellent work for your clients. No client will give you a thumbs up if you aren’t giving it your best. Providing excellent work not only makes it easier to identify your satisfied clients, it makes it easier for them to refer your business to others.
You can showcase these referrals on your social media channels. They’re a great way to showcase your work quality and let’s not forget that 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals.
Be patient and focus on long-term results
Your freelancing business isn’t going to grow overnight. Therefore, it’s important to focus on the long-term results and contribute as much as you can. Clients who are happy with your services will spread the word and not only will this be good for you, it’ll bring more clients.
However, don’t forget about registering yourself as a freelancer if you haven’t done so. Check local regulations and fulfill all requirements needed. Continue to build your network through social media and even establish an online community if you think it’s fit for you.