If you're reading this article, it's likely that you've already got a freelance business going. And if that's the case, congratulations! But like most entrepreneurs, no matter how successful your company gets, there will always be new challenges to face and obstacles to overcome. What that means for you is that as long as you're running a business (and not just working for someone else), there will never be a time when it can't benefit from your attention and creativity.
As a freelancer, growing your business and finding ideal clients is one of the most challenging parts. But, it’s not as hard as people make it seem. We just need to keep some key aspects in mind and we will be able to slowly grow our business without losing our minds.
We want you to grow your freelance business with some actionable strategies, which will lead you to get more money and passionate projects. Keep reading below to learn how successful freelancers have established sustainable businesses and how you can implement these actions yourself.
1. Invest in skill development
Freelancers are often hired for their skills and knowledge. You can easily create more job opportunities by improving your hard and soft skills. Here are some ways you can improve, depending on your resources:
- Read about your industry (newsletters, articles, influencers, latest strategies)
- Attend conferences
- Take an online course
- Join groups of people who share their experiences
- Take time to practice your weaknesses
- Find a mentor
2. Choose a niche
Focusing yourself on a specific niche allows you to specialize your service. You will realize you are spending less time on those projects (because you are specialized and you know how to do it faster). Catering to a smaller niche creates a specific value proposition for your business and increases credibility with your potential clients.
3. Set aside time to plan
We’ve all heard the phrase, “time is money,” but it's especially true for freelancers. You have to set aside time to plan your work and build an effective schedule in order to achieve your goals and grow your business. If you don't plan ahead, then you will likely be less productive, get more done in less time and avoid mistakes as well.
4. Ask for help
This is one of the most important things you can do in your business, and it's something that many freelancers struggle with. We all want to believe that we have everything under control, but this simply isn't true - no one can do everything on their own.
The truth is, there are some things you just don't have time for or aren’t good at doing, so why not hire someone who can help out? You don't need to be afraid of hiring people; as long as they're qualified and experienced enough (and of course charge a fair price), they should be able to do the job just fine! In fact, finding great people who are better than yourself at certain tasks will allow your business to grow even faster because it frees up more time for other tasks that only YOU can handle effectively.
Another way of asking for help is using helpful tools and services that can help you with many tasks. You may want to keep working on new 3D projects but your computer is blocked for hours because you have to render your current project. So you can use a render farm to outsource the rendering to their servers and to keep working on other things in the meantime.
5. Stay organized and on schedule
If you're a freelancer, multiple projects are probably going on at any given time. It's important to stay organized and on schedule with these different projects. If your freelancing business is just starting out, it can be hard to stay on top of everything that needs to get done. However, suppose you're more experienced in running your own freelance business and have been doing so for some time now. In that case, chances are that keeping track of all the different things going on at any given time isn't an issue anymore.
In either case though, staying organized and being able to stay on schedule with all of your work will help keep things running smoothly without too many hiccups along the way - and if there are any hiccups (and there probably will be), then having an organized system in place makes it easier for them not only resolve themselves quickly but also prevents them from happening again later down the road as well. Some useful tools you can check for these purposes are Asana, Trello, Clicku, or, Monday.
6. Get the word out about your services
Now that you have a solid business plan and a great product, the next step is to get the word out about your services. You can do this in several ways:
- Use social media to market yourself. Social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn and Facebook are excellent tools for outreach because they're free and easy to use. Make sure that your posts have a good quality and are interesting, so that other users will interact with them and you reach more people.
- Create a website that's easy to navigate and clearly showcases what you have to offer clients. A well-designed website will help potential clients learn more about what it is you do, which can lead directly into sales opportunities later on down the line. If you think a website is too much for the start, check ArtStation, CGSociety or Behance, which are platforms with free plans to create a portfolio of your recent projects. With ArtStation for example, you are also able to get a paid plan which allows you to advertise your 3D work.
If you're just starting out, consider partnering with other businesses. This can be as simple as offering your services to a company that's already established in the area and looking for ways to expand its offerings. Or if you’re a 3D artist, consider creating projects that show off your skills and show those projects as a portfolio in your social media.
Now that you’re set up to speed on building your freelancer business, it’s time to get started! Remember, there is no “right way” or “wrong way” to do things. The most important thing is that you have fun and enjoy what you do.
On the other hand, if you find yourself struggling with any of these strategies (or others we haven't covered here), please reach out for some advice. We want everyone who reads our blog posts to succeed in their freelance businesses — so let's work together toward making this happen!