Are You Ready For Some Freelance Competition?

boxingLayoffs are an unfortunate consequence of an economic recession. While as an established freelancer or entrepreneur you can survive the economic downturn by expanding your client base and introducing new services, professionals who previously worked happily as employees without much thought to being on their own are now entering the world of freelancing to make a living, even if only temporary.

This situation is probably going to stick around for a while, as discussed in “Laid off workers turn to freelance Web sites” by Lori Matsukawa of KINGS 5 news in Seattle, and “Freelancing: A real option” by Cindy Krischer Goodman of The Miami Herald.

What does this mean for you? It means increased competition, and you need to be ready.

Even if you’ve been freelancing for a while, it may be time to take a look at what you have working for you and get ready to do more. Here are some things you can do now to maintain your favorable position in the freelance market:

Get Aggressive

In the marketing sense, that is. Do you have years of freelance experience under your belt? Toot your own horn to make potential clients feel secure about hiring you. Specifically lay out the benefits of working with you that are unique to you. Be confident and let your experience show.

Focus on Customer Service

The best customers are repeat customers, and the best way to create repeat customers is by doing an outstanding job and providing unbeatable customer service. Some easy ways to do this include being responsive during and after the project, ask what they liked and didn’t like about working with you, talk to them about other projects they have in the queue, and start to build ongoing relationships.

Schmooze

Don’t forget the importance of networking. Referrals are second-best to repeat customers, and the best way to get referrals is by meeting people, getting to know them and then asking them for referrals. Have you created your elevator pitch yet?

Sharpen Your Skills

One of the best and most cost effective ways to find new business is by having new services to offer. There are thousands of great online tutorial sites and how-to articles to help you improve the skills you already have and learn some new ones. Here are some really great resources to check out:

Stand Out

When a client has many high-quality service providers to choose from, they tend to zero in on the one or two that stand out in their minds. Move yourself to the top of the list by being memorable. Get to know the company before a personal contact, follow up, and make your presentation and/or proposal impeccable.

You’re an established freelancer with a lot to offer potential clients. Keeping these fundamentals in mind will help you stay at the top of your game and allow you to capitalize on your freelancing experience.

Have you seen an increase in competition lately? What have you done to secure your position?

Image credit: Andy Steel

Free book: Jump Start HTML5 Basics

Grab a free copy of one our latest ebooks! Packed with hints and tips on HTML5's most powerful new features.

  • http://www.mean-machine.co.uk dmj1973

    I find that it pays to be humble when tooting your own horn, don’t brag. Let your work speak for itself. Make sure your showcase your work and if you can ask previous clients to write a testimonial for inclusion in your portfolio and on your website. In addition ask the client if they would be willing to have thier email address at the bottom of the testimonial so that potential new clients can validate it.

    I would expect that most new clients would not use this, but just having the ability to confirm the testomonial adds weight to it (and your) credibility.

  • israelisassi

    How many of them will really want to run their own business? “Outsource” to them and focus your efforts on building your business…

  • Anonymous

    That’s been my perception that a number of people who have been laid off jobs will pick up a free open source program like WordPress, bust out a couple of websites in six months, and then label themselves as “the leading web designer for your business needs”.

    Web design is not just about creating web pages, it’s about taking the theory and objectives in visual communication and fusing them into the website you make for your client — something that takes not only creativity, but takes time to contemplate and put to screen.

    I basically do everything above and I find that repeat business and referrals definitely are the bread and butter of my clientele. At the same time, I also try to stand out on customer service because many of my clients have had bad experiences with previous designers who never return their calls or emails.

    You have to assume that there are several web developers in your sphere who do exactly what you do, and the question to answer to clients is why they should choose you as the one to go to.

    Cheers!

  • designforsite

    That’s been my perception that a number of people who have been laid off jobs will pick up a free open source program like WordPress, bust out a couple of websites in six months, and then label themselves as “the leading web designer for your business needs”.

    Web design is not just about creating web pages, it’s about taking the theory and objectives in visual communication and fusing them into the website you make for your client – something that takes not only creativity, but takes time to contemplate and put to screen.

    I basically do everything above and I find that repeat business and referrals definitely are the bread and butter of my clientele. At the same time, I also try to stand out on customer service because many of my clients have had bad experiences with previous designers who never return their calls or emails.

    You have to assume that there are several web developers in your sphere who do exactly what you do, and the question to answer to clients is why they should choose you as the one to go to.

    Cheers!

  • brake

    Buying a Automated trading system has always been something I was interested in because I dont have time to trade myself. I have looked at many and finally went with IGR investment Global Resources “Stratigic analytics” and all has worked great. I dont necessarily like to be pushed into buying anything so I backed off for a while but realized by doing so I lost about $6000. Overall the system is good and they walked me through everything. STill a little pushy but glad I did it.
    Robert A Mulhearn

  • brake

    I’ve been trading a looong time myself and had much experience and success but these turbulent markets have been killing me.
    I dont do this often but I have been doing very well with IGRCS.COM Stratigic Analytics trading systems. If you are ? looking for something real that works please look at there trading system. I have won and lost with them but have been doing really well in these turbulent markets. I am not telling anyone to do this but, encorage you to just look. They are real!
    Donna Thompson

  • Valyssa

    Very timely article. The links in the Sharpen Your Skills section are incredibly useful and lead to a lot of other great resources. Thank you.