Its all very well working the hours you want while being able to fit your work round your children, but what happens when you want to take your career a little further, but stay freelance?
You might be the most reliable freelancer in the world, but some people think that putting their work in the hands of just one person is more of a risk than hiring a company. So how do you convince bigger companies to see you as a business rather than one person sitting behind a computer?
It’s important to think about the way you come across to the big wide world in order to nail some of those bigger pitches. So here are my top tips for appearing bigger than you really are!
Many freelancers work primarily under their own name, but it’s a good idea to think about using a company name. This is the cheapest way of looking bigger than you are.
Of course, this largely depends on your sector, so for example, “Teresa Smith, Freelance Journalist” is perfectly acceptable. However, “Teresa Smith Graphic Design Services” obviously gives the impression that it’s just one person behind the company, so negates the image straight away.
Uber Professional Website
A website is a must nowadays, and thankfully it’s easy to get up and running within minutes if you use one of the many free template builders online. Do make sure your website is of a professional standard. There’s no need to give too much personal information about yourself; just your products, services and plenty of customer testimonials. Many freelance workers don’t like blowing their own trumpet, but reputation is a great seller and will give your clients more confidence. Be sure to include landline telephone/fax number and a proper postal address as only including a mobile number is a dead giveaway.
If you would rather not include your personal address details on your website, you could invest in a virtual office address. This gives you the benefit of a registered office address, and landline contact numbers.
Additionally, you could invest in a virtual receptionist service. I’ve used alldayPA for almost a year now and I wouldn’t be without it. Callers are put through to a professionally-sounding receptionist, who will then text you a message so that you can return the call when you’re available.
Form an ‘Agency’
When it comes to landing those big projects however, it’s even more important to give the impression that you can definitely take the work on, so make sure you can handle large projects before you bid for them.
Build up a freelance network of people who can help you out. For example, collaborate with other freelancers who have a different skillset to you so that you can take on projects which are more complicated and require many different elements.
Once you’ve build a network of freelancers like yourself, you can all put in a little towards the advertising and create a marketing campaign that will be much more effective than just marketing your services alone – almost like a one-stop-shop. You’ll be much more likely to gain bigger projects, as clients would much rather deal with your ‘agency’ than have to shop around for different skilled professionals.
Natalie Rogers, a publishing consultant agrees.
Natalie Rogers Wills Yes, I agree! Joe Purches and I did just that and provided a bespoke design agency service to one of my clients. Between us we spent 10 days from concept stage going from an empty shell scheme at an exhibition to having completed marketing materials, business cards, new website, bespoke stand photography and panel art- work. Basically, a full bespoke exhibition and marketing service in a short time frame. We did it and did it well but I have asked the client if they’ll give us more time next time!
Have you tried any of these tips? What others would you add?