Time to sell your services
When you’re a freelancer, getting clients is much different than finding an employer. When job-searching, it’s important to show your potential boss what you can do, which software programs you’re familiar with, and your ability to learn.
Clients, on the other hand, don’t care about the background noise. They just want you to solve their problem. It doesn’t matter to a client which software you use to create beautiful photos or documents. When developing your online presence, as a freelancer, you have to create your portfolio from the client’s perspective.
Your site has to reflect what you do
Reaching your potential customer sounds easy, but it’s a daunting task. A lot of freelancers just want paying clients. Being a good entrepreneur means that you have to dig deeper and know how you can benefit your client. Here are two suggestions to help you hone your message:
Define your client
Make up names and identities for five different clients you could help. Then, interpret their story as to why they need you. Ask yourself some questions about who you can help. You can still be open to other possibilities, but when you’re starting out, find your niche.
If you’re a wedding photographer, which brides want your services? What makes you unique in your community? You meet Abigail, a 30-year old bride who’s getting married for the first time. She’s an environmentalist who loves her dog. Why does Abigail sign a contract with you instead of your competitor? Then there’s Barb, a 65-year old woman getting married for the second time to her high school sweetheart. Barb wants family photos at the wedding and headshots taken in a studio. How do you help her and meet her expectations as a bride?
When creating your portfolio, share more than your work samples. Did Abigail need you take pictures in special locations or use eco-friendly photography methods? Share how you solved your client’s problems. Create blog posts that explain how you successively achieved the perfect photograph for Abigail. Ask her for a reference that you can post on your portfolio.
Develop a case study to show the challenges of trying to make a dog stand still at the right moment for the photo. Branding yourself and your services will help you find clients.
It’s not easy to market yourself. As a freelancer, if you don’t shout out what you can do, who will? Your inbox is going to be empty. It’s even harder when you’re first starting out, because you may not have clients. You may need to get creative to find your first few customers and get started, but the field is open for freelancers!