Impress your clients: Freelancing in the Marketing World
Regardless of your industry freelancing is tricky and unless you have charisma and confidence you’ll struggle to make big money. The Internet has made the whole freelancing world lazy. While it is possible to make a career freelancing online, it’s certainly not an ideal route to success. There’s only so much an email or instant message can express; therefore, if you can bag in-house meetings, your chances of acquiring business will increase tenfold. These tips will help you make the right impression.
Clean Up Your Office
It can be a challenging to come across as a professional when you hand over a business card containing your home address. If you plan on meeting clients or leads at your residence make sure it’s clean, tidy and looks the part. If possible, consider renting a serviced office instead. According to Skyline Offices the average price for a desk in London is between £200 and £600 (leaning towards the latter for central areas). While this may seem like a costly investment, the boost in your corporate image alone could really help you step things up a notch.
Work On Your Public Speaking
Public speaking is a trainable skill and very few are naturally gifted. Most freelancers prefer to operate behind a computer screen rather than attending networking and industry trade events; this is good news for you as it will set you apart from your competitors. If you aren’t comfortable meeting new people and pitching ideas in person, attend some public speaking classes. Having a tutor will do wonders for your confidence.
Stick to Your Price
When working through sites such as Odesk, Elance and People Per Hour, decent jobs are few and far between; and when they do crop up you’ll no doubt find yourself competing with freelancers that are charging way under standard rates for mediocre work. This isn’t real freelancing. A real freelancer knows his worth and will charge accordingly. If you have a price stick to it. Let your guard down for a second and that client will always expect to pay this “discounted” rate and word will spread. Having a higher price will show potential clients that your skills are above your competitors.
Lose the Business-like Image
Dressing up sharp, smoking fine Cubans and dining in fancy restaurants is no longer considered cool. In today’s business world a more casual approach is often preferred. Try to be a little more relaxed about your corporate image in order to connect with clients on a more “human” level. After all, people like doing business with people.
Have a Sense of Humour
This doesn’t mean you should prepare a few one-liners before attending a meeting. Simply put, just be yourself and act natural – as if you’re in the company of friends. The more comfortable you make your clients feel the more they’ll want to work with you, so don’t be afraid to tell a few jokes, or perhaps laugh at their bad ones!
Granted, putting all of these ideas into practice may seem strange, especially if it doesn’t come naturally to you; however, they could significantly increase your chance of success. Remember, these guidelines don’t just go for new clients, they’re for existing clients as well.