Advanced freelancers are different to your typical freelancer in a few important ways. They are reliable when they take work on. They’re consistent in their approach. They do their particular service or craft as a full-time job and enjoy it. And they’re aspiring to create a reputation or brand to help grow their business in the future. But if you were to sum it up in one sentence; they reduce the risk for their customers.
That’s not to say that someone freelancing part-time, or moonlighting is any worse at their job. But there are legitimate concerns with hiring people that aren’t in it for the long-haul. As an advanced freelancer, you owe it to yourself to make sure it’s clear you’re not like the rest. And you will win more work if this is clear to your customers.
Why is it important?
A potential customer wants to complete their project without any drama, such as you disappearing halfway through, or not being able to do what you claim. They have an expectation of the outcome and try to find the most likely person to get them there. Your primary job is to minimise all the things that they think could go wrong. And there are signals you can give out that help do that.
Here are few different ways I used to differentiate myself as an advanced freelancer:
- Register a company and use an accountant & lawyer
- Use a custom domain name for your website and email
- State your bookable hours, and your available hours
- Write in-depth case studies around the project goals and include references/testimonials.
- Write and talk about your values and strengths
- Be clear about what you won’t or can’t do
- Set expectations early about how the work will be carried out
If you think some of these are obvious, then you’re likely to be an advanced freelancer, or on your way there. But it’s surprising how many freelancers don’t do these things.
Be aware that these things do not ensure you’ll be successful, if by successful you mean more work, with less effort. Successful freelancers use this as a foundation to win more work.
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