For many of us, there's nothing we want more than to be our own boss. Whether you are a photographer, animator, or designer, or you run a one-person culinary or retail store, growing your freelance business is the key to successfully working for yourself and earning a living doing what you love.
You may be talented in your craft and passionate about what you do, but it takes more than that to establish and grow your freelance business. Here are some tips to help you improve your freelance business:
Develop Your Natural Talent
Creative skills are like a plant. Unless properly cared for and provided with nourishment, both will begin to wilt. By continuing to improve your skills and develop your career, you will strengthen your work, build credibility, and improve your self esteem. You could:
• Find an art school where you can take classes online or at a local campus
• Attend seminars, conferences, or events in your field
• Submit your work to peer-reviewed shows or publications
Increase Your Rates
It sounds silly, but increasing your freelance rates will show potential clients that your work is high-quality and you deserve to be compensated accordingly. Many freelancers assume that they have to settle for low payments because of the vast number of freelancers available to interested parties. But just because there is someone out there who will paint a portrait for five dollars, doesn't mean all consumers want a portrait worth five dollars. Setting high, yet reasonable, prices for your work will attract customers looking for high-quality work from a trusted freelancer.
Promote Your Brand
Many people turn to online resources before making a purchase of goods or services. When they come looking, will your business be there? Make sure your business has a modern, fast and easy-to-navigate website that is in tune with your brand's visual and written messages. Be sure to include the following on your website:
• Samples of your work
• Contact information (phone, email, social media)
• Testimonials from happy clients
• List of services offered
• Any art school you've attended or any relevant degrees
You can also promote your brand and build positive relationships with your customers via social media. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram provide a personal connection with potential clients and can help them view you as a familiar, trusted business.
Network with Fellow Artists
Just because you are working for yourself doesn't mean you have to figure everything out by yourself. Join a group of freelancers online or in your area for support, ideas, and possible collaborations. Attend events at local art galleries or art schools. If you're an art school graduate, get in touch with other alumni. By networking with others in your field, you could even learn valuable information that could help your freelance business grow!