There’ll come a point in a freelancer’s career when there’ll be numerous and multiple opportunities that could significantly increase revenues. But, a freelancer only has limited personal energy and working hours to be able to accept all the orders or offers that come their way. This is when a freelancer encounters a crossroads in which they have to decide whether to scale up or stay where they are.
It’s not that easy to scale up a freelance business. Doing things alone is one of the hallmarks of a freelance business. This means that you only have your own time and resources to use for whatever service you offer to your clients.
Here are some suggestions on how you can scale up your freelance business.
Scale Up Your Marketing Efforts
There are many ways to intensify your marketing efforts, but you should seriously consider putting up your own website. In this era of digital transformation, it’s become an essential requisite of doing freelance business.
Having your own website will help establish your credibility as a freelance business. It also provides you with a place where you can freely post your portfolio of past projects or body of work. Even if you’re planning to launch digital media or social media marketing campaign, you should still consider putting up your own website. All the marketing efforts and online pages should be backlinked to your own website, where you can do the hard selling efforts.
If you’re not yet very familiar with freelance marketing campaigns, you can always ask for freelance marketing help from experts to ensure high success rates.
Raise Your Rates
Another thing you can do to scale your freelance business is to raise your rates or fees. You shouldn’t hesitate to raise your fees, especially if you’ve already acquired commensurate experience and training. To scale up your freelance business means to increase the level of your operations. This can be measured in terms of the amount of money that you earn from your freelance business. But, it’s not that easy to do so because of its inherent limitations.
One of the things that stands in the way of scaling your business as a freelancer is that you’re not able to generate enough revenues. Your revenues as a freelancer are directly determined by the rates of fees that you receive for your services. For some independent contractors, these rates are fixed by their clients. Some are part of a talent pool who get work through pre-approved access to a common task ordering and processing platform.
There are some freelancers, however, who can freely negotiate the rates and fees for their services. They often operate alone and aren’t part of a talent pool. But, the catch is that they have to bid for freelance projects through job procurement sites or through their own personal network of contacts.
Narrow Down Your Niche
You can also scale up your freelance business by narrowing down the focus of your niche. Some freelance workers prefer to stick to jobs or projects that are part of their core competence or established expertise. Sometimes, however, they find themselves forced to take on other projects that don’t accurately align with their skills, especially when there aren’t plenty of projects falling under their niche.
Try to select those niches where you can expect clients would have the budget to pay for your professional services. For instance, if you’re a computer programmer, you can promote your freelance business as a specialist on web development, app development, or game development only rather than being a generalist developer. You can also ride the emerging trends and promote your freelance business as a specialist in robotic process automation (RPA) and digital transformation.
Team Up With Others And Outsource Work
The most challenging way of scaling a freelance business is to outsource work to other people or create your own freelance agency. You should only do this if you’re serious about scaling up your operations and production. You should have enough capital to pay the salaries of people you’re going to hire. Of course, you should also have enough money set aside just in case you don’t get clients in your first few weeks or months of scaling up.
The other challenging aspect of outsourcing is you’ll have to deal with other regulatory and compliance requirements when you decide to farm out work to other people. For one, you’ll have to decide on their employment status, whether they’re your employees or independent contractors. If they’re your employees, there’s a host of other requirements you have to comply with, such as labor laws, compensation, and mandatory benefits.
More importantly, however, one of the biggest challenges of outsourcing is you’ll need to come up with a way to make sure their outputs meet your clients’ quality requirements. If they don’t, you’ll be out of business in a couple of weeks.
Offer A Product Or Subscription Service
Another strategy that marketers suggest to scale up your freelance business is to consider offering a product to your clients or followers. The thing with a freelance business is that your revenues are limited by your volume of production. Your production is a direct function of the number of waking hours that you have and energy to do your freelance work. In other words, you can’t really scale up if all you’re going to do is work because you can only do so much in one day, in a week, and in a month.
The obstacle is that you don’t really have a product even if you think you have production. In content writing, for instance, you have a product, but it’s tailored specifically for the client who hired you to do that specific project. With copyright and plagiarism checks, you won’t be able to sell that exact same piece to other prospective clients. In other words, what you really provided was the service of writing the article, but you don’t own the article in the same way car manufacturers own and sell their cars.
Scaling up a freelance business is quite a challenge because an individual can only make use of personal time and energy to work on jobs and orders. But, there are creative ways to overcome these limitations. You can scale up your freelance business by increasing your marketing efforts and raising your rates and fees. Another way is to narrow down your niche and work only on those jobs that are within your core expertise. You can also scale by outsourcing to other freelance workers. You can also consider creating and offering a product to sell to your clients.