It’s been a tough time for freelancers since coronavirus more-or-less put a halt to work earlier this year. While some have been able to continue working normally, others have seen clients drop away, leaving them reliant on government support if they were eligible for it.
However, we’re now seeing lockdown ease and a ‘new normal’ come into play, meaning opportunities for freelancers are on the rise, especially as businesses realise the benefits of a flexible workforce. This means now is the perfect time for freelancers like yourself to start positioning yourself to win clients in what is sure to be a competitive market.
Reach out to existing clients
Before you start pitching yourself to new clients, it’s always worth putting yourself back on the radar of existing ones. Start with the pre-lockdown clients you were directly working with. Drop them a line to see how they’re doing, if they’re back up and running, and if they’d like you to pick up where you left off in the near future. Next, target clients you’ve perhaps not worked with for a little while. Again, drop them an email to see how they are now lockdown is easing, and let them know you’re available if your skills could be of use getting them back up and running again.
Some may not have any work for you right now, but even if this exercise doesn’t immediately secure you work, it’s getting yourself noticed.
Update your branding
Now is the ideal time to make a fresh start and update your branding. What do you call yourself? What is your logo like? Do all your business documents (contracts, invoices, proposals) feature it and do they use your brand colours? If not, get these things sorted and make sure you have a cohesive brand that’s easily identifiable as you.
And don’t worry if you’re not a designer, you can always hire someone to give your logo a revamp or do it yourself using an easy-to-use service such as Canva.
Invest in your marketing
Freelancers don’t often invest in marketing but the post-lockdown freelancer market is going to be competitive, so you want to make sure you get noticed. Take that snazzy new branding and take the opportunity to update your website and social media profiles. If you’re on any freelancer platforms, get those updated too. Are there any professional memberships you can look at to boost your profile? If so, this could be a worthwhile investment.
Of course, invest some money in physical marketing materials as well. Business cards are always useful (and don’t have to be expensive) and they’re great for networking. You can even give some out to friends and family to pass on if they see the chance to recommend you. And that segues nicely into…
Don’t underestimate networking
In a competitive market, who you know can be very important. You want to get yourself in front of not only potential clients but recruiters as well, since they’ll have the power to recommend you. Look out for local networking events that will help you meet the right people. There are membership options such as the BNI, but most towns and cities have local business events that you can attend for free or for a small fee.
This is your chance to tell potential clients about what you do, your past successes and, crucially, how you could help them. Just remember to take your lovely new business cards with you.
Have your insurances ready to go
As a freelancer, it’s vital you give yourself financial protection by having insurance and, to be honest, most clients won’t hire you unless you have at least professional indemnity and public liability cover. To give yourself the edge over the competition, it’s a good time to take a look at your insurance cover and make sure it’s all ready to go.
If you currently have no freelancer insurance, or it’s coming up for renewal, the team at Dinghy can help you out with professional indemnity, public liability, business equipment cover, and cyber liability. As with all Dinghy products, they’re completely flexible so you can turn them down or off when you’re not working, and on and up when you are. They’re charged by the second, so you only pay for what you use, and there’s no contract to get yourself tied into. In other words, they’re perfectly suited to the working life of a freelancer.
Once you’re set up, you can happily tell potential clients that you’re fully insured and ready to go.
As you can probably see, communication is key to winning new clients post-lockdown. Now, we can’t help you with your business cards or your client emails, but we can get you set up with the right insurance.