Top 5 Tips for Freelance Professionals

4 minute read

by Jon

February 7, 2017

As a freelancer, I’m not just behind a camera all day. I’m my own sales and marketing departments, too. Here’s my top five ways to make a personal brand stand out among a sea of contractors.

  1. Go wide and deep on the web. This means you need to have multiple sources of information about yourself. For me, that’s industry sites like IMDb and ProductionHub, active social media accounts, and my personal website. Being in a few different places helps more people find you. Having a website with lots of information helps someone get to know you before they make that first call or email. Give some thought to design and branding. I hired Kate Pociask to design my website and brand. Don’t just use a template. You’re unique, and your online presence should reflect that.
  2. Put effort into things your clients will hold in their hands. Do you hand your clients data on a drive? Don’t just use something plain! Data delivered on a professional-looking USB drive will leave a great impression with a client. If you send things through the mail, put some effort into the packaging. You may think that a plain white envelope does the job, but it’s your chance to leave a piece of your brand with your client when you’re not there. And of course, business cards are the classic leave-behind. Even if most of your clients are millennials, don’t skip the business cards. Eventually, you’ll find a way to go through them!

    Custom Logo USB Drive

    I hand my clients their files on a custom logo USB drive from USB Memory Direct.

  3.  Share some knowledge. You’re not just good, you’re a thought leader in your industry! Or, if you’re not, you should be. Start a blog, host a workshop, or lead a group of like-minded professionals. Being a resource for your competition may seem like a dangerous idea, but it will help your clients see that you’re at the top of your field. If your competition is following you, you must be pretty good, right?
  4. Master the follow-up. The list of people and companies you’ve worked with before is a list of where your biggest future sales will come from. Big companies use sales agents, analytics, and advanced software to keep track of their ongoing relationships. You can do it by hand without a lot of effort. Start by adding your contacts’ birthdays in your calendar. Invite your clients to a sporting event or something fun once a year. Find a way to connect to the positive parts of their lives, so they think of you positively. Because your clients meet new people every day, it’s your job to keep your personal brand at the front of their mind.
  5. Know (and recommend) your competition. Some day, you’ll get asked to work more than you’re ready to take on. I can only be on one set at a time, but I have a short list of people I respect in my field, and can always recommend one of them for a particular job. If you’re not able to help your client directly, a good recommendation is the next best thing. You don’t want to have to clean up the mistakes of the sloppy freelancer who did the work while you were gone. If you’re lucky, that freelancer might even recommend you for some work when their calendar is full.

That’s my top five ways to add a professional touch as a freelancer. How do you leave you best impression with clients? Let me know in the comments.