With approximately ¾ of the Canadian population employed in the services industry, this reflects a large number of freelancers looking for remote work positions. Statistics suggest that there are approximately 2.7 million self-employed workers across Canada. So how do you compete?
Firstly, there are multiple websites offering freelance services and you can subscribe or build a profile offering your services. Some are more ‘freelancer’ friendly than others, meaning some only pay the bare minimum. This can dishearten many skilled freelancers from using them. However, if you are starting out they are a good ‘training’ and ‘knowledge building’ exercise.
I was lucky to find one such contact when I was starting up and submitted multiple projects on a wide range of topics. It was a great learning experience.
Honing your freelance business gives you an edge and allows you better focus on your skill set. Here are some tips for defining your services and finding niche clients:
1. Determine which industries, services, or topics you are best skilled to offer rather than be a ‘jack of all trades’. This will give you a stronger, more impressive presence and reputation.
2. Research local (and national) trade or industry publications for your niche. Connect with them through social media and develop a relationship showing an interest and engagement. When an opportunity arises for a project, you are a known entity and can pitch using that connection rather than pitch cold.
3. Make potential clients aware of your value, expertise and knowledge. Show them why they should work with you rather than another freelancer with your unique skill and proven results. A link to your testimonials gives them solid information on your work.
4. Finding clients takes legwork and consistency. No connection is a waste of time even though it might take months for a project offer to be realized. Stay positive and utilize any and all opportunities. Your name will become recognized and this enables those connections to find you.