A Complete Guide to Freelancing in the UK: How to Acquire High-Paying Clients
Welcome to a freelancer’s life- it's flexible, it’s financially favourable and (not to miss) fun! But only hard work and a structural management system help you get there.
While you have already done the challenging part of choosing to pursue a full-time freelance career, it is only the technical stuff that remains.
Now that you have made the decision allow us to provide practical solutions to all your burning questions. This complete guide demonstrates how to onboard high paying clients increase your overall clientele and make it big in the freelancing world.
How to get clients as a freelancer?
The freelance work-life has chosen you, and it's time to build your empire from the ground up. With added freedom comes extra responsibility, so it all depends on the priorities you set for your business. While there are many quintessential decisions to make before finding clients, it remains the most vexing element. But if done right, it can give you an edge.
“As a freelancer, your biggest advantage is that you only need a handful of clients to succeed. Most companies need to find thousands of customers. You only need to find one at a time.”
Before we get into the details of client acquisition, few quintessential prerequisites help in establishing you as a responsible and thriving sole freelancing business entity in the market. Even if you are a wallflower, this step is obligatory to make yourself seem like the highest yielding fish in an ocean. It is this unique identity that adds value and grows prominence of your online/offline market presence. This is how you get started as a freelancer.
Build yourself as a brand
As a fresher stepping into a vast market, you will attract what you flaunt. If you portray your expertise or project yourself as an authority figure in the respective domain, it is going to influence your image positively. This initial step zooms in on the impact of appropriate branding - it creates noise. Moreover, you need this noise at this phase of your freelance journey. A few practical measures help to achieve this:
1. Go with a catchy brand name
Your brand name is that dazzling gift wrap paper that stirs emotions, happiness and want. Therefore, as a freelancer, go with a brand name that conveys emotional appeal and has a non-verbal association. Understand the psychology behind creating the right brand/business name and go with something that readily communicates your values, and professional undertaking to evoke a cognitive/emotional response.
2. Adopt or create an appealing logo
Your brand name must wholly convey what you, as a freelancer, present. But if you opt for a peculiar name, your logo will help accomplish this for you. If you are a freelance graphic designer or someone from a designing domain, it would be worthwhile to come up with a creative, customised logo. But others can rely on the service of Wix and Logo Maker for a free yet professional logo.
Both these are the stepping stones to establish yourself as a brand online.
Erect an online identity
The easiest way to approach hundreds in a split second is through your online identity. This online identity in the form of social media handles, website, portfolios, and profiles is influential in creating a unique space for you in the freelancing community globally. The importance of a portfolio cannot be stressed enough, especially if you are a freelance writer, graphic/website designer. This, an amalgamation of your best work serves as a testimonial to your prowess, skill, and mastery level.
An excellent approach to maintain harmony in various social handles and online platforms through congruence of brand/profile name, and logo. Another tip is to lead potential customers through breadcrumbs. It is doable by interlinking and leading someone from one station to the other.
Understand and know where to leverage your USP
In a content-hungry world, your freelance work is your USP. The unique value that comes through your expertise becomes your unique selling point. Thankfully, different social media platforms, with their niche-specific audience, tells you how to market your services/products.
These four steps are the cornerstone of a successful freelance business in today’s time and age. After setting up an online identity, your freelance business may demand an offline structure or a formal registration. While most freelancers choose to work without filling in registration, you have the flexibility to have yourself registered as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). it can be a suitable means to portray yourself as professionals and protect assets.
After an official setup, you might think it will rain clients. Hold on to your horses (and your breath) as these freelancing statistics of the UK will blow your mind.
Best Ways to Find Clients for Freelance Work
Well, that was an aerial view of the competition that is out there in the freelancing world. To compete with it and be able to outperform, it all boils down to the clients you onboard.
To kick start the process, begin by establishing yourself as a trusted brand entity and continue with this breakdown on how you land up with regular freelance work from the best clients.
Freelance boards and communities
Imagine sitting alone, away from the humdrum of a regular office; it is bound to get lonely. But wait up! Don't make the mistake of staying isolated during freelancing. There are tons of online communities, job boards and websites to find clients and develop your freelance network.
As a freelancer, you must spend time on portals like Upwork, Flexjobs, Fiverr, and People Per Hour to find, pursue, network, demonstrate and onboard well-paying clients and new freelance projects.
While some freelancers find it difficult to surpass others, making a six-digit income through freelance gigs is like shelling peanuts for those who know what to do. Here, your freelance profile will function as the biggest weapon. Optimise it to encompass your best work, skills, abilities, and testimonials.
Network, connect and grow with social media
Social media platforms have a much diverse audience as compared to freelance communities and job portals. Although this wide range of audience can make you feel invisible, it is never a bad idea to have an online reputation or a social presence. You may not want to miss out on a freelance client just because of an unimpressive social media handle. Moreover, as a freelancer, your social media presence is proof enough of brand management strategy and utility.
But before you randomly start creating your social freelance work profile, know precisely how each platform works and what is the best asset it markets.
For example, you can use Facebook as a hub to join small/large industry-specific groups and communities. Moreover, if you have the budget for it, run ads to target and reach potential clients directly. Similarly, Instagram has a market for visual content. While it is incredible for a freelance designer or a photographer, as a writer, you can extract a snippet from a well-written piece and outline it to one’s liking by making it captivating. Moreover, use hashtags to increase your visibility and speed up the client-acquisition process. In a parallel fashion, use Linkedin to widen your circle by connecting with professionals.
But the most crucial part is to make yourself searchable.
Make some noise
This part is all about leveraging different platforms to make a pitch or build some awareness.
Your freelance pitch (be it in-person or on social media) is your message to all your clients. You can put across your freelance pitch to established organisations and influential individuals through social media platforms or cold emails. All you have to do is get personal, showcase your best work, and leave them with something to think about.
While there are different modes to do this, make sure that common grounds for all remain the same- introduce yourself and make a compelling case to get hired for the gig.
Just like an online pitch, you also need to inform family, friends and others in your network about your freelance business. This is a more personal way to pitch your services. Only when people know your endeavour, will they be able to build awareness through word of mouth or serve as a referral source. The sole purpose here is to attract attention to your freelance work and irresistibly sell your services.
Use networking opportunities to the fullest
It is crystal clear that freelancing is not a matter of remote working by being cut-off from civilisation altogether. Yes, it does keep you away from workplace claptrap, but don’t deprive your freelance career off the fabulous networking opportunities that come with peer association. With technology, there are multitudinous ways to approach freelance clients online. While there are only so many formal ways to network, use every little window you get to advertise your freelancing services off the digital web.
For example, strike up a conversation with a cabbie and put across how you can give value as a freelancer. Nonetheless, this can help you rehearse for your approaching speech at a networking event.
That was a roundup of everything you need to know about finding clients in the United Kingdom. While this career choice is nothing less than being a sole entrepreneur, specific tactics make for a smooth sale. To help you along the journey, adopt these practical methods to acquire high-paying freelance projects.