There are a number of common mistakes freelancers and service providers make when they are trying to attract high-quality clients. Avoiding these mistakes can mean the difference between struggling or running your business smoothly, with a steady stream of clients willing to pay you what you are worth.
A lot of vendors worry about price, and are willing to sell their services for less than their competition. The trouble is that you can get locked into the cheaper price, and find it difficult to raise it in the future. In addition, the lower price might attract only bargain-basement clients, rather than quality ones you could have a long-term relationship with. Top business people might actually dismiss you for being too cheap.
Then there is a question of value. Value and price are not the same. Your value will be in how good you are with your work, how reliable you are, and how well you are able to stick to your deadlines. Your value is also determined by your experience. If you are a real pro at WordPress, for example, then you are more valuable than a person charging the same amount who isn't, because you are bringing your knowledge and experience to every project.
Not Being Clear about What You Offer
Make a list of everything that you are good at that you could offer to your clients. Then narrow it down to things that you enjoy and can do quickly. Next, decide how closely related they are to each other. Can you offer a number of services that cover many of the basics that busy business owners would find it useful to hand over to others? They might include customer service, email marketing, uploading content to a blog, and so on.
For example, if you are able to do email marketing and you also have a health background, this might be worth mentioning in some cases, but not in others. A person interested in finance, for example, might not think you were the right person for them.
Not Choosing a Niche
Service providers who choose a particular niche to work in often find that it is easier to get work, because they start to build up a reputation as an expert in that niche. The top three niches are health, finance and self-help.
Not Having a Well-Constructed Portfolio
Your portfolio should give examples of each of the services you wish to offer, if at all possible. Give items a title, link to them, and if there are many samples, group them according to the category of services being offered.
Giving Away Too Much for Free to Make the Sale
It is great to want to prove that you are a talented worker who can deliver the goods, but time is money, and so is the work you do. A lot of new service providers give away far too much in terms of free information and their time. Free samples are not really needed - you have your portfolio to show what you can do.
You should also avoid long consultation calls. In an effort to be helpful and prove you are the right person for the job, you would probably give away far more information than you should. Then they really have no reason to hire you, because you have already told them what to do.
Not Marketing Yourself Enough
Once you are a service provider, you need to tell the world you are available for work. This is not a time to be shy.
Not Marketing Yourself in the Right Places
Determine where your high-end prospective customers are likely to spend most of their time. Then come up with marketing material that speaks to their needs, offering real solutions at an affordable price.
Not Asking Happy Customers for Referrals
Word-of-mouth marketing is key to a successful business. Happy customers spreading the word about how reliable and professional you are can make all the difference between a full calendar of regular assignments, and you having to chase all over trying to get gigs.