Millions of people are joining the gig economy, doing task-based work. While companies like Uber, Lyft and Shipt offer easy ways to make extra income, going it alone in skilled work is the most lucrative way to earn money from your side-hustle.
Whether you are a writer, graphic designer or bookkeeper, running a side gig on your own is a great way to pay down debt and build up your savings. But working for yourself, rather than with a company, presents unique challenges. You have to handle marketing, client outreach and accounting on your own. Below are tips on how to get clients, establish your presence and build your business.
Launch a Website
If you are doing freelance work, a professional-looking website is a must. It’s a location you can send potential clients to see samples of your work, share testimonials and post your resume.
But you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a site up and running. If you’re familiar with WordPress, you can purchase a custom domain and launch your site for just $18. They offer hundreds of free templates you can customize.
If you prefer to have a professional handle the setup for you, Wix and Vistaprint offer affordable options to build and host a site for you.
Your freelance website should include the following:
- Headshot: Since most freelancers only deal with their clients via email or over the phone, it’s important to have a headshot on your site. It helps clients see the person behind the work. Skip the selfies and post a photo of you dressed professionally.
- About section: Instead of posting a biography, your “About” section should be about what value you can bring to clients. For instance, if you are a writer who specializes in increasing conversion rates, that’s a major selling feature. Identify common issues your customers face and how your work can address them.
- Samples: If you work in a creative industry like writing or advertising, include samples of your past work. If possible, link directly to your work on external sites; it gives you more credibility if clients can see other companies have used you before. If your work doesn’t lend itself well to a portfolio, such as if you work as an accountant, link to past clients or write up case studies about how you helped manage problems and streamline processes.
- Testimonials: As you get more clients, ask them for a testimonial to include on your site. Having other companies vouch for the quality of your work will make you more appealing to potential customers.