For many of us, the idea of being tied to a particular company or employer is unappealing. We can't abide the 9 to 5 grind and relish the freedom afforded by the freelance lifestyle. The very word, 'freelancer', is liberating. But it's a tough nut to crack. Here are some top tips for succeeding as a freelancer.

1. Pick your platform

Everyone has their own skill sets. If you're looking to set up as a freelancer, it's imperative that you focus on your specific skills and the platform that can best help you to capitalize on those talents. There are many platforms for you to choose from online, but none of them compare to building your own bespoke platform: a website of your design, completely under your control, that you can mold and grow according to your particular zone of genius and the needs of your ideal clients.

2. Research, research, research

In order to succeed, you need to know what will work best for your chosen niche. Your industry will have different needs and quirks to others and it's important to fully research the methods and practices that are best suited to your area and most likely to achieve success. One great way to do this is to look to successful freelancers already established in your field. Study them, their methods, their business, and how they market themselves. You shouldn't copy them, but you can draw massive amounts of inspiration from them and use their success stories and advice to formulate your own, bespoke strategy. The odds are they will have their own website and some form of portfolio. There are so many options available for this: have a good look at what works well for others, and decide which one will suit you, your skills, and your new business.

3. Know your audience

In the world of freelance, it's incredibly important to know your specific audience. With the exception of a profession that is inherently broad, such as a Handyman, where you are essentially a 'Jack of All Trades and Master of None', your business with have a specific audience. You need to know that audience very well. You are trying to sell your services to these people - you need to know how they tick, where they spend their time, what they like, what they dislike, the other things they're buying and what they value. If you're unsure who your audience is, you need to narrow this down and define it right off the bat - it's a priority.

4. Know your value and USP(s)

As a freelancer, you are going to be charging people for your time and expertise. You need to understand the value of that time and expertise and know what is unique about it. What is your unique selling point (USP)? What is better or original about you and the way you operate that you can leverage to convince potential clients to choose you over the competition? It's important to understand your value here because the easiest way to get business - at least initially - is to undercut the opposition by being cheaper. Cheaper might get you the gig, but it isn't always better, and it may not actually ensure you get the work. If this is the case, go back to your audience. What do they value? If it's cheapness over quality, keeping your costs down will work. If they value luxury and the feeling of having 'the best of the best', you're shooting yourself in the foot by presenting yourself as the cheap choice. If you're deciding to go freelance and need help with creating your website, contact us today to get started.