THE BLOG

How to Grow Your Freelance Business

08/04/2014 13:14 BST | Updated 07/06/2014 10:59 BST

In today's world, being good at what you do is simply not enough to grow your freelance business. It's a great start and will form the foundation of your future work, but you will also need to have a firm commitment to develop and then execute your marketing and growth strategies as part of your daily activities.

Here we look at four proven strategies that you can adapt to help you grow a successful freelance business:

Get Referrals

Before pursuing new work you must first ensure that you're providing your current clients with a high standard of work and delivering the results that they require. After all, as they have had first hand experience of your services, these clients will be your first point of call. Word of mouth is still one of the strongest forms of advertising, so don't be afraid to ask them if there is anyone in their network that could benefit from your services. For example, you could request an email or LinkedIn introduction that you could then follow up on. These actions will help you to create and develop a referral programme that will benefit you greatly down the line.

Expand Your Services

Ask your clients if there is any additional support that you could provide them with. For example, if you design logos, why not ask them if you could extend this service so that it becomes part of your clients' wider branding campaign? If you build websites, would your clients benefit from aftercare, either through products like an ebook or month-to-month maintenance of their site? For anything that is out of your own skills remit you could consider creating strategic partnerships with another freelancer. That way, the two of you could bring work to each other, whilst focusing on your own area of expertise. If you haven't noticed any gaps yet, take some time out to really get to know your clients and their businesses, as it's the best way to brainstorm ideas.

Increase Your Network!

Businesses are built on a multitude of relationships, so networking is an essential part of your marketing strategy, as it's such a powerful way to increase the awareness and visibility of your business. A comprehensive strategy should maximise both online and offline methods to enable you to create new relationships. By using social media you will be able to connect with potential clients, engage in conversations within your industry by following key hashtags, and have a presence at good old networking events and trade shows. Remember that your network determines your net worth.

Position Yourself As An Expert

As daunting as it may seem for some, it really does pay to put yourself on the frontline, especially in a crowded market. Becoming an 'expert' is all about positioning yourself as a leader in your field, with the aim of becoming the 'go to person' when clients start shopping around for a service that you offer. You will soon become their first choice because you've gained their trust and some much needed exposure for your freelance business.

To kick start this process, it's a great idea to create valuable content on your blog, offer to write guest posts for high traffic websites on your area of expertise, or become a speaker at local business networking groups.