The 5 Foundations of a Successful Freelance Business

The 5 Foundations of a Successful Freelance Business

By Pirah Aijaz

Starting a freelance business is challenging, trust me, I know. Freelance business requires patience and consistency. And that’s why it’s pretty overwhelming, especially when you hear boundless advice about what to do and what not to do, what you need and what you don’t. So, today I thought to share the 5 foundations of a successful freelance business. Yes… You heard that right! Only five things you need to know before starting a freelance business. 

The 5 Foundations of a Successful Freelance Business

These are the 5 things that I started with, and I believe they work well for you because they are a big reason for my success and sustainable business. Let’s have a look!

1- A Good Service/ Product 

This seems obvious, but I couldn’t write this blog without saying it. You have to have a service or product that you know people are going to buy. 

But … First, you have to research. Know the scope of your service or product. Know your audience and know your competitors. By doing so, you will be able to know whether your business idea would be sustained or not. 

Here I would say it’s great to take risks in the freelance business. This is the most important thing that many people often neglect to consider. 

See… The majority of people are offering services or selling products but they don’t have original business ideas whether they are a service provider or a seller. 

Likewise, you can choose any service or product according to its scope but make sure to give your best to the clients/customers. This will make you stand out among your competitors. 

Keep in mind whatever you’re going to do is not new. Everyone is doing the same. Here I’m not saying go and copy others’ ideas, but you can give your cent percent to your clients/customers by offering the same services or selling the same products. Make sure your product or service has a Unique Selling Point that adds value. You can also offer complimentary services/products to attract potential customers.

2- Passion & Commitment

Passion is something that I do believe and you can live with. If you have a passion, that’s awesome! It works well and helps you stay consistent with whatever you do. 

If you don’t have a passion, or you have different passions, don’t worry! You can still have a chance to first discover the most you enjoy. This is what I did and it means a lot to me.

Now is the right time to explore your areas of interest and find what you love the most. Finding your passion and becoming an expert in a specific skill is a journey, and it may take time. Enjoy the exploration and embrace the opportunities that come your way. Your passion and expertise can lead you to a more fulfilling and purposeful life.

Earlier, I used to work in the Education and Banking sector, left my 9 to 5 job because I wanted to do something that satisfied my soul. Meanwhile, I completed my M. Phil in Education and continued writing as a hobby.

In 2019, I got my first paid task as a freelance translator and I earned 1000 Rs which motivated me to pursue writing as a career. At the time, I realized that skills can do wonders. This inspired me to start my career as a freelance content writer and trainer, and later, I launched my online startup.

So, if you can’t find something you’re passionate about, then lean on your motivation. What’s driving you to start a business? Find that fire and focus on it.

You’ll need it because starting and running a business is not easy, and if you don’t have passion for what you’re doing or a strong drive behind why you’re doing it. You’re destined to give up when the going gets tough.

3- No Shame

This one is the most important and definitely, one that I have been struggling with.

When you start your own freelance business, people ask you what you do, you need to say “I run my own business…” not just “I work from home”. Don’t hesitate to tell them about your freelance business.

In this digital era, you have to post on Facebook and tell everyone about your freelance business. Promote your skills and ask your loyal clients for referrals.

Go ALL in and do everything to market your services. Don’t feel embarrassed by posting your new business all over social media. Just be persistent and work hard!

Remember, you have to create opportunities for yourself. No one is going to approach you for work if they don’t know what you offer.

4- A Professional Brand

Create and develop a unique and memorable brand identity. It is important to have a website and a strong social media presence for the legitimacy of your business.

When I say “brand” I’m talking about visuals and brand image including a conceptual logo, color palette, design, voice, vision, and mission. These are the essential components of business branding that need to be well-crafted and consistent.

Having a professional brand builds a good reputation, and shows your customers that you are legitimate and established, even if you are just setting up a new business.

5- Portfolios + Testimonials

Would you buy anything for yourself without seeing it? I don’t think so…

The same goes for a service-based business. People always ask you to show them your portfolio before hiring you. If you’re a service provider, you need to have a portfolio that potential clients can view.

If you don’t have a portfolio, then make some mock pieces. You can work for yourself or friends to create samples. This can be anything that you want to show. No one will ask you if they’re for clients or if they’re just mockup pieces, because it doesn’t matter. You’re displaying what you have done and what you can do.

When I first started, I had no trouble creating my portfolio- because writing was my hobby and I used to write as a passionate columnist and blogger for various print and digital media platforms. That’s why I had a number of publications which got a lot of attention from potential clients.

Adding testimonials along with a portfolio is worthwhile because people always prefer to get some good reviews or recommendations before making a purchase. This is important for both service and product-based businesses.

Try to get testimonials from your loyal clients to show other potential clients.

6- BONUS TIP – Content

“Content is King”. – by Bill Gates

I’ve been writing since 2013 as a hobby, writing Blogs, creating How-To Guides, and offering Freebies, and Videos for Facebook and LinkedIn. Don’t stop! Just do something and do it well to get better results!

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