Pay for advertising. Pass out flyers. Start a blog. Freelancers must read the same tired, business growth advice over and over again. If these things work, that’s great. But, what if they don’t? The only logical next step is to think outside the box.
Sometimes it takes the unusual and creative to get results. If you need to create growth really fast, try these four strategies.
1. Create an e-course
As a freelancer, you’ve spent all kinds of time perfecting your skills and ensuring that the services you offer are second to none. However, if you want to grow your business quickly, it might be time to add a product to the mix.
A product puts something useful into the hands of clients or potential clients. It gives them something tangible that is of immediate use to them. Your product might be an e-course, an ebook, even a series of how-to videos. The main goals are that it’s useful, easy to use, and of the highest quality.
Wondering how profitable this is? Well, in 2016 self-paced e-learning products generated over $23.3 millions in revenues in U.S. alone, according to Docebo report. On a global scale, packaged content generated $33 millions in sales.
2. Crowdsource your growth
What do you do when you’ve got a great side hustle, but you just cannot get it off the ground and turn it into your day job?
If your issue is funding and you don’t want to get a traditional loan, try crowdsourcing. And no, that doesn’t mean that you need to create a physical product and go on Kickstarter.
Instead, craft a business plan, outline your vision and share it on Moon$hot Stories, a P2P platform created by Moonlighting to connect freelancers and small business owners with potential business donors. These funds can be used to purchase equipment, pay for advertising, hire additional help or anything else you need to get your freelance business booming.
“From our inception, Moonlighting has always set out to help people launch their dream business or career,” said Jeff Tennery, founder and CEO of Moonlighting. “With Moon$hot Stories, we can go a step further and help first time entrepreneurs raise the necessary funds to build their own version of the American Dream.”
The best part is that there’s no minimal donation threshold to meet and no deadline to catch. Considering that freelance businesses are often one-person operations and don’t usually land on the radars of traditional investors, this can be an important source for growth.
3. Teach a class
Sharing knowledge has long been a standard way for freelancers and other professionals to reach out to a relevant audience and start building relationships. You may already be doing this through your blog.
But maybe it’s time to take things to the next level and teach a class. After all, if someone has taken the time to enroll in a class you can be pretty sure they’re at least somewhat interested in what you have to offer.
You’ve certainly got a wide variety of options to go about this. Again, you could create an e-learning class that visitors to your website could log into weekly/monthly. Or you could sign up to deliver lectures in person. Coworking spaces, your local chamber of commerce or even a college might be thrilled to give you space as well as an audience to teach your class.
If no one bites this, don’t give up just yet. You can always create an online posting on Meetup.com or on a Facebook group of local entrepreneurs and ask if anyone would like to attend an in-person workshop.
4. Start saying no
Taking on any and all clients may look like a good way to grow but it’s in fact a trap that will stifle your growth. Instead, you should consider focusing on higher end clients, or those that can otherwise lead to faster growth. You can start by creating a list of standards that must be met before you accept work, and playing a bit hard to get.
For example, don’t pounce on every email the moment you receive it. Potential clients will assume you’re desperate for work, and that throws any negotiating edge you have out the window. Also, set standards when it comes to the quality of client you accept. Visit their website. Ask for a sample of their product.
Is your business going to grow because you wrote some blog posts for some MLM-er hawking essential oils? Is your graphic design portfolio going to be more impressive after you design a book cover for some terrible, self-published novel? Not likely.
Remember better clients lead to better clients and ultimately to better income.
If standard growth hacks aren’t working for you, maybe it’s time to try something unique. The four strategies here could be key to helping you grow your freelance business quickly.
For more: www.forbes.com