For individuals just starting to strike out on your own, this new-found freedom is exhilarating (and a little daunting). While you relish in the chance to set your own hours and be your own boss, freelancers tend to forget that without a company or manager, you pretty much have to be responsible for yourself. This is important in setting your rates, negotiating with clients and finding the discipline to complete assignments on time. If you’re an established freelancer in your field, then these would seem a little familiar.
Here are the key mistakes to avoid and HOW to avoid them in future:
Rookie Mistake #1: Calling Yourself a FreelancerYeap.
We know it is important to keep it simple instead of making up a title such as ‘Visual Aesthetics Specialist’. If you’re a graphic designer and your own boss, you’re a freelance graphic designer. But by doing that, did you know that you’re repelling and/or attracting some groups of clients instead of getting the right ones? Clients tend to perceive ‘freelancers’ in a way that may be damaging to you. It seems like your services are cheap (you can’t spell freelancers without free, amiright?), you are new to the market plus it can also mean that you’re unemployed and in desperate need of a job. Which makes it difficult for you to attract and retain high quality clients..
Sure, times have changed and some of the negative connotations of a freelancer may no longer be there. However, if you’re starting out, pay attention to how you brand yourself (Sheryl Sandberg disagrees). If you stand for something, you are memorable. In the freelancing world, that it a good way to get clients to trust you.
Rookie Mistake #2: Not Selling Yourself
Not the kind where you stand outside a mall and hand out flyers with your number and work details on it. Be smart about selling yourself. Start with your current clients. After finishing an assignment for them, ask for a referral.
The best way to sell yourself is to get your clients to spread the good word about you! Now, there is an art to asking them to do you this favour.
Rookie Mistake #3: Undervaluing Your Services
You may be booking your first gig. Don’t let inexperience guide your rate. There is no best practice for setting your own rates. Some prefer to do it on an hourly basis and some find it easier by charging per project. No matter which method you choose, first calculate your monthly expenses. Think about how many clients you would need to book in order to cover it. After All, people are paying you for your time spent.
Rookie Mistake #4:Assuming You Have an Inferior Position in the Working RelationshipA client just booked you because you have the skills they need. Have some confidence! Just because you don’t have the backing of a large corporation behind your title doesn’t mean that you are inferior to your client. Some freelancers think that way. The working relationship is worse off as freelancers get too afraid to push their viable ideas for the company.
Work WITH your clients. Only when you start doing that, you are not listening and carrying out their suggestions but you are improving on them and adding value. Trust me, your client would rather work with someone like that.
Rookie Mistake # 5: Not Dedicating Time for Skills Upgrading
A happy client is one working with a freelancer who knows their stuff. So keep yourself updated in your field and talk to people to find out their opinion about it.
Here are some tools to help start you off! These are the sites I found useful. (Not a promotional ad, just sharing from experience)
There you have it, rookie mistake to avoid! If you have more tips to share, let me know ! Let’s empower one freelancer at a time :)
Content marketing has evolved in the past 5 years. With brands getting creative in their methods to push product visibility (which felt more like shoving it down our throats, tbh), consumers have gotten adept in spotting a brand sponsored post.
One of my favourite advertisements has to be Dove. They have cornered a large share of the beauty market by simply sharing stories. Making a connection with the audience. This subtle form of branding is why when you think of body care, you think about family and the link to Dove’s products. Boom! Content marketing done right.
Half the issue is not just what you say, it is also includes how you say it, how many times you say it and when you say it. Here are some rookie mistakes to avoid to bump up your content marketing skills to one of the pros:
1. Prioritising Sale Over Information
The primary purpose of content marketing is to make a sale. True. But this should not govern the kind of content you create. Repeat after me: information, information, information. It is all about providing a service to your readers. Adding value to their knowledge about the item or the brand.
Use content as a way to bridge a gap between the company and the target audience. Create trust by talking about the brand’s identity and what the company believes in before you even broach the subject about what you can sell them. Another way to form a trusting relationship between you and your potential clients is to avoid overselling the product. You don’t need me to tell you the cost to your companion by manipulating your loyal readers.
2. Bad Grammar and (gasp!) Spelling
It is the litle tings taht mayce a diferrennce.
Being meticulous and ensuring that there are no misspelled words, shows your brand’s attention to detail. Sure, nobody notices an article with zero mistakes. When they do, it is an eyesore. To put in concrete terms, this could result in you losing a valued reader, a content partner might decide to never work with you or it could reduce traffic to your site over time. That is the worst case scenario. Best case would be an angry comment left on your Facebook page. Thank goodness for technology. Now we can circumvent this hassle by using programmes that double-check on your grammar. Even Google Docs has a spell check add-on to keep your article grammatically pristine.
So British English or American English? It does not matter. Just be consistent!
3. Frequent/Infrequent Posting
Posting too much in a day or a week can cause reader fatigue. It is like scrolling through your Instagram account and seeing a cousin’s picture of the beach with a dozen hashtags (oh yes, do be strategic with hashtagging). Posting too little or inconsistently would result in losing that connection between you and your readers.
Either extreme is bad. What you want to do is hit that sweet spot somewhere in the middle. There is no definite number. What you want to do is to balance out your online presence with your schedule. Keep monitoring traffic to your site before deciding to increase or decrease the frequency. Do a bit of research and find out the best time to post your articles. For example, Sunday mornings are the best time to post on productivity-related pieces and take advantage of the mid-week blues to post about weekend activities.
4. Content Does Not Match The Platform
Some kinds of content work better in text form and other are effective as bite-size content or as pictures. If you want to educate the public about the right way to do squats, being descriptive will not hit the point. Gifs and inforgraphics work better. Not to mention, they make a lasting impression on the reader too.
Always come up with the content angle and direction first, then decide which platform is best to deliver the message.
5. Brand Amnesia
Content is a tool to make a connection with your readers. Every time they see a cat video or a meme, they think about your company. If your content does not reflect the identity or the values of the brand, this not only loses readers but confuses them as well.
Form a strong foundation by sticking to topics related to your company (it does not have to be what you sell). For example, a brand specialising in organic soaps could talk about topics related to sustainable farming, fair practices, eco-friendly packaging and safety concerns.
Let’s put it all together, shall we? Provide a service — create a pool of knowledge about the industry for your readers. Doing this, makes an invaluable connection with them. By being focused on brand identity, your content is sharp and relatable to your audience. Which is why they keep coming back for more.
What are some articles you find memorable? Why did you remember it so well? What emotions did it invoke?
In 5 Reasons You Need Social Media, we discussed specific ways different platforms can help your business. It was a glace into choosing the right one for your business and how to be smart about it.
Then we thought, what if we could expand that list? Here are 4 more reasons (in case you weren’t convinced earlier) why social media is every company’s best mate:
1. Stay current
Social media can keep businesses informed on trending topics and the latest news that people are hyped up about.
The Editors use this information and create content around trending topics that link to the business.
Injecting original ideas about a trending topic can stimulate opinions and get the discussion started.
Although social media requires some investment of funds for the best utilisation, many platforms are free! It is much more cost effective to run than other modes of marketing.
3. Customers can find you
Consistent and up-to-date social media activity allows customers to find businesses with minimal effort and cost.
4. Generate more sales
The crux of social media is presence. Businesses can create interest in their products with sufficient exposure.
The Editors specialise in these aspects to create efficient, successful social media content that represents a company’s individual spirit and essence!
Now that you know why social media is important, do you know how to use it to your advantage? What are some of your fears before you expand your company’s social media strategy? Share YOUR thoughts with us!