The new year is in full swing for most of us by now and I’m sure your inbox has been inundated, like mine has, with posts about new year’s predictions, resolutions, and the like.
And that’s all fine and dandy.
But today, I want to talk about 16 simple ways we as freelancers can stand out from our competition in 2013.
I’m not asking you to set any goals.
I’m not making an predictions.
Some of this stuff would have worked just fine in 2012.
But if you find yourself falling shorter than you’d like in your freelancing, here are some simple but powerful ways to step it up over the course of the new year.
16 ways freelancers can stand out from the competition this year
- Update your portfolio with only the best of your work, regardless of total project count.
- Don’t settle for mediocre results.
- Be as human as possible with your clients.
- Call/email your clients back immediately when they reach out.
- Find other ways to win more clients than just lowering the price.
- Take time to actually position yourself as an expert.
- Get on top of your contracts. Make them easy to understand and simple to sign.
- Respond to job postings immediately and professionally.
- Offer top-notch customer service.
- Find ways to make money without clients.
- Be nice.
- Make sure your business name is professional, easy to remember, and easy to spell.
- Send invoices on time.
- Go above and beyond the simple creative task at hand.
- Make your client feel like you really care about their company and goals.
- Offer the most up-to-date services available.
Two of the most important changes to make this year
So there you have it, a list of simple ways you can stand out from your competition this year!
If I missed one, please let me know by leaving a comment.
But I want to cover two of what I believe are the most important ones in more depth.
If you’re curious what I think are the two best ways to stand out this year, then keep reading…
1. Offer the most up-to-date services available.
Do you ever find yourself getting overlooked by potential clients because some agency can offer responsive web design or some other form of super-trendy, current services?
Well if you look closely at the agencies that are stealing your business you’ll notice they’re made up of…you guessed it…individuals.
Individual people just like you and me.
And it’s the skillset and abilities of those people that are actually taking your business. So beat them at their own game. Learn the latest in technology, trends, skills, etc. and be ready to start winning those clients again!
2. Offer top-notch customer service.
Ask any business owner around–one of the hardest parts about hiring creative people is finding great creativity paired with phenomenal customer service.
So if you want to stand out from the competition this year, offer the best customer service you can muster.
Allow me to share a story:
I’m no videographer.
But over the last couple years, I have found myself in need of someone who could shoot and edit a fantastic video or two (or twenty).
I found a freelancer who I loved working with: he did phenomenal work. He always had great ideas. He was forward thinking.
But he was always on a shoot somewhere and I could never get a hold of him on the phone, via email, etc. no matter how hard I tried.
As the client, I was frustrated frequently. And understandably so.
Then he fixed the problem.
How did he fix it?
He hired a producer. Someone who could coordinate all the details of the shoot. Someone who could be in touch with me frequently and answer all my questions and concerns. Someone who could offer top-notch customer service.
And it made a world of difference!
I still work with this dream team to this day and I give them lots of business every year.
They offer better customer service than any other video team I work with.
And here’s the kicker
Get this: I even pay more to work with these guys because they pair incredible talent with fantastic customer service to provide the best experience I’ve ever had getting videos produced.
So what does that have to do with any of us?
Why should you care?
Because freelancers who can offer stellar customer service will find themselves leaps and bounds ahead of their competition.
Did I get it right? How will you stand out from the competition this year? Leave a comment and let’s chat!
Written by Preston D Lee Preston is the founder of GDB, a designer, programmer, marketer, and entrepreneur.