I’m so excited to welcome a post from Carrie Smith today! Carrie was the person who inspired me to pursue blogging full time. She is an awesome writer and a huge inspiration to tons of aspiring entrepreneurs out there. I hope you enjoy her post today!
As a freelance writer I often face a lot of competition — from very smart and talented freelancers.
Are you in a similar position?
In order to make our services more valuable, and stand out from the crowd, we have to think more creatively about what we offer.
What’s the best way to do that? Create add-on services to your portfolio that are in the same vein of what you already offer. Here are four simple strategies you can start implementing today.
1. Update Your Current Skills Based on Popular Requests
As solopreneurs, we often see lots of requests for help in and outside of our current skillset. However, we do come across clients who ask for other related services on a frequent basis.
Think about a freelance designer who not only has to work with Photoshop, but also has to create ebook covers and designs for product launches. They probably even have to know the technical aspects of a squeeze pages as well as the design layout.
Take a minute to ponder what the most popular type of requests that land in your inbox and consider adding them to your list of services. If you have a lot of clients inquiring about the same type of thing, you could pull in some additional money by updating your skills and expanding your portfolio.
2. Take Online Courses or Classes
It’s important to stay on top of industry changes and increase your skills by getting certifications related to your field of expertise.
When potential clients see that you invest time (and a little bit of money) to increasing your knowledge and staying up-to-date, they’ll be much more likely to work with you. And often pay the higher price tag associated with that.
This is also a smart way to set yourself apart from the vast freelancing community, which gives you a better chance of landing more jobs and higher-paying clients.
3. Offer Unique or Out-of-the Box Services
What are some of the main services you could offer right now? Besides looking over your most popular requests, there are quite a few al a carte, add-on services you can offer too.
As a freelance writer, for example, you can offer some editing services, research or SEO help, or even more out-of-the box ideas like newsletter writing and scheduling.
The point is to make yourself and your skills more valuable by offering unique services that not everyone is doing, so you can ultimately charge more money, while becoming the go-to resource.
4. Add Rare Services to Your Portfolio
You never know what your clients will need in addition to the services you already offer. Why not add your rarest or most unique skills to your portfolio?
For example, I have a knack for having a ton of ideas for blog posts and ebook topics; I just don’t always have time to write them. An unusual service that I offer (I call it Content Idea Generation) is coming up with ideas and placements for guest posts and product campaigns for other bloggers and businesses.
They can then hire other writers, or even me, to write those topics weeks or months in advance. This is a key strategy for new websites or product launches.
Not every client will be interested in this, but some of them might if they’re offered the chance. And many of them will be willing to pay a bit more for the added value you provide.
What’s one add-on service you can start highlighting to make your portfolio stand out?
Carrie Smith is a solopreneur on a mission to help solo business owners tackle their big, hairy financial mountain. In May 2013 she quit her full-time accounting job to pursue entrepreneurship and blogging. You can download her free guide or find more of her writing on CarefulCents.com, then connect with her on Twitter @carefulcents.
23 responses to “4 Things Freelancers Can Do to Make Yourself More Valuable”
Great tips, Carrie! I’m just getting into freelance writing and have a lot to learn. I think I could offer a lot outside of just blog posts. In addition, I could use my organizational skills to do more admin type stuff.
Organizational skills are in high demand Melanie, so that’s a great idea! I like that out-of-the-box thinking. 🙂
Awesome tips! I have found it best if I “specialize” in a certain type of writing and then play that up. Since I have a ton of experience working in education, I actually get a lot of request for elementary school based learning jobs like writing worksheets or doing research on certain education methods.
Great post! It is overwhelming to think of all the competition us freelancers have. You touched on some really important ideas that I can definitely fine tune.
Such a good post. I do a little freelance writing but really wish I had the know-how to pursue it more!
One of my 2014 goals was to update my skill set by learning some basic coding. Of course I’ve gotten side tracked by a million other things… like SEO.
These are really great suggestions. I am pondering becoming a freelance spreadsheet consultant/dashboard developer down the road and one of the things I need to decide is what exact services I can offer. Figuring out what the most popular requests are could really help me shape my service offerings.
Great post, Carrie! I have never thought of offering services outside of general writing, but it is something I would consider if I actually had any extra time!
Carrie, you always provide the BEST advice, and always just when I need it most!!
I’ve ‘accidently’ fallen into writing LinkedIn profiles for solo-preneneurs just because I started mentioning that having a strong LinkedIn profile is a good way for service providers (in particular) to attract clients and referral sources. I’m now thinking of expanding this service to to include LinkedIn strategy and content ideas.
There’s even more services that I would love to offer. Im a bit of an idea generator too and I’d love to offer a content strategy service because I already can easily come up for ideas for my friends who have product and service related businesses. And I can’t possibly use all those ideas for myself!
Loving the idea generator idea! I’m finding that I need to format posts on WordPress too, so definitely charging for that 🙂 Maybe I should call myself “blog formatting guru” haha!
Great post. I am definitely tweeting this! I like the “adding rare services to your portfolio” part, it just attracts right on. This will definitely pimp up my portfolio. Thanks
Aw thanks Thea!
Thanks for the good tips, and the challenge to think out of the box! Bookmarking this.