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5 methods to distinguish your self from the competitors in key freelance areas

October
11, 2020

6 min read

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

The opportunity to run a home business, make money, invest, raise kids, and at the same time create social distance has become the 2020 marathon. Parents, professionals, graduates, and individuals trapped between careers were not exactly prepared for the new age of working from home. When Covid-19 restructured life the way we knew it, we had no choice but to consider alternative work arrangements that supported our families right from our laptops.

Companies have been forced to take employees off as budgets have been cut. Individuals quitting their jobs for fear of exposure to coronavirus and others realized that given how fleeting life can be, they wanted to quit their jobs and do something they love. For all of these people, the agreement to work per project for different companies, brands and startups became more enticing than ever.

By last year, nearly 57 million Americans saw themselves as freelancers as part of the gig economy. 2020 data will show a massive spike in that number as part of the new normal for Covid-19. Why did so many people join the gig economy as freelancers in 2019? One study explains it all: Skilled freelancers earn more than 70 percent of the hourly workers in the US.

Related: 50 Ideas For A Lucrative Side Job

Therefore, more people than ever before are wondering how not only can they become a freelancer, but also position themselves for immediate success right from the start. The competition to stand out as a freelancer has gotten dramatically more challenging, and everyone knows it. Tens of millions of people today use the largest freelance websites, from Upwork and 99designs to Fiverr and Guru.

How can you ensure that your profile and services are the most enticing with the millions of vendors worldwide who access these websites?

Here are five ways to differentiate yourself from the competition at large freelance locations.

1. Use your picture on your profile

People think that working online as an anonymous vendor rather than a corporate employee means they can withhold their identity from their freelance profile. On the contrary, removing pictures of you from your freelance profile makes it harder for potential buyers to trust you. Are you really who you say you are? How can buyers be sure?

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Content with images and videos receives 94% more views than content with only text and statistics. We are visual creatures so we need to see photo evidence that we are not being cheated.

Add different photos of yourself for your profile picture, services, and bio. The more images you use, the more trustworthy you become. Only publish crisp, high-resolution photos that have eye contact with the camera and identity

2. Give as many reviews as possible

Social evidence is essential. This is the only way we can convince ourselves that someone is trustworthy online if we have never met them in person. Because of this, 84 percent of people trust online reviews as well as recommendations from a friend or family member. By prioritizing your five-star reviews on your profile, a buyer can trust you instantly.

Work hard in the beginning to achieve a perfect five-star average. Go beyond that and consider asking prices lower than the market to get your first reviews. Proudly display the reviews on your profile, on the front, and in the center. Offer prospects a summary of your reviews in your messaging inbox

3. Don't lie about credentials

Too often first-time freelancers skew information about their background and experience because no boss is watching them. This can keep track of you, especially since buyers can do a simple background check for you in minutes. Should the freelance website catch you lying, you will be blacklisted for the remainder of the platform's existence. It is not worth. Expand your credentials. If you don't have many, offer free work to friends and family to add to your portfolio.

Spend a few months working for free so you can add real projects and products to your profile. When you gain prominence on a freelance website, the company will run background checks for you. Buyers are more likely to buy from you if they trust you. If they catch you lying, they'll never trust you again.

4. Don't wait for first reviews

One of the toughest phases in a freelance job is the first few weeks, when you wait for a buyer to be the first to invest in your service. If you don't have reviews, they don't know if they can trust you.

Related: How to Start a Freelance Writing Side Hustle

Think outside the box and go to your personal networks for initial reviews. Ask family members, former employees, friends, and those who follow you on social media if they need your service for their business. By accessing your already aggregated networks, you bypass freelance algorithms that can punish newbies.

Think outside the box and offer a discount to people you know in the beginning. Publish your services on social media. Write articles about your services and post them on a website or on your social profiles. Offer referral discounts to people you know to attract new customers

5. Offer more than one service

Marketing studies have shown that consumers prefer choices when shopping. If you walk into a clothing store and see only four shirts hanging on the rack, you feel uncomfortable, don't you? However, if you want to get into a business with 400 shirt options, feel free to browse and find the item that is right for you.

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The same goes for your freelance profile. If you're only offering one service, buyers will assume you're new to the site. You don't know what you're doing and you have only one ability. To start with, offer at least three (related) services in your profile. This way, buyers can feel like they are really shopping.

If you don't know what other services to offer, check out your competition. Look for people with the same skills and see what other services they list. Don't be afraid to teach yourself new skills. Take online courses and practice. After a while, increase your services from three to five to even ten!

The art of the side business

Those who once laughed at the thought of making a side business their main business stop laughing. Our newly decentralized, socially distant world has made freelance work mature. So now is a good time to hone your skills online through one of the premier freelance websites. Follow these tips above to ensure that you are positioned as successfully as possible while wading in the freelance waters.

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