And why you need it!
You already are the perfect freelance online marketer, software developer, designer, or writer. And as a freelancer you know you have outstanding skills; you are experienced, the right work ethic, motivation, and flexibility. But is that enough?
What are the key factors in getting your next freelance job?
Your skills, your experience, the right mindset, flexibility, work ethics, yes! But there is one thing that we sometimes forget or don’t pay enough attention to and is equally important. Your reputation!
A reputation that is built on all the things you’re good at and of what other people think of you, based on trust. An offline and online reputation based on references, recommendations, testimonials, and online presence.
Especially difficult when you are starting off as a freelancer and have to work on your portfolio. You start subscribing to all the freelance platforms, creating and updating your profile, waiting for a client to respond. Or maybe you can use your personal network?
Even when you’re an experienced freelancer with a good network, it can be hard. Your personal network is not inexhaustible you have to put the effort into maintaining and growing your network.
The basics have to be correct; skills, experience, education, and portfolio. Your profile or resume has to look good and everything has to be true. Right? It will bounce back at you if you are not honest. But…you have to work on trust! So how is your reputation doing? And is it easy for you to get reviews, recommendations, and references (the condition is of course that you have done a good job!)?
Building an (online) reputation takes time and is not always top of mind for a freelancer. Because there is so much to do:
- The present job or project you have, of course
- Preparing for the next job: searching at all the freelance platforms and job sites, social media, reacting, interviews
- Your paperwork, all the administration you have to do and managing your schedule an projects
- Your own website, maintaining your site an portfolio
How can you be more focused on your reputation?
See yourself as an entrepreneur! What if you, as a freelancer, start looking at yourself as being a company (perhaps a little one but nevertheless..) and therefore as an entrepreneur? And reflect!
How do you make choices, as an individual, in purchasing or ordering something, like a vacation? What are your key drivers? Destination, price, and…….what other people think and have experienced.
Or when you book a restaurant; of course, you make a choice in what you like to eat and what it will cost. But maybe even more important. How did other people experience the restaurant?
“You experience the importance of recommendations as an individual yourself…”
Potential employers look at what you are offering as a freelancer, skills, price, projects, industry, etc., but also look at your reputation. Reputation builds a company!! So also builds your own freelance company. Recommendations, testimonials, reviews, references all represent online and offline trust. Trust by colleagues, employers, fellow students, or even maybe friends or family.
Quote from a customer’s perspective: “We will use the actions of others to decide on proper behavior for ourselves, especially when we view those others as similar to ourselves,” says Robert B. Cialdini, author of the bestseller Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
How do company’s collect their recommendations and reviews?
They deliver, do a good job, and ask for them! Asking for recommendations is not always easy and can be awkward. But you know you did a good job! Always remember what the value of a recommendation is. Look at yourself as an entrepreneur. It’s all about building your own (little, or not so little) company.