Succeeding As a Freelancer: Essential Strategies for Staying Competitive

Mar 11, 2024
Succeeding As a Freelancer: Essential Strategies for Staying Competitive

There are more and more freelancers around the world. This form of work organization is particularly popular with the younger generation. But in an increasingly crowded market, it's imperative to set the right course if you want to succeed. Here's how.

Find your niche 

You have expertise. You're comfortable in your field. But you're not alone. Freelancers are becoming increasingly numerous. Today, there are an estimated 1.57 billion freelancers in the world, representing half of the international workforce. And this number is growing every year. In the USA, they now represent 38% of the workforce, while by 2023, 52% of all Gen Z professionals and 44% of all millennial professionals performed freelance work. 

That's how much of a difference you're going to have to make. To do so, you first need to know yourself. Hence the need for a thorough assessment of your background, technical skills and softskills. The aim: to identify the niche in which you excel. Because, yes, you're going to have to stand out in an increasingly competitive freelance market. 

Practical advice:

  • Conduct an honest self-assessment of your current and potential skills.
  • Conduct in-depth market research to identify in-demand and emerging niches.


Creating a strong personal brand

Brands aren't just for big companies. Once you've identified your strengths, the next step is to work on your brand. A personal logo, a strong and consistent online presence, an attractive and goal-oriented professional bio - these are all steps to consider with the utmost care. A strong brand will reinforce the confidence of your customers and prospects, and make you stand out from the crowd of remote workers and other freelancers who are also hunting on your turf.

Practical advice:

  • Design a professional logo that represents your identity.
  • Write a bio that highlights your skills, experience and values.


Finding customers from a distance

This is the holy grail of freelancing. Finding customers can be a daunting task. In fact, it almost always is. To help you in this task, platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer or Malt are worth consulting. You can also explore professional social networks to identify remote work opportunities. And persevere, persevere, persevere. The first thing to do is always to roll up your sleeves. 

Practical advice:

  • Create powerful profiles with concrete examples of your work on several platforms.
  • Participate actively in online discussion groups and virtual events to expand your professional network.


Determining your market value

Whatever the case, it's clear that when it comes to freelancing, pricing is a gray area. As a result, to establish your price, you'll need to take into account what's customary on the market, while also considering your own value. In short, your rates must be competitive, while reflecting your experience and professional value. It can be a real headache.

Practical advice:

  • Compare rates on several platforms and adjust according to your expertise.
  • Offer flexible packages that meet your customers' specific needs.


Project management is crucial

You work remotely: good project management is crucial to professional success. To help you, digital tools have become essential. These include Todoist, Asana and Trello. These will help you organize your work, meet deadlines and offer your customers transparent communication. Effective project management boosts customer confidence and helps build a solid reputation as a reliable freelancer.

Practical advice:

  • Set clear deadlines for each project and communicate them clearly to customers.
  • Use effective communication tools to keep in regular contact with your customers throughout the project.

While freelancing gives you the freedom to shape your career path, it also requires careful preparation and thought to get the best out of it. As with any remote job, the secret ultimately lies in preparation.


Answering most common questions about freelance:

Is it possible to merge several areas of expertise to create my own freelance niche?

Yes, merging unique skills can create an original niche. Explore unexpected combinations to offer something distinctive to the market.

 How can I turn my passion into a sought-after specialty as a remote freelancer?

Identify the aspects of your passion that are in demand in the marketplace. Highlight these specific skills to attract customers with similar interests.

Are there online communities dedicated to remote freelancers for sharing tips and opportunities?

Yes, many online communities bring freelancers together to share experiences, offer advice and sometimes even collaboration opportunities.

How can I incorporate storytelling elements into my portfolio to make my work more captivating?

Use anecdotes and stories behind your projects to humanize your work. This creates an emotional connection with potential customers.