aaSource: Pixabay

These days, SEO is a hugely significant part of any online marketing drive. While there are a lot of agencies at the forefront of the market, there’s still a lot of opportunity for self-employed SEO specialists. If you’re thinking of leaving your current SEO position and going freelance, then there’s all kinds of rewards within your reach. Here’s some tips for grasping them!

First of all, I recommend making sure all your skills are up to scratch. Seen as you’re reading this, you probably have a fair amount of experience in SEO already! However, young, digital industries like this are always changing. If you’ve had a long hiatus, then it’s probably worth brushing up on modern strategies and conventions. If you’ve never worked freelance before, you might want to reach out to other freelance specialists. You could also try looking into some professional search engine optimisation training. There are any number of resources you can use to fine-tune your skills. Just make sure the materials are up to date so that you’re not putting yourself a step behind the competition. Learn all about the best practices for freelancers, and the major things to avoid.

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My second tip is to market more than you think you need to. To be honest, I would offer this tip for anyone working as a self-employed professional. While there’s the potential to make more money as a self-employed SEO professional, there’s also a lot more marketing work involved. Back when you were working for an agency, the work was always there for you. This was only possible thanks to a large team of marketers bringing in clients. It’s safe to assume your professional site is already optimised, but don’t stop there! Email campaigns to clients who would hire a freelancer, PPC, and a good social media presence should all be considered. The aim is to get a stable of clients who you can rely on for a steady workload. That won’t come easily though!

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My final tip is to network wherever possible. As a freelancer you might not be the most sociable person in the world! However, making the right contacts in the industry can give you free training and a much steadier stream of work. It may also open your eyes to a whole range of opportunities you’d been neglecting beforehand. Try getting in contact with more successful freelancers and ask them for some pointers, or even jobs that spill over their workload. Your average freelancer will barely have time to give you some advice, and will want all the work for themselves. However, the most successful ones will be happy to talk to you about it, and won’t think much of pushing a few jobs your way. If you left an SEO agency before going freelance, then it’s worth maintaining contact with them too.

Being a freelance SEO specialist can be gruelling and unstable. However, it can also be wonderfully enjoyable and rewarding. The two most important things are to put the work in, and never stop learning about the industry.

With the advent of internet business and modern start-up practices, there are more options now than ever to find a new business to start. All the same, it’s a competitive world out there and many have gotten a head start on you. That doesn’t mean you can’t catch up, however. Know what you’re doing from the start and have key strategies to go along with the services you’re providing. That’s what this article’s all about.

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It’s all in the plan

A business plan is a tremendously useful thing is you use it right. Besides containing your mission statement, a well-made business plan lays a blueprint. You can follow this during the hectic process that is running a business. By projecting ahead, you can measure your performance against your goals in real-time. This way, you know when things aren’t running as well as they should.

Getting funding

Another thing that having a business plan is particularly useful for is getting funding. If you want an investment from an investor or a loan from a bank, you can use it show that you’re not borrowing money without a strategy. However, there are other fundraising methods on the rise, like crowdfunding and micro financing. Find which kind of funding works best for your business plan instead of wasting your time on ones that don’t.

Setting up a website

If you’re running an online business, it’s obvious. But even if you’re not, setting up a website is hugely important. A web presence accounts for so much of how people get their information on a business, that lacking one is practically turning away customers. Use professional web designers to design a site that provides would-be customers with all they need to know.

Finding your place

You may already have a business idea well in mind, but do you know what niche it’s going to occupy? Finding your place is important for young businesses. You need something unique to draw customers. Otherwise, setting up too close to more established companies that offer exactly what you do is a quick way to lose them. Do your market research and find your gap in the market. Then you market the heck out of it.

Marketing

The internet has opened a whole range of marketing opportunities. The kind with a reach that smaller businesses of the past couldn’t have dreamed of. Use marketing specialists to find your demographics and launch a whole range of social media and SEO strategies against them. Learn from experts and, as you grow, you may find you’re able to come up with strategies all on your own.

Getting involved

It’s not just enough to spread your good word amongst those you want using your services, however. You need to get involved in the industry to really excel. Use sites like LinkedIn and start networking. Gather expertise and become a leader in your field by being on the ball. If you’re not part of the innovators, you’re going to be overtaken by them, instead. Especially since they’re networking and building powerful partnerships.

DREAM-MEHLI

So, you’ve decided you’ve been thinking about it enough, and you’re finally ready to take the plunge. If you’re planning to become a freelance graphic designer, you’ve got an intense, though highly rewarding career ahead of you. You might be an absolutely impeccable designer, but unfortunately that’s not enough to make it in this industry. Here are some important tips for launching your freelance career.

I’ll start this off with the preparation you’ll have to do. Firstly, save up! I know you may be itching to leave your current job, but you should really have a nice savings cushion. The first few months of freelancing can be brutal, and I’m sure you don’t want to ruin yourself so early in the process! Another thing you should do well in advance is know who your target market is. There are countless graphic designers out there, and having your own specific niche can do a lot to bring in business and make you stand out. However, don’t overemphasise your specialty too much, even if you’re the best at what you do. If you present yourself as an industrial-sector logo designer, rather than just a designer with a niche, you’ll chase away a lot of clients.

My next tip is to work hard at your marketing. This is perhaps the most important tip I can offer to any kind of freelancer. Remember that when you were working at your last job, your company had a marketing department dedicated to drawing in customers. When you’re a self-employed creative, things are pretty different. Your workload is likely to be sporadic and unpredictable to begin with. Even if you’re not getting any assignments, you should treat your self-employed business as a full-time job. This means marketing nine to five. To get a few initial clients, you might want to sign up to Fivesquid.com or something similar. These sites won’t make you rich, but they will help to build up a portfolio, which is essential for finding more work.

Finally, don’t suddenly halt your education. As I mentioned before, there are a lot of freelance graphic designers out there. You may not have considered this, but a lot of them are going to be better than you! When companies look to outsource design work, they’ll be looking for the very best. You need to be constantly honing your skills, and keeping on top of any changing trends in the graphic design industry. No niche ever sits still, and you’ll need to give a competitive quality of service to stay afloat. Vectips.com is a great place for you to find design tips and tricks. You should be monitoring several blogs and news channels, and making a point to apply everything you learn.

There you have some of the best tips for starting off as a freelance graphic designer. Believe me, you can have a hectic, often frustrating time out there. However, if you can put the work in, being a freelancer can be a great experience. I for one would rather work twelve hours for myself than six hours for a bloated boss!

Image: Wikimedia

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