–“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
No matter what genre you write, clients are crucial to your business growth and your bottom line as a freelance professional. And like it or not, “Perception is reality” for them. Given that many of us engage with clients across the globe online, (as opposed to meeting them in a physical conference room), the old days of driving up in a fancy car or sporting “bling” to impress them are obsolete. Your “swagger” has to be apparent online when they Google your name or stumble across your article. Especially given the vast competition in the freelance industry.
According to statistics, there are now almost 54 million freelancers in the United States.
With this in mind, here are five ways to separate yourself from the competition and convey a successful image for you and your business.
1. BLOGS AND WEBSITES
Your blog and website should have a professional appearance, be free of typos, and clear of excessive clutter in your margins. Bold colors and unusual font styles should also be avoided. Though many experts contend that blogging on a free platform like Blogger or WordPress is career suicide, that’s not entirely true. My award-winning site has been hosted successfully on Blogger for years, and has not presented a major obstacle to making money thus far. Navigate your own course.
2. SOCIAL MEDIA AND SOCIAL PROOF
Can you boast a big following on FaceBook? Do you get a lot of “Tweets” from your Peeps? These forms of social proof can solidify your popularity and communicate to potential clients that you know how to “work a virtual room” and are effective at connecting with others.
3. PORTFOLIO AND GUEST POSTS
There’s great validity to the expression: “We are judged by the company we keep.” Guest posts and articles published at top tier sites can elevate your image and your bottom line. Typically sites with a Google Page Rank of 3 or above (on a scale of 1 to 10) are considered solid sites. Align your efforts with these “Trophy” blogs in your niche for optimal results. To find out what a blog’s rating is, check out the PR checker here:
Authorship helps to establish your expertise in a certain area. It’s a great way to turn your know-how into net worth. Additionally, it “suggests” mastery and first-hand experience to potential clients; which could get you hired as a ghost writer, consultant or editor for their book projects. Be sure to include your book covers on your blog and make reference to them in your Bio when guest posting.
“Top Blog” honors, contest winning status, and similar recognition can definitely be a game changer for your business. As referenced in point # 2 above, it’s another form of social proof. Awards serve as an objective assessment of your work by respected peers, that can also garner respect from those seeking to work with you.
These 5 image enhancers will help you to put your best foot forward and make great strides in cultivating new business.
Image credit: Freedigitalphotos.net