Empowering the Freelance Economy

You’re not the same freelancer you were a year ago. So why are you running your business the same way?

Often we have all the answers we need to grow if we ask ourselves the right questions.
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Guide to how freelancers can grow their business each year with this self-assessment exercise

With each year or even changing season, we as freelancers evolve. We grow and learn with each project and client, alongside the personal wins and setbacks. However, we can easily presume that we are the same people we were just a year ago, with the same skills and experience. But we‘re not when you think about it.

With political manifestos not revealing all that will be asked of us as taxpayers, freelancers must find new ways to grow their businesses regardless of the outcome of the general election set for July 4th.

One way to start is by going through your finished assignments and pinpointing the challenges you went through. Think of what you went through personally and think how life or work may have changed your priorities, financial responsibilities and personal passions (if you scheduled the time to pursue them).

At least once a year, it’s good to start asking yourself some questions and giving yourself the proper time to answer them.

Perhaps starting this weekend, find a quiet place to contemplate, a buzzing café or wherever you can think productively. It’s time to ask yourself some probing questions to assess whether you are using your skills to the best of your ability so that you can find new areas of growth for your business.

Often we have the answers to our questions. However, we must be brave and committed enough to ask them in the first place.

Find a series of questions below to get started.

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Skills, abilities and interests: have they changed and you don’t realise it?

  • What am I truly passionate about within my work? Are there specific tasks or projects that energise me, or aspects of my field that I’m always eager to learn more about?
  • What skills do I use most frequently in my current work? Which of these skills come most naturally to me, and which do I consider my strongest? My weakest?
  • Do I keep making the same mistakes over and over? Avoiding acquiring must-needed skills? The next time you feel like you have let yourself, your client or your family down, as yourself truthfully what could you have done differently to get the outcome you would have liked? Then find out what you need to change or what skills or decision-making you need to make. Take action, don’t just contemplate.
  • What unique skills or knowledge do I possess that others in my field might not? This could be a specialised certification, a unique life experience, or a blend of skills from different areas.
  • What are the recurring problems or needs I see in my clients or industry? Are there any gaps I could fill with my existing skills or by developing new ones?
  • Are there any hobbies or personal interests that could be translated into a service? Sometimes, our passions outside of work can spark innovative business ideas.

Potential new services I can provide to grow my business

  • What existing services could I enhance or expand upon? Could I offer a premium package, complementary service, or a new format (like workshops or consultations)?
  • What new services could I create by combining my existing skills in a unique way? For example, a writer with design skills could offer content creation packages with a visual element.
  • Are there any emerging trends or technologies in my field that I could capitalise on? This could be a new software platform, a methodology, or a shift in consumer preferences.
  • What type of work would provide the most value and satisfaction for both me and my clients? Consider the impact your work could have, the potential for growth, and the lifestyle you want to create.

Try these tips

  • Talk to your current clients: Ask for feedback on your work, and what additional services they might find valuable.
  • Research your competitors: See what services they offer, and identify any gaps in the market.
  • Network with other freelancers: Share ideas, get feedback, and explore potential collaborations.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment: Start small with a new service, and see how it resonates with your target audience.

By reflecting on these questions and taking the time to explore your passions, skills, and interests, you’ll be well on your way to developing new and exciting service offerings for your business.

Check out our Career Tips section for more ways to grow your business

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