What’s the one thing an entrepreneur and a freelance contractor have in common? The need to make themselves an attractive prospect. One that clients will be willing to take a gamble on. And looking at it from the client’s point of view, it is a gamble.
In a very short time period, you need to convince them that you can solve a problem they have through your product or service. From peddling consulting services to graphic design, clients want to know that you have got what it takes to deliver.
Here are some creative ways to improve your resume, inspire confidence in your clients, and attract more customers.
1. Consider getting certified
Want to offer consulting services, whether for multi-year campaigns, or smaller projects? Ever thought of getting a PMP certification? The PMP certification is offered by the Project Management Institute. It is a way of certifying your knowledge and experience in handling, directing, and managing projects of all kinds, from product development to fundraisers. And this is not the only type of credential that could be useful to entrepreneurs and contractors. For example, if you are a freelance editor, you might want to consider a certification in the specific type of editing that you do.
Certification is particularly helpful if your college major is in a different field than your current line of work. Build trust by showing clients that you’ve studied and been certified in doing that thing you are now offering to do for them.
2. Publish a case study
Another oft-forgotten way to show off your skill in a certain area is by publishing a case study. Have you had past success with a certain client or a certain service? Tell that story. Start with the problem that you faced, or that was presented to you by a client, and give a step-by-step explanation of how you solved that problem.
Some experts suggest that you craft a case study as you would a fairy tale, complete with happy ending. There is a general formula to it, however, which includes the following aspects as outlined by the National Center for the Middle Market:
- Describe the problem that the audience might experience
- List metrics that show a before-and-after comparison
- Detail how the solution (the major products and services) was developed and deployed
- Show how business results were improved
Add graphic elements to help with your story telling. For example, an infographic that highlights your before-and-after comparison. And don’t call your case study a “Case Study.” Stick with proven tips for writing catchy titles that will encourage people to read it. A great case study is nothing without a title that sells it.
3. Show off your specialties
Being able to offer clients a range of services can make you attractive to a few clients. But specializing and having deep knowledge in a certain area is what will win you sales. This is not to say that you should not offer side services. For example, if you are a social media expert, who is also handy with web design, offering both might sell the deal to certain clients. And it is beneficial from a career standpoint to be good at many things. But clients are more apt to hire a specialist in one area, than someone who can deliver lower quality work in several areas.
Always be clear what your specialties are; that is your lead selling point. Everything after that might sweeten the deal but not necessarily make or break it.
As an entrepreneur or a freelance contractor, making sales and gaining new clients is the reason for the existence of your business. How effective you are at selling yourself directly translates into business growth. Trying the tips listed here is a good way to set a baseline from which you can measure what works in attracting clients and growing your business.