Just decided to go freelance and looking at how to build your freelance business? Since opening in 2015, Ziferblat Edge Street has welcomed over 10,000 freelancers and guests each month.
Offering a co-working space for freelancers on a pay per day or pay per month basis, many freelancers now take advantage of the great facilities and use Ziferblat as their semi-permanent base.
This new flexible approach to co-working has given the Ziferblat team great exposure to a large number of freelancing professionals. Ziferblat have watched and learnt how freelancers have utilised co-working spaces to build their business as well as a few other tips and tricks along the way.
Ben Davies, Head of Marketing at Ziferblat Edge Street has summarised his top “hacks” freelancers use to get ahead of the game. He quoted, “I worked in freelance in marketing and events for a number of years and I was constantly in search of new leads. Little did I know, one of the best sources was the co-working community I spent every day with!”
Co-working spaces are always running a variety of events, workshops and activities. The more you lend a hand, get involved and try new things the more connections you make and the further your network stretches. Some of the most successful freelancers we meet are always busy going along to a new MeetUp Group, talking at events like Pecha Kucha’s or attending Food workshops. Freelancers never know where the next lead is going to come from. Staying active is really important at growing a network of people, those that you meet will be more likely to recommend you because they met you personally.
When you first go freelance, money is tight. You’re up against stiff competition with little or no marketing budget to play with. When you join a new co-working space, you get to know what everyone does. Service based freelancers can swap skills with no monetary exchange as a great way of acquiring services you wouldn’t normally be able to afford. Web developers, graphic designers, coaches, social media consultants, accountants and videographers are all great people to start with!
“People buy people” is the reality for a freelance professional. Look at your competition in detail and consider how your potential clients see you as a brand. Many large businesses put a lot of effort into making sure their staff, their activities, their environment and their communications represent the kind of company they want to be seen as. As a freelancer, you need to mimic this approach on your own scale. Get yourself on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest and any other appropriate platforms. No one channel will solve all of your problems, use a strategic approach with multiple touch points. Put in the time to interact with others, be proactive and constantly ask yourself “why would they follow me?”. Check out how others have attracted attention in your working environment and see if you could replicate this in your own way.
Common knowledge but very important when effectively managing cashflow with limited time. Can I deliver what this client wants? What value does this client have to me? How much of my time will it take up? What other work will I lose when I am doing this? These are all tough questions with no definitive answers but as a freelancer you must be honest with yourself and transparent with your clients.
Everyone knows a change of working environment is a good thing. The obvious reasons are: sparking creativity and mentally breaking up your week. But, it also allows you to meet a new network in a different location. Commit one day a week to working somewhere you haven’t worked before; a café, another co-working space or something completely different. Check the notice boards in the new environment and get chatting to people. Physically taking time in a new location can achieve a lot that is difficult to do remotely.
If you are after a new coworking space, or fancy being part of a great new freelance network then why not join Ziferblat’s community of freelancers every Friday at Freelance Folk.