Stagnation is the equivalent of death for freelance workers.
Hence you need to know how to expand your freelance business.
Unfortunately, the need to pay our bills and advance our careers keeps many of us engaged in mind-numbing, boring employment.
We become quite skilled at our work and may be able to earn a higher income, but we also become bored and burn out.
We need to increase our earning potential and expertise while maintaining our freelancing status.
This article shows you how to expand your business by adding new skills to your service.
Here are two basic methods for extending your career opportunities and offerings.
The first is to use current knowledge to a new field or in a new way.
For example, a wedding photographer may branch out into family photography.
The second way is to add a new but related skill to your service offerings.
For example, an illustrator may start giving workshops on how to make comics.
1. Identify Your Existing Skills and Area of Specialization
If you’ve been freelancing for a while, you’re probably aware of what brings in the most money.
Examine your revenue sources over the last six months or so.
Is there a single type of employment that accounts for the majority of your earnings?
You may not have intended to create the precise specialization you have, but it is what you have, and it is not a bad thing: changing from skilled to specialized may offer you with more authority and reach.
Know your bread-and-butter specialty, and keep note of the skills that help you gain and retain clients, so you can go logically from where you are to a more expansive sector.
2. Make a list of potential new skills.
Your present expertise or specialties, if you have more than one, serves as your foundation.
You’ll be expanding on it.
Following a logical sequence will make it easier to expand, construct it one level at a time.
Progression through logical phases allows you to earn a consistent income while always offering up new services.
Make a list of new skills you’d like to acquire or new areas in which you’d like to work to establish what the next level is for you.
If you’re at a loss for ideas, look vertically and horizontally from your starting point: which abilities are one degree higher than the ones you currently have?
What are the areas just next door that are similar yet unique from the ones where you now work?
Take your time going over the list, noting the skills that closely connect to or build from the ones you currently have.
The greater the link between an old and new skill, the easier it is to learn.
Similarly, the closer two areas are, the simpler it will be to transition from one to the other.
Adding app development, for example, to your web design and development firm is a step forward, but adding e-book formatting is a massive jump that most creative professionals can’t accomplish because it’s way outside your present skill set.
3. Reduce Your Alternatives
You may have more than one closely linked expansion option, so the next step is to decide which one to pursue.
You want to go with the expansion that gives you the best return on investment.
Payoff does not only relate to revenue potential, though that is a vital consideration.
Your own personal interest and excitement, network, and ease of entry should all be considered.
Seek for methods to grow.
Use the following criteria to determine which possibilities make the most sense for you:
Do I enjoy this subject/skill?
Does this seem attractive to you?
Does it correspond to what I know about my preferences and work style?
Do I have any other options with a good pay rate?
Where can I learn about further career opportunities?
Who do I know who is already working in this field or using this skill?
Do I have any direct contacts that could assist me in obtaining skills or starting a career in this field?
What are the basic requirements I must meet in order to establish my competency in this skill/area?
How much work will I need to put in before I can advance in this skill/area?
What is a reasonable estimate of how much money I could make from this new skill/area?
Are there any impediments that would prevent me from reaching the highest levels of income?
4. Obtain the Necessary Qualifications
Once you’ve decided on the best option for advancement, find out how to incorporate it into your work life.
A strong network will help you get through this stage much more easily.
Get advice from anyone you know who is already working in this industry.
In certain cases, you will be transferring an existing skill to a new profession.
You will not need further education or skill-building support as much as you will need experience in your new industry.
In other circumstances, you’re actually adding a new skill to your repertoire.
What is the most effective and shortest approach to learn that skill?
Consider your options, which include everything from online training to virtual apprenticeships to just putting in the requisite hours to master the skill.
Make a note of any new materials, resources, or equipment you’ll need for your expansion.
5. Get the Necessary Experience
It’s a horrible idea to put your old, boring, day-to-day work on hold while you concentrate on your new, exciting skill. It’s also unnecessary.
If you start small in your expansion, you can gain experience without jeopardizing your current services.
Gaining a new skill or area of expertise necessitates more than just understanding and mastering the fundamental skills.
You must also set up a productive workflow, arrange the necessary space, acquire the necessary resources, connect with the right clients, and determine whether you enjoy this expansion in practice as much as you did in theory.
To avoid tension, look for low-paying jobs.
Obtain permission from friends to assist (or observe) their work.
Yes, you are allowed to work without charging a single cent.
This is an excellent opportunity to work for exposure with a company that is just getting started but will definitely grow to be very, very huge.
Get in on the ground floor before it’s too late.
Those shady tasks are ideal for honing your new skills and acquiring finished work to include in your new part of your portfolio.
6. Incorporate Expansion into Your Public Offerings
You’ll be ready to make your new offer public after you’ve completed a few of these minor tasks.
Gather your proof in the form of completed work and testimonials, and then add a new section to your website.
Put an end to your work-for-exposure duties for the time being.
You’ve launched a new, legal service.
You’ve got a lot of experience.
Charge the right amount.
Continue to seek references and suggestions, and notify your regular clients that you are now providing this extra service in addition to the ones they are already acquainted with.
IMAGE CREDIT: Storyset