Before launching a new business, entrepreneurs often invest serious time and effort into conducting market research. They know their target audience, as well as how to reach it. And as they develop products, they ensure their existing customer base will be just as happy with them as the new customers they’re trying to win.
For freelancers, the process of building a business should be similar. Whether you’re designing logos for brands or writing content for online publications, you should be able to establish the ideal client base for your talents. But if you forge ahead without taking time to think through the market for the work you perform, you may end up with a base of clients that isn’t the right fit. By thoroughly studying the market ahead of time, you can design the exact type of freelance career you want.
Learning your market
In addition to the many other benefits of market research, studying the industry will help you maximize your earnings. You’ll know the types of businesses that are looking for your kind of expertise and will be able to aim your job search in that direction. This will also help you avoid wasting time applying for work outside your pay range or above your experience level.
For freelancers, it’s important to not only research the market for your work, but the competition. The number of workers employed in freelance roles has increased significantly since 2005, and it is only expected to continue to grow in the coming decade. This means whatever role you’re hoping to fill, there will be many others competing for that same assignment. By studying the competition and their average rates, you’ll have more chance of landing the kind of work you want to do.
Creating a strategy
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a solopreneur is to fail to set a strategy based on research. The best businesses have a plan in place on the front end and work toward putting that plan into action on a daily basis. Conduct thorough market research using one of the many tools available, until you know your target audience well. Your business strategy should also address marketing in-depth, including your plan to create a website and social media presence and network to gain more business.
Here are a few tips to help you create a winning strategy for your freelance business:
- Have a solo brainstorming session: Before you create a formal document, make a list of what you hope to achieve and what you want your business to look like.
- Start with a mission statement: You should have a mission statement in place that describes what sets you apart from others you’ve examined in your niche.
- Set a timeline: Your business plan will include long- and short-term goals. Reflect this by creating a timeline to reach your various objectives. Be realistic but aggressive.
- Regularly revisit: It’s important to review your business plan on a regular basis and make sure you’re staying true to the goals you originally set.
Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to conduct research. You can search job boards and join industry-specific groups to learn more about the audience for the services you provide. Even better? You can get a Fiverr expert to do the research for you.
How do you research your freelance market? Give us your top tips in the comments below!