Why freelancers should communicate their core values
Freelancers need to sell their work as well as themselves. It’s crucial that your clients know what are your strengths, how you communicate, and what your personality is like. Freelancers with clear core values and a clearly-defined USP will attract the ideal customers, in addition to generating more work.
Start by formulating your core values for yourself
Your client must know who you are. To be able to clearly convey this, you need to know yourself well first. If you feel stressed because you don’t have enough assignments or because a client complains about an invoice, perhaps you are not cut out for life as a freelancer. In that case, you need to be able to rely on your core values: why do I like my job? Why does it give me satisfaction and what makes me so good at my job? If you can answer these questions, you will also be able to cope with the stress more easily.
Make things clear for your client
You need to know what you stand for as a freelancer. While this makes perfect sense, your client must also understand what are your strengths and what you find important. Use the following topics to determine what sets you apart from other freelancers.
- Your skills: training, professional knowledge, experience,..
- Your passions: do you have specific interests, pastimes or qualities that you use in your free time but which may also benefit your work? List them. Scouts is a classic example. It shows that you enjoy networking and teamwork.
- Your personality: every freelancer is different. Depending on your personality, some assignments may be less of a good match for you, while others suit you to a tee. Do you find change, unexpected challenges and flexibility energising? You may be just the perfect match for a start-up in that case. Is stability and predictability your cup of tea? You may find that you have a better click with a more mature company. Try to determine which job content energises you and don’t forget to inform the client what are your strengths and preferences. By clearly defining your core values, you’re more likely to find a good match.
- Define your USP, your unique selling point: what makes you unique as a freelancer? Are you specialised in a niche or do you draw on your generalist knowledge? Do you immerse yourself in the latest technology in your field or are you excellent at talking to customers? Your USP will ensure that clients remember you and re-contact you for a next job.
Consistency is everything
Knowing what you stand for is one thing, but you need to communicate your core values and image to customers time and again. You can use your website and your social media for this, but you can also do this during your personal interaction with the client. Ensure that your personality shines through in your communication so your potential client has a better idea of who he is working with.
Build a network
Systematic networking, both offline and online, is the best way to attract new customers and further develop your company. It is also a great opportunity to convey your core values. Word of mouth is still the most effective advertising in the world of freelancing. So do invest sufficient time in networking opportunities. Don’t forget to listen to what others have to say at these times. Potential clients also like to feel heard.
Stay true to yourself
If you value your independence as a freelancer but a potential employer does not give you the independence you need, you should probably turn down the assignment to avoid a conflict with your own core values. By being authentic in what you do and always staying true to yourself, people and organisations will recognise and appreciate your core values more easily. Increasing the chances that they will re-contact you for a next assignment.
Want to know more about how to market yourself? Drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.