There are numerous current articles highlighting the growing demand for freelancers. What is causing this trend for "external services" and how can you capitalize on future opportunities?
According to Elance, earnings in freelance fields have majorly increased. These 2012 gains include:
- Content writing (+151%)
- Blog writing (+78%)
- Web design (+205%) and graphic design (+165%)
- Photoshop (+165%) and Illustrator (+131%)
- Digital marketers (+190%) and social media marketers (+132%) (1)
Research through Elance indicates that the power of on-line connectivity is picking up speed and and in some fields, taking off. The key factor in digital skills and services...is that the rules are constantly changing. When you type google.com in your toolbar and the infamous blank white page pops up, you will enter a unique search term....crafted by you. As of now Google engineers use 200+ algorithms that rank search results according to what you are likely looking for. (2)
This keyword "matching process" changes all the time. Therefore the rules of Search Engine Optimization change and the skills of digital marketers, bloggers, and web designers must adjust for these, at times, daily changes. The guys at the top are finally starting to realize the value of freelancers. Can I get a woot woot??! I mean, it's about time right? Rather than spending millions of dollars on constant employee training, that only amounts to sunk costs when employees move on...why not hire out some of these specialized projects?
So with increasing demand and higher wages, how can we best take advantage of this growing market? As you already know, client base is key. Metcalfe's Law tells us that on-line networks grow exponentially (3). While growth in the beginning can be quite slow...there is a tipping point. Once you are established, word of mouth and on-line SEO will grow your business until you will eventually have more work than you can handle!
So what can you do to get to that point?
Here are some proven tips for growing any freelance business:
- Diversify your skills! Take an on-line SEO or Digital Marketing course. Learn web design. This will give you expertise for building your on-line presence, in addition to increasing your professional marketability.
- Create a blog on your current site and create valuable user-centric content to pull in traffic. First deliver value then gain trust.
- Get an eye for design...your website, marketing materials, and portfolio should be unique, clutter free, and to the point.
Here at Blue Ocean, we celebrate the life of the freelancer by running a full-amenity co-working center in the land of the Big Sky...Bozeman, MT. We would love to connect with you! Get in touch here.
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1. Elance (elance.com)
2. Google's ZMOT http://www.zeromomentoftruth.com/
3. Metcalfe's Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metcalfe%27s_law)