Competition is part of the freelance life. Unfortunately, competition can be daunting for many freelancers.
They think that as more and more freelance writers emerge, less and less work will be available to them. They’re so discouraged by how fierce the competition is in today’s job market that it deters them from putting a real effort into landing high-paying gigs and loyal clients.
Surprisingly enough, the demand for freelance writers has skyrocketed over the last few years. It seems there aren’t enough quality freelance writers to fill the roles that need them so desperately.
Still, freelancer writers must embrace competition to become better at writing and running a freelance business, rather than looking at their competitors as a threat to their success.
Let’s explore six ways competition makes you a better freelancer.
Freelancer Competition Makes You Better…
Work Harder for Customer Retention
First, one of the main benefits of competition is it lights a fire in you to be better than the rest. Competition can drive freelance writers to work as hard as possible, not just to acquire high-paying clients but also to retain them.
Competition can teach you best practices for retaining clients. For instance, you can study how your most successful competitors personalize the client experience and reward clients who sign long-term contracts with them. Competition can also give you insight into deepening current client relationships through platforms like social media.
Ultimately, it’s best to educate yourself on customer retention strategies and plan to experiment with them in your freelance business.
Another way competition makes you a better freelancer is by helping you appreciate your uniqueness.
Appreciate Your Uniqueness
When you study the competition, you start to appreciate your uniqueness. You begin to pinpoint the things that make you stand out from the competition and do all you can to better those things to better your business.
It’s a fantastic idea to make a list of how different you are from the competition, personally and in business. Then, take it a step further and write down how your differences result in better outcomes for your clients. You’ll be surprised at how revisiting this list often boosts your confidence and freelance success.
Competition can also help you assess your strengths and work on your weaknesses as a freelancer.
Assess Your Strengths and Work on Your Weaknesses
Competition is beautiful for freelancers because it prompts them to take a hard look at their strengths and weaknesses. When you see a fellow freelance writer crushing it in an area you’re hoping to make a name for yourself in, it drives you to look at what they’re doing and what you’re doing and assess the gaps in skillset and business savvy.
Assessing your strengths and weaknesses means you’ll first have to commit to being completely honest with yourself. From there, you can list your strengths and what things you bring to your freelance clientele. Then, you can account for where you’re lacking in business and your craft.
Once your strengths and weaknesses are documented, choose 1-2 points on your weaknesses list to improve actively. And see how you can further optimize your strengths and celebrate them in your business.
Competition can also drive innovation in freelancers.
Innovation is all about introducing or highlighting something new and unique in a product, process, business, idea, industry, field, or otherwise. Because there are so many writers out there and so much competition for even the lowest-paying writing gigs, making innovation a part of your every day is crucial to your freelance success.
Freelancer competition drives innovation. Innovation will prompt you to constantly question and evaluate the procedures and processes in your freelance business to see how you can elevate them. It also helps you look at the gaps in your competitor’s services and form a customer experience that fills those gaps and sets you apart.
Aside from driving innovation, competition also hones resilience in freelancers.
Freelance writing is absolutely a rollercoaster ride. Sometimes it’s one you want to be on, and other times, not so much. But the ups and downs of freelance writing make you that much more resilient, and so does having to deal with competition.
You can’t dwell on mistakes and beat yourself up about making them. Instead, if you want to be successful, you’ve got to learn how to bounce back from challenges. To say it another way, you must develop mental, physical, and emotional toughness that enables you to adapt when your career takes a turn you weren’t prepared for.
You also must learn how to fight through feeling doubtful about your writing talent and how you measure up to your most successful competition. Winning out clients over your stiffest competition or getting a nod of acknowledgment from them are surefire ways to build resilience and confidence.
Lastly, competition can help you grow your professional network.
Grow a Professional Network
Although most people don’t see it first, competition is a gateway to growing your professional network. If you’ve ever played sports, you know all too well how fast your competition can turn into your teammate. For example, you could play school basketball with someone, but during the summer play against each other on different club teams or vice versa.
The same thing happens in the freelance writing world. As you get better, you’ll get to know your competition. As long as you use competitiveness as motivation and a means of learning, those relationships have a better chance of blossoming into a mutually beneficial professional relationship.
Ultimately, freelance writers have the opportunity to not just learn from their competitors but make them an integral part of their budding professional network.
There’s nothing wrong with healthy competition in freelancing. It makes you a better writer, business owner, mentor, and friend in the writing world. Not only will you learn about yourself and elevate your business and abilities, but you’ll also inspire your competitors to remain at the top of their game.