As your freelance writing business grows, how much thought have you given to the kinds of clients you want to attract? If your goal is to work with larger companies, you will need to start taking steps to create the right image to attract them. Clients at this level want to know that you have the experience to handle larger projects and your business can be depended on to deliver the project on time, and on budget. Here are some tips to help you make your freelance writing business look bigger than a home-based venture so that you can make it appealing to a wider variety of potential clients.
Make your Freelance Writing Business Look Bigger
Review your Website
Your website is your online calling card and it is available for potential clients to see on a 24/7 basis. If you haven’t taken a look at it for some time, schedule some time to go over it with a critical eye. If it looks dated to you, it will give off the same impression to your clients.
Invest some money in hiring a designer to give you a more modern look or if you have the skills to update it yourself, buy a template to make some changes. Larger images and slides are expected to be popular in the coming year, and it may be worthwhile considering a design that incorporates these features to attract new business.
Use a Professional E-mail Address
If you are using a free e-mail address, such as [email protected] or [email protected], you may want to switch over to an e-mail account that goes with your domain name. Your Internet Service Provider determines the number of e-mail accounts you receive with your domain purchase. Depending on the number of accounts you can open and your preference, you could have accounts for [email protected], [email protected] and firstname.lastname@example.org to cover off different aspects of your business.
Have Professional Business Cards Printed
You may be able to print off your own business cards at home, but your business will have a much more professional look if you have them done professionally. Choose a font and image that are similar to the ones used on your website so that you have continuity in your marketing materials.
Rent a Post Office Box
Rather than sharing your home address on your business correspondence and website, rent a post office box. You can arrange to have your business bills delivered to that address as well. The expense would be a tax-deductible one, and it looks professional on invoices and letters.
Rent Office Space
If you need to meet clients regularly, going to the local coffee shop is not going to give them the impression that your business is bigger. You can accomplish this goal by renting office space or a meeting room for a few hours a month so that you have convenient location to see clients. Companies like Regus have flexible plans that include access to meeting rooms and offices.
Hire a Phone Answering Service
Some freelancers find that their first contact with a client is by e-mail, while others are contacted by phone regularly by potential clients. If you find that your clients would like to talk to you on the phone but you need to be able to block off certain times to work on projects, do administrative tasks or for personal time, having a virtual receptionist answering your phone may be the answer for you.
The person answering your phone doesn’t need to be in your home to answer your calls in a professional manner. You can order this service separately from a provider or as part of a package from a company that rents office space like Regus.
Mind your P’s and Q’s
As you start to work with larger clients, you can expect that the atmosphere will be a bit more formal in your dealings with everyone that you meet. Being polite is a given for dealing with all clients but don’t make the mistake of becoming too casual in your language, even if you hear employees doing it.
It’s perfectly fine to be a bit separate from your client’s employees, since you don’t work for the company. You are independent and need to be professional at all times, even if the employees aren’t showing very good judgment. Whether you agree with it or not, clients make assumptions about you based on the type of language you decide to use. If you present yourself as professional in all situations, it makes your business look bigger than a work-from-home operation.
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Image Credit: Istock.com
Image Credit: Istock.com