Often, the freelance services you offer are ones you’ve done before. So, if you’ve been a graphic designer for 15 years, then offering graphic design as a freelance service is a perfectly good choice. After all, if you’re going to sell a freelance service to clients, you need to be skilled in the service you’re offering.
But too often, freelancers think that in order to have more clients (and therefore more work and income), they need to add freelance services. So, that graphic designer may think “I need to learn web development to build websites and copywriting and then I can be a one-stop shop for my clients.”
The first step to growing your freelance business, however, is not adding more freelance services. It’s focusing on these three areas.
1. Focus on Your Area of Expertise
Clients want to work with experts in their respective fields.
By focusing on your area of expertise, you can ensure you’re delivering your clients the best possible work in your field. Plus, you can do what it is you love without feeling forced to take on entirely other skillsets or even entirely different careers!
For example, we often hear freelance copywriters who think they need to learn SEO. But what they don’t often realize (because too many novice copywriters are shouting that they need to know SEO), is that SEO is an entirely separate career. Sure, they can learn about keywords and how to strategically include them in areas of copy. But to learn how to improve site speed, schema markup, mobile usability, and more would require them to take on an entirely different role from copywriting!
The danger of offering services outside your area of expertise is disappointed clients who don’t trust you to deliver what it is you say you can deliver.
A Quick Note on Niches
Choosing a freelance niche can hurt business growth. When we say “niche” we mean unnecessarily narrowing down your potential pool of clients.
For example, if you’re a web developer who decides they’re only going to work with tech companies. Or an ads manager that is only going to work with sustainable e-commerce brands. Or a copywriter who is only going to write emails.
When you’re looking to grow your business, make sure you’re not unnecessarily boxing yourself in. As a graphic designer, for example, your freelance services should include graphic design services (websites, emails, brochures, etc.). But your main “service” is still graphic design.
2. Have a Proven System for Finding & Landing Clients
Too many freelancers want to add services because they think they can get more clients. As if being the Jack and Jill of all trades will suddenly make more clients appear.
It can even feel necessary to add services if one or two clients ask, “Are you able to do this, too?”
But here’s the thing: Clients often ask because what’s the worst you can say? No? They may need a service (or think they need a service), and figure, “let’s see if this person can tackle it.”
Instead, you need to be reaching out to clients with value-packed ideas for their businesses. If you’re not controlling your client outreach, you’re not controlling your income.
Hoping clients will come to you is not a system. If you want to grow your business, you need a proven system for finding and landing clients.
3. Build Your Freelance Network
It’s helpful to have a network of freelancers for multiple reasons. First, it’s nice to connect with people who get what it is that you do. (Ever have someone question whether freelancing is a real career? Or maybe you’ve even questioned if it’s a real career?!)
Second, it helps to know freelancers across industries and across skillsets. If clients ask, “Can you also do x, y, and z?” You can say, “those are three separate careers, but I have some incredible peers who offer those services. I think you’ll love working with them.”
Third, just as you can refer other freelancers to projects, they can refer you when their clients have needs for your services!
When to Add Freelance Services
Once you have a steady stream of freelance clients and income, that’s when you may decide to add freelance services to expand your business further. But you may also find that you don’t need or want to! That’s fine, too.
If you’re ready to add freelance services, the first step is to make sure you’re trained in whatever service it is that you want to offer. Learning a new skill is a time and financial investment, so consider how that impacts your current freelance schedule. (And learning on the fly is a surefire way to burn bridges with clients when you deliver sub-par work.)
Of course, you also have the option of outsourcing work to freelancers who are already experts in that service.
And, consider whether you need a separate freelance business for the service. So, if you’re offering graphic design services, you probably wouldn’t want to add to your portfolio your examples of costume design. Your clients for those services are two very different audiences!
Your Turn! How many freelance services do you offer? Tell us in the comments below!
Last Updated on December 27, 2022 by Craig Galo