Every freelancing business starts small and gradually gets bigger and bigger. This expansion can be achieved through a number of different methods, but the most successful is through expanding the services you’re offering.
As your freelancing business grows and you add more strings to your bow, it can reach a much larger target audience, which ultimately leads to more customers. Theoretically, more customers bring greater revenues and greater revenues can lead to further business expansion. Which is exactly what we want, right?
The key is to identify the right areas to expand your services into.
For example, is it really worth a freelance copywriter learning complex graph design skills in an attempt to make extra money, or is there a better approach?
Adapt with changing attitudes
We live in an extremely fast paced world. Today’s trends could well be out of fashion in a month or two from now, so it is paramount that, as a freelancer, you keep up to date with the latest trends in your industry and adapt your services accordingly.
As an example, one of the hottest trends in the world of content marketing at the moment (written in 2015) is interactive content.
Gone are the days when freelance copywriters would only write long blog posts… instead, given this latest trend, copywriters can expand their offering by writing expert interactive content like this interactive map of London.
This piece from Deloitte is another extremely successful example of how interactive content can make a business stand out.
The key is to spot the trends early and put yourself in a position to offer them as part of your service structure as soon as possible. If you wait too long another trend might just hit the market instead.
If you can’t do it, outsource it
Going back to the example given at the top of this post, is it worth you learning a completely new skill?
Well if it’s something straightforward and easily learnable then the answer is yes — if you see demand for it. However, in the example of a copywriter learning web design, your time would probably be better spent elsewhere, unless you already have some basic skills in this area.
Although, there is nothing stopping you generating strong working relationships with other businesses and outsourcing this work instead…
For example, Freelance copywriters are bound to encounter clients who want a graphic designer to create a swanky infographic, so it can be tempting to try and develop those skills and win this work. However, if the copywriter has graphic design contacts, they could take the work on and outsource it (and take a referral fee).
The copywriter would produce the content and the designer would bring it all together to produce the final infographic. Consequently the copywriter can now offer infographics as part of their service offering.
If you are new to the art of outsourcing, this article on Entrepreuneur.com will tell you exactly how you can build a better business with outsourcing.
Talk to your customers
Talk to your customers and find out if there are any other services that they require from you.
In the example of a copywriter, they could easily ask their clients if there are any particularly amazing pieces of content that they have seen recently or that they would like to offer. You might just find that they have identified a new opportunity that you can then produce for them.
Just make sure that you have the necessary skills/contacts before taking on any extra work, particularly if it’s outside your wheelhouse.
Create an ongoing feedback process
Whatever service you provide, you always need to ensure that your customers have the opportunity to rate and comment on the standard of work you are receiving.
If you have recently started offering a new service, you want to make sure that you are providing the quality that your customer expects. If your work is subpar the chances are that you won’t receive repeat orders and will have missed an opportunity.
Listen and respond to feedback where possible and use it to further improve your offer.