This is a part 2 to https://hackernoon.com/the-state-of-freelancing-a-guide-to-2017-5cfe4ad44577#.puyrdd0yn . After people asked for a more thorough guide to actually becoming an ‘Authority’ and automating all of the meticulous processes involved with being a freelancer.
Reputation, reputation, reputation. As a freelancer there are multiple ways to demonstrate your competence. A portfolio, or linkedIN, perhaps even a CV. But nothing really quite compares to references from others.
I would suggest a free service such as Get Recommended. I like it just because I think it does a better job that linkedIn for recommendations and it kind of acts like a constant go-to for referring potential clients. For me and others, it also actually ranks high in SEO for when people google your name, almost always first page.
Recommended is the first to connect small businesses, freelancers, and individual professionals with their customers…www.getrecommended.com
This allows you to demonstrate to future clients, just how hot daymne good you actually are.
Build out a solid portfolio, add recommendations & work and consistently ask new clients to recommend you.
Why would you choose to hire someone? What gives them klout? What will tell you that they can actually do what they’re saying they can do?
Becoming an authority
There are shortcuts in the freelancing world, but if you truly enjoy what you do and what to carry it forward in some capacity in later life, you’ll want to take your reputation and turn yourself into an authority.
Becoming an authority isn’t a ‘hack’ and shouldn’t be, like so many ‘coaches’ and courses will try and tell you. If you love what you do, it will become the natural progression as you strive for the best.
Here is a great example
Simo Ahava's blog provides a unique, understandable, and relatable peek into the digital world.www.simoahava.com
@simoahava is selfless. You probably have no idea what he is writing about, but everyone that does something in his field knows about him. He offers the best advice, all for free.
He’s not trying to get you into his tribe. He’s not upselling you on every post to get you into his FB group or mailing list. No exclusive offers for limited training groups, no courses promising you 6 figures with what you can learn. He goes of the value of his work and the value of his work alone. Because of his work, he’s constantly asked to talk at conferences and is highly respected. I’ve even heard him speak at MeasureCamp London (In a packed-out room)
He’s active on Twitter, posts great and valuable content and is engaging with people who take the time to reach out to him.
Be like Simo.
Ways to get started to be like Simo:
- Share you knowledge. Giving it away doesn’t render you useless. You still have years upon years of experiences that anyone who may potentially hire you, likely will not have. You will still be better than 99.9% of everyone else in this world. Look at Google Trends or Quora, find what people are struggling with in your industry and help them.
- Share this in a digestible format and a way that can be found. Blogs are not dead. Medium is far from dead. If what you share has and will create value for others, people will want to read it.
- Use your face. People will be more likely to remember you if you tie your name to your image and vice versa. You are your brand. Make sure you come across as reputable.
- Cold email podcasts in your industry and blogs. Get your content and your voice out there.
- Specialise. What’s that one thing that you really know the intricate details of? You may be a designer, but how much depth can you go into when talking on UX psychology across cultures?
- Explore new topics!!! We don’t work in Academia. What we do hasn’t be exhausted by PhD candidates. We are the ones creating the fields that are ever evolving. We are able to create and define the future of what we do. Incredible!
- Stay active on Social. linkedIn Pulse posts, twitter, other peoples facebook groups. Give advice, help others. Ask questions, stay active in communities.
Extra reading on becoming an ‘Authority’. http://goinswriter.com/authority-blog/
Utilizing your reputation
Massaging and growing your network isn’t easy, creating and garnering reach isn’t easy, having a valid reach really isn’t easy. But it’s all very simple. If done right and consistently, you will surround yourselves with others at the top of their game and many more looking to get there. Looking to people like you, yes you, to help them along the way. It’s hard work, the greatest ‘Growth Hack’ here is actually enjoying what you do. That will help immensely.
Once you start gaining notoriety in your space, don’t stop. Nurture your network, carry on engaging and keep on tweeting at those that you would consider ‘further along’ or straight up better than you. Interacting with them and their followers also.
At a certain point, you can start turning yourself and your site into a proper brand.
Notice that these are all long form, long term. Nothing quick, it takes work. To be the best and to get the best clients, you really have to have that klout behind you. People will try and sell you cold emailing techniques and the like, but nothing beats top-notch companies actually reaching out to you and asking for a call.
I hope that was enjoyable. If it was, give it a ❤, so others can find it.