Deciding what core freelance services to provide clients can be both exciting and daunting. When you’re an employee but making tentative plans to set up your own freelancing business, figuring out just what services you can realistically offer is tricky.
There are so many different potential freelance avenues to take but not all are lucrative, easy to learn, suitable to your skills, or something you would enjoy doing. For some services, there’s too much competition while for others, not enough, suggesting a lack of demand. Then there are your own assumptions and fears to overcome which might mask potentially perfect services for your unique abilities and experience.
So what are some of the factors you need to consider when deciding on what core freelance services to provide with your new business?
Let’s explore them together:
Your education and experience
It’s a lot easier to move into a new freelance service area when you already have knowledge and experience of that particular field. Your website copy and marketing materials will display your confidence and ability in the subject and this will be conveyed to visiting prospects.
Consider how you can potentially incorporate previous education and career experience into the creation of a new service. For example, a trained fashion designer might offer personal styling services to local busy career women.
Where your natural talent lies
We’re all particularly good at something even if we don’t think money can be made from that natural talent. Often when young we’re turned off a career path because we didn’t see many traditional job opportunities or earning potential to be had. Yet with the internet, there are many ways we can embrace our natural talents and turn these into in-demand niche services.
Think of what people keeping saying you’re really good at and devise possible related services you can offer. Natural talent is not everything in freelancing but it gets you a long way when combined with hard work and intelligent marketing.
What you love doing
Usually what we love doing is what we’re naturally good at, but this isn’t always the case. Yet the passion we have for something ensures we contain the drive and determination to become good in that particular skill, regardless of natural talent.
When your freelancing work is something you’d enjoy doing even if you were a billionaire and didn’t have to lift a finger, then you know you’re going to love your business and the lifestyle associated with it.
You know already what you love doing so consider how this passion can be incorporated into a freelance service.
Things you can do quickly
Time is money when you’re a freelancer and so the faster you can work, the more money you’ll make. Quality is vital of course so speed shouldn’t neglect doing a good job. However, when you’re skilled and experienced in a certain area then you can still work fast and produce great results.
When choosing a service or group of services to offer clients, think of what you can do quickly and well. It’s all very well being good at something and having a natural inclination for it, but if you find it taxing and it takes you a long time, then it will be an uphill task to reach your required self-employed income goals.
Services in demand
It’s fun to think of the services you can potentially provide. There are all sorts of weird and wonderful freelance careers out there from expert baby name advisors and office happiness consultants to professional bridesmaids and expert funeral mourners. Yet it’s important to ensure there’s actually a big enough market for the services you want to offer.
Providing a service which is too obscure, or can easily be done by business owners themselves or their interns, will result in fewer enquires. There’s also less potential for raising your rates in the future.
Services with competition but not too much
Despite what you might think, competition is a good thing. It shows there’s demand for a service and therefore plenty of clients willing to pay good money for a professional in that particular skill. If there are plenty of other people doing what you want to do then it shows with some hard work and effort, you can reap the rewards and be in high demand.
That said, too much competition can potentially make things overwhelmingly difficult. This is when you need to drill down into a more niche service area perhaps related to a particular industry, specific skillset, or smaller geographical area.
Services with high income potential
Most freelancers want to at least match, and preferably exceed, the salary they had at their previous 9-to-5 office job. However, freelancers also need to consider the extra expenses and saving requirements associated with self-employment such as retirement funds, health insurance, emergency cash, and the general costs of running their own business.
This means you need to earn more per annum than someone doing the same type of work in an office. As a result, it’s important you focus on providing services that people are willing to pay good money for, that are in demand, and which can be scaled up.
Services with likeable clients
Another factor to consider when choosing what freelance services to provide is what type of client you would like to work with. There are many types of clients including fellow freelancers, agencies, small businesses, large international companies, private individuals, publishers, and many more.
Your personality and way of working may suit communication styles and characteristics typical among certain client groups. It’s important you generally like the type of people you want to attract with your marketing otherwise you’ll begin to dread the next enquiry.
Services with product potential
Freelancing and self-employment gives people a lot more freedom than they might otherwise enjoy as an employee. However, freelancing also means working on other peoples’ projects and being dependent on client income. Over time many freelancers decide to create their own products to either complement or replace client work and provide a more passive income stream.
Selling your own products via your website is easier when you’ve already built a reputation and web presence in a particular field or industry. By selling products related to your freelance niche, you can sell to existing clients and readers. This gives an added impetus to consider potential products you might want to create later in your career when deciding upon services to offer now.
Choosing what core freelance services to provide clients needn’t be a tough decision. Consider all of the above factors, especially what you love doing and what you do well, and create a service – or group of services – that match your skillsets and personality.