It’s becoming ever more important for freelancers to embrace innovation. There are no two ways about it. With so many freelance professionals, competition is fierce and the need to stand out is increasingly imperative. This is the same regardless of which freelancing sector you’re in.
According to employment statistics, there are over 62 million freelancers in the United States alone. This figure is set to rise to over 90 million within a decade.
These figures highlight the problem freelancers face, especially newbies. With so much competition, it’s difficult to get noticed and to attract the best clients.
It can be a real struggle for most freelancers to achieve the lifestyle dreams they had when first embarking on a freelance career path. Unless, that is, they embrace an innovative mindset.
Innovation is key to success in any business and it’s no less important for freelancers and solopreneurs. By being innovative, you can differentiate yourself from your competition and find ways to break into new lucrative arenas. Innovation is often about being an uninhibited trendsetter and a fearless trailblazer. Ninja-spirited, in other words.
So what are some of the ways you can become a successfully innovative freelancer?
Focus on a fresh and unconventional niche
There are hundreds of thousands of generalist freelancers in the US, all doing very similar things to one another in their particular fields. They work for anyone and everyone who will pay them a fee and as such they become commodities. It’s difficult to charge a good rate when you blend into the crowd of similarly skilled professionals.
When you narrow your focus and select a niche market, you become not only more noticeable but also a lot more prized. Prospects see you as an expert who genuinely understands their needs and industry. Specialists get paid more as a result.
Hunt for what might seem like unconventional niches but which might contain eager clients who will pay you handsomely.
Search for ways to create brand new services
Successful entrepreneurs are always looking for connections between often dissimilar topics. They spot potential where most other people see either chaos or barriers.
As a freelancer, you need an entrepreneur’s mindset. Simply offering the exact same services as most other freelancers in your field will render you invisible to your ideal clients. There’s little chance to significantly raise your rates.
However, when you create entirely new services (and service packages), based on your market’s real needs, then you automatically eliminate most of your completion. You become unique.
Find connections between existing services, market needs, your unique skills, and the latest industry developments, to create innovative new services and offerings.
Embrace new technologies and tools
Technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Every week new apps and tools are released and software updated. Cloud software, like our free cloud invoicing platform here at Invoice Ninja, allows for many of these apps and tools to be synchronized and integrated.
Hundreds of tasks and procedures can now be streamlined and automated. This all frees up more time for you to dedicate to billable client work, and of course, family and leisure activities.
Freelancers who don’t embrace new technologies, are quite simply left behind these days. Many collaboration partners seek out freelancing professionals who use the latest collaboration tools. Clients expect smooth deliveries, communications, invoicing, project management, and more.
An innovative freelancer is a freelancer who takes advantage of the latest technology to make their lives – and those of their clients – a lot easier.
Be authentic and true to your message
This tip at first might not sound very innovative. But when you consider most freelancers play it safe when it comes to branding and their message, you quickly realize the potential of true authenticity.
Draw up a list of freelancers in any sector and most will sound and appear very much alike. This is why clients frequently base their decisions on pricing (usually the lower the better) when deciding who to hire.
It’s the freelancers who develop a strong brand message together with a unique and authentic brand voice that really stand out. In such cases, prospects fall in love with their personality. These freelancers can often beat their competition who might have better portfolios and greater experience, but who are otherwise rather dull.
Authentic freelancers are memorable. They are unorthodox. They stay true to themselves. And they’re not afraid to show it. These special freelancers, in whatever industry, introduce new ideas with original and creative thinking, born from their originality.
The very definition of innovative.
Embracing freelance innovation
Successful freelancers embrace innovation. They spot gaps, connect dots, blaze through restrictions, and smash down walls. Their innovative thinking, fearless drive, and creative personalities endear them to the people who matter most… their perfect clients.
If you’re to succeed as a freelancer, you need to be innovative yourself. Whether it’s in the tools you use, the processes you develop, the services you create, the brand you design, or the way you write, your success comes down to being different and original.
Innovation is everything when it comes to making a good freelancing income. It can also be a stepping stone to even greater things.