When we consider the benefits of freelancing, it’s usually in the context of our own lifestyles as members of the work force. We think about the increased potential to earn and the freedom to set our own schedules and perform our work from the locations of our own choosing.
Don’t forget, though, that the freelance-client relationship is a win-win – it’s beneficial to both parties. If you can keep in mind the reasons why a company would want to commission your services on a temporary contract basis, as opposed to bringing on a new full-time employee, then you’ll preserve important perspective. Remembering what’s in it for your clients empowers you to improve your prospecting processes, to close more sales, and to manage customer relationships with greater success.
Closing the Confidence Gap
Keep in mind that the relationship dynamics of contracted professional services differ greatly from those of traditional employment. To a far greater degree than in-house workers, freelancers are partners with those who hire us, working together towards common goals.
Moreover, freelancers are all too often prone to a phenomenon known affectionately as “imposter syndrome,” whereby we lose confidence in our expertise and start to wonder when our clients will wake up and realize we’ve swindled them. The freelance life involves being prone to loneliness and the pitfalls of operating in a vacuum, which can diminish awareness of the value we deliver – and one of the most important aspects of that value is giving our clients the option to hire experts without the burdens of long-term commitments.
Consider these key advantages that working with you as a freelancer gives your clients.
- No Burdens of Overhead and Benefits
When clients hire you, they know that their money is going to their projects – not your workstation, not the rent and utilities involve with maintaining an office that includes a cubicle for you, and not your 401(k). Ideally, of course, your freelance fee structure will include buffers so that you can pay for tools, a place to sit and maybe even a retirement fund, but those buffers are small compared to the spending that employers commit to.
- No Commute Radius Limits
If you are working remotely, then you can be all the way on the other side of the planet, as far as the client is concerned. When geographic proximity is less of an issue, companies have a far wider talent pool to tap into, so they can hire truly the best person for the job. If you live in a locale where the cost of living is cheaper than major business markets, then you can easily underbid your competitors and offer more bang for your client’s buck than they’d get with the talent that lives near them.
- Niche Expertise On Demand
When you provide a niche service, where specific expertise is called for, and nothing else will do, then your clients are better off turning to you with short-term gigs than hiring a generalist in-house. Develop those relationships, encourage the clients to continue to use your specialized services, and take advantage of the fact that you are mastering a niche.
- Agile Scalability
Companies often need to hire more team members when they take on new projects, but doing so is tricky if management isn’t sure how long the activity spike is going to last. As a freelancer, you can be ready, willing and able to close the personnel gap for a brief time, without taking offense that you are not needed for the longer term. When the next spike comes along, if you did a good job the first time around, they well may turn to you again.
- Hedging Bets
Hiring employees can be dicey. It’s tough to predict which applicants will perform best and fit in best with a company’s culture. By working with freelancers like yourself, though, clients can minimize these risks. All they need to do is commission a high volume of small deliverables from several freelancers, see who does the best, drop the rest, and up the volume with the superstars. If prospects tell you that they’re averse to taking chances, you can do well to remind them about this model.
Better for Both Parties
As a freelancer, you have a great deal of value to offer hiring businesses over employees. Your potential clients have many reasons to seek you out – not the least of which is your fantastic fulfillment of work orders. Why should your prospects for clients hire you? Because you’re probably the best thing to hit their company in some time. That is, you’re the very best person for the job – and when you recognize that about yourself, your clients will feel it too.