A definite way of making your business successful is to innovate and refresh your skill, marketing strategy and work life. Sometimes freelancers can confuse innovating within their business with the wrong kind of innovation and end up screwing up their business and driving away potential clients.
Innovate everything within your business, advance your skills and take them to new heights. If you are a freelance writer, in order to advance your skill you may want to take on a writing course to bring your skill to a new level. If this is not an option then at least vary what you read, so that if you only ever read horror, read something else. This may not directly help your business because ultimately you are not necessarily writing fiction, however the new types of writing styles, sentence structures and so on will help you learn how to write in different ways.
Innovating your marketing strategy is a vital part of surviving as a freelancer, as marketing is what brings in the business. You may be used to marketing through ads, attending relevant events and by blogging. What you must remember is that all your colleagues are trying the same techniques to get their business, so using these techniques you will get the same part of the same cake. This is why you need to up the game and rise above the rest in your field by developing such marketing strategies which may not have been done before.
Try to look for new things by reviewing the marketing strategies of others, whether it freelancers in your field or all businesses in general. Even studying the marketing strategy of Walmart may trigger a spark of genius in your mind leading you to market your services better. Think of the age old question, where will there be people requiring my services? Once you have a rough idea, get a plan of reaching out to them and implement it.
Innovate your work life by changing how you work. This can include many things, which range from changing the hours you work, changing the time you work, changing your workspace etc. By changing your work life you will keep yourself fresh with buzzing new ideas and you will have a new edge because of being inspired. This will lead to you enjoying your work even more.
Innovate your business in any way, shape or form which will lead to more business. I know of a restaurant owner, who opened an Indian restaurant on a road with many other Indian restaurants. This was most definitely going to lead to a disaster, until he was innovative. The way he had the edge over them was by offering other entertainments, along with having the one thing which the other restaurants did not have – hygiene!
What to Avoid
Being innovative is great and will definitely get you business, however don’t try to be too innovative. Think of a hotelier who opens a Dubai style 7 Star restaurant in the snowy mountains of Alaska. The hotelier is being as innovative as it gets, but he is also being innovative in the wrong way.
There are similar mistakes in the world of freelancing. You don’t want to make a portfolio for yourself and decide to be innovative and making a serious mistake. You may think “portfolios for other freelancers don’t have flashing stars around them with pink teddy bears floating down the page”. Yes, they do not, but not because they are not innovative enough, but because that would look sh*t!
Don’t be overly ambitious but at the same time try to mix things up a little. If no one has done it before, there are two reasons, either they haven’t thought of it or its not a good idea. Really think of your innovative idea and then discuss it with a trustworthy friend.
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