5 Ways to Make Your Freelance Business Look More Professional
If you have a specific, marketable skill, you can build a business by doing freelance work for businesses and individuals. Getting your freelance business off the ground takes a lot of networking, personal marketing, and chutzpah. You can increase your credibility to potential clients by adding these professional elements to your business communications.
#1 Upgrade Your Phone System
Your clients need several different ways to get in contact with you. Even if you complete your work entirely online, clients will want to contact you by telephone. Instead of directing them to your home phone line, install a separate line specifically for your business. Having a business phone number that differs from your mobile and home phone lines gives your business an air of professionalism that can be difficult to attain as a freelance worker.
- VoIP small business phone systems can be very affordable while offering you big-business features like caller ID and directories, conference and multiparty calls, and call parking, transfer, forwarding, and hold.
#2 Hire a Virtual Assistant
Companies may outsource projects to your consulting business – and you, in turn, can outsource some of your own administrative functions. Hire a virtual assistant to handle your business calls, take messages, and divert calls to your mobile phone as needed.
- Since your virtual assistant may work for several clients at once, you only pay for the work they do for you – a much cheaper option than having an in-house receptionist to handle your low volume of incoming calls.
#3 Use Your Website Email Address
Are you emailing your customers and business associates from a free email client? Don’t. For just a few dollars, purchase a domain for your business and set up an email address and website. Not only is this more professional, but it also is good preparation for the future, as many free email clients begin to shut down their services.
If you run your freelance business from home, consider renting a PO Box for your business instead of using your residential address. Or, you can take advantage of new mail services that enable you to use an actual street address (“105 Main Street,” for example) in place of a PO Box number.
#4 Change How You Send Your Postal Mail
Speaking of mail – how many pieces of mail do you send out per day, week, or month? If you find yourself repeatedly running to the post office, hand-addressing envelopes until you get a cramp, or using the latest novelty stamps plastered with images of characters from “The Simpsons,” you may benefit from using custom online postage instead.
- Print your postage online or order custom stamps to be delivered straight to your door.
#5 Your Website & Social Profiles
The first thing a potential client or customer will do when looking for your business is search for your online presence. Fill your website and social media profiles with relevant content, company information, and, most importantly, contact information. They don’t have to be fancy – but they have to be current, functional, and informative.
When you run a freelance business, the most important thing you do is communicate. If your communications – online, over the phone, and through the mail – are unprofessional, that will have a negative effect on your ability to attract and keep clients. Make your communications more professional, and watch your business grow.
Megan Webb-Morgan is a business blogger, focusing on a variety of topics ranging from social technology to online marketing. She writes for ResourceNation.com, a B2B lead generation company. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook, too.
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