Managing Your Reputation as a Freelancer


.Freelancers and independent workers know that it can be a grind to find work and line up your next opportunity. The freedom to create your own schedule and opportunities can be both a blessing and a curse. Traditional employees have constant work and expectations. On the other hand, you have more flexibility, which could be good or bad. Don’t feel like you’re at the mercy of your market or industry. Here’s how you can leverage your network and reputation so you’re always open to new job opportunities.

How Can I Manage My Reputation as a Freelancer?

It’s a big question, but in this article, we’re going to tackle how you can use your networks and connections as a kind of marketing. If you have a community of people advocating for you, you could be opening yourself to endless work possibilities. Here are three key advocates and areas you should focus on when really establishing who you are and what you do.

Turning Your Close Friends and Family Into Advocates

Word-of-mouth referrals for goods and services are valuable to consumers. Think about how many times someone might hear of a problem and go, “Oh, I know someone!” Ideally, you want to be the someone people think of when they need someone with your specific skills and experience.

The best way to start out is to tap into your strong, close relationships. You don’t want your loved ones telling people to choose you simply because “you’re amazing” or “really need the work.” Instead, let them know what kind of opportunities you’re looking for and what they could say to help you land them.

For example: I have a friend who runs an incredible bakery business. If I hear that someone I know wants to order a cake, I immediately want to recommend her bakery. She knows this and encouraged me to send people to her Instagram account for more information and examples. When people ask me why I recommend her, I don’t say it’s because she’s my friend. I explain that I enjoyed one of her cakes at an event and know the taste and detail she puts into each one is incredible, but also affordable.

When you’re looking for ways to have friends and family refer potential clients, customers or business to you, make sure you give them the tools they need to do it successfully. They might help you because they love you, but you also want to make sure your skills and offerings are the focal point of their pitch to others.

Building Professional Connections and Relationships

Another way you can manage your reputation and grow your career opportunities is by building and strengthening your professional connections and relationships. Networking as an independent worker is vital for success. But you shouldn’t just collect business cards and email addresses without using them.

When you meet someone new, take the time to understand what they do. Then think about what you could do for them in the future. Similarly, make sure you provide the same information to them. You don’t have to have the same job or industry to make a meaningful connection. And if they respect you as both a person and a worker, they could help you find your next big opportunity.

For Example: I do a lot of gig work in event spaces. I love the work and always try to do it with a positive attitude and a smile. Event organizers noticed this and respected me for my work ethic. As a direct result, I was rehired to the same gig again. It also brought other future job opportunities (like my full-time job at Jobble!) Without putting myself out there and letting my professional connections know what I loved doing and what I wanted, I might have not ended up where I am today.

This doesn’t just stop at people you directly work with. If you take any online courses or degree programs, it’s worth it to network with your classmates and course instructors. Keep in touch with them and be part of how they progress and grow. Also let them know how they’ve impacted you and your own growth. Staying top of mind and relevant ensures you’re someone they can easily think of.

In some ways, having someone vouch for your work and work ethic from a professional stand point can be even more exciting than when it comes from a friend or family member. If someone in your professional network is going out of their way to endorse your work and abilities, it means they really stand behind their opinion of you. This can be just the thing you need to break into a new industry, tap into a new audience, or just strengthen your reputation in the space you’re already in.

Utilizing Your Online Presence to Strengthen Your Reputation

Even if you don’t perform work online, your online presence is something that will always follow you. People are constantly turning to Google and other search engines to find new businesses, verify information and make purchasing decisions. If you’re a freelancer looking to grow, you need to ensure your online presence puts your best self forward.

If you haven’t recently, I encourage you to Google yourself and/or your business. What are the results that show up on the first page? Ideally, it’d be accounts or articles related to your work. If it isn’t, I encourage you to find ways to correct that. It could be creating your own SEO-friendly website. Or it could be strengthening your social media profiles to ensure they’re discoverable.

When you’re a freelancer or independent worker, you have to put the work in to find new opportunities. But you should still take the time to ensure your reputation is understood and being shared. Having others talk about you and your abilities, and having your own information searchable and discoverable, creates a funnel for new clients, customers and businesses to find you on their own. And as you keep growing and strengthening your reputation, it should become even easier to let new opportunities find you.

About the Author: Jesi Bolandrina is the Content Marketing Manager at Jobble. As a former gig worker, she knows how hard it can be to feel like you know what you’re doing in an ever-changing workforce. She’s your go-to for news and information from career development, to health and wellness, to finances and more. She curates Jobble’s blog, articles and is the editor of The Everyday Hustle newsletter. If you have any ideas for topics Jobble should cover, let her know.

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