Many businesses have seen an opportunity in the rapid development of internet transactions, to the point that you can do your shopping right from your computer and have the product at your door after a few days. Browsing in cyberspace you will find stores that only do their marketing and sales online – that’s the audience they attend to.
The same way, many professionals have decided to go freelance and work online with a lot of success. But, this also raises the question, if I decide to work freelance online, how will people know I’m the right person for them?
The answer can be simple and complex at the same time. It’s pretty much the same basic requirements you need to have in order to do business in the outside world: do good work and continue advertising yourself and your services.
But offering services online will also require for you to create a medium from where people will get to know you, here are some ideas:
Have an Online Profile
This could be a social networking account, website, blog, store, etc. This is pretty much the first step you will need to take in order to have a presence online.
Show Them What You Do/Provide
It’s important for your potential customer to see the type of work you have done in the past. This will help them get to know you better through your work.
For instance, if you are a web designer (like me), it’d be good to have a portfolio where you can showcase the best of your work. You don’t have to show all of it, just the ones you are confident are the best designs you’ve done.
Meet People, Let People Know You
You need to let people know you are on the cyberspace now, in order to do so you will need to network. A good idea is to have a profile in the different social networking sites outhere, sites like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc. and of course the microblogging tool everyone is talking about, Twitter . If you don’t have an account on Twitter yet, consider creating one. I’ve been in Twitter for about four months and I already have more than 500 followers and get many clients through that medium. You don’t only get to know potential clients but also many talented professional who you can learn from and share ideas with. Make sure you check my last post about Twitter and the advantages of having a Twitter account. Meanwhile, here’s an idea, you can follow me!
Let Your Face be Known
The best thing about doing business in person is that your clients get to know you, not only your work but your face. It’s interesting how much effect this small detail has. It’s recommendable to have a picture of you in the profile or website/blog you create, just so they can have that personal touch when reading your website. If you like to leave comments in blogs, I’d recommend you create an account in Gravatar (globally recognized avatar), this allows you to link your email address with a picture/image. So whenever you leave a comment in other WordPress blogs (that have this plugin installed), your picture will automatically appear and readers will start recognizing you by just looking at your picture.
Leave comments, post something interesting in your blog, say “hello” to people, keep in touch, you will get to make some good friends in the cyberspace. Plus, you never know when the people you get to know will require your services.
Just like in any other case, it’s important that you show yourself for who you really are. This doesn’t mean you need to disclose every personal information you can think of, it just means that you need to be honest when talking about yourself to other people. They are getting to know you, so be honest and try to get to know them as well.
The fact that you decide to advertise yourself and your services or products, doesn’t mean you need to shout it out loud to whoever you talk to. People can get turn off by that, just let them know you first and when the time is right, you will be able to share about what you do.
Internet is a lot of fun, you get to meet people, share ideas, have fun in your free time, and on top of that you learn a lot! So relax and have a good time!