How to pivot as a freelancer

When you are at your wits’ end, pivot and bend

Many freelancers are naturally flexible, but this year pushed business owners and solopreneurs to their limits: creative, financial or health-related.

To overcome significant challenges and navigate through constant changes, you’ll need to adapt and rethink your game plan.

 

You’ll need to pivot.

 

Below you can find some ideas on how to adapt your message, products and services to survive and thrive. Even in tough conditions.

 

1. Focus on what’s in demand

Do you know what your customers need the most? What services or products are they willing to pay for?

 

For example, during a pandemic one law company from Connecticut noticed that there was a rise in domestic violence cases, so instead of marketing other services, they focused on offering help in this area only. The lockdown inspired also one famous hairstylist to create an online course on how to cut your own hair at home, and many fitness studios started live streaming their classes.

 

There are many ways in which you can pivot, once you know how to meet the urgent demand of your customers. Try to reach out to your network, engage with your colleagues and customers, or carry out a thorough research to find a new direction for your business.

 

2. Narrow your niche

It might be tough to survive and thrive if you market yourself as a jack of all trades. Focusing on a very narrow niche may help you attract more (or better) customers. It will also give you a higher earning potential. Being super specific about your target markets and services is the first step to gain a competitive edge. This approach will set you apart from other similar businesses and help you navigate through challenging times.

 

For example, as a freelance photographer you can focus on one type of pictures such as pregnancy photo sessions. Instead of marketing your services as an IT translator you can position yourself as a mobile app translator, and if you’re a graphic designer you can choose to specialise in logo design only.

 

Narrowing down your niche doesn’t mean you have to give up other services or products. You’re simply acting in a more focused way, promoting one main service that’s more likely to attract your ideal customers.

 

3. Create subscription-based products or services

One of the best strategies to ensure a steady flow of income is to offer subscriptions and memberships. Many freelancers need to constantly attract new customers, which is time-consuming and overwhelming. A better alternative is to work only with several long-term clients. If you don’t want to chase multiple small projects throughout the year, move to a membership-based model. You can offer subscription for products such as online courses, software, apps or for services such as consulting, marketing, accounting, and much more.

With subscription or membership, the sky’s the limit. Try converting your standard products or services into a valuable subscription or come up with a new offer to attract long-term customers.

 

You don’t need to introduce huge changes to your business to achieve better results. Sometimes a little shift, a small move sideways or a tiny tweak is all you need to make the difference. Listen to your customers and keep an eye on the market demands. This is how you can pivot to gain more profit and growth potential.

 

Over to you

Have you adapted your business model this year? What changes have you implemented to meet the demands of your customers?

 

 

P.S. I share more tips on establishing the right approach to your freelance business in my free e-book “How to make the best use of your time”.

And if you’re looking for advice on how to pivot when you have to juggle work with motherhood, have a look at my book “You’ve got this: How to continue your freelance career when you become a mother”.

 

 

Dorota helps businesses and individuals to communicate successfully across cultures in the online and offline world. She is a qualified translator and an entrepreneur supporting other self-employed professionals on their path towards building a more successful business.