How to stand out in a cluttered freelance market
What happens when you’re pushing 50, have a bloody great body of work in your wake… but can’t get a job? Yep, it’s a familiar story. Just ask funny-guy and copywriter Jeremy Southern – who exited AdLand for freelancing and expected it’d be easier than it was to build a roster of clients. Ah… not quite.
Jeremy didn’t let the rejection letters break him. Instead, he just started ranting about it and writing about it – with regular posts in the Find-A-Finders-Fee Facebook group dedicated to peer-to-peer recruitment.
In doing so, he found a way to stand out and show off just what he can do – which is what we ALL want to do as soloists, right?
Be safe or stand out: your choice
As Jeremy’s posts racked up more and more comments, likes and shares, he realised he’d hit a nerve.
Those out there like him who were on the hunt for work were also rolling their eyes at the blatant ageism, the idiotic listings for ‘unicorn wunderkinds’ or demanding experience literally no one has.
They found his humour refreshing, hilarious and real – and what started a frustrated way to blow off steam and make people laugh became a new way for Jeremy to build an audience AND started attracting clients.
When Rachel’s List asked Jeremy to do a masterclass about his experiences in carving out a new path and a new freelance career after leaving AdLand, his first comments were that he was in no way a master of anything.
But he’s actually got a lot to say to fellow job-seekers or soloists struggling to stand out in an increasingly cluttered creative landscape.
It’s not easy. It takes massive courage to strike out from the pack and be noticed – really noticed.
Our instincts are to fit in, play it safe, don’t rock the boat. But safe is boring. Cookie-cutter websites are snooze-inducing. Soloists who try too hard to be just like their competitors because they think that’s the path to success just end up blending into the background.
Realising that your personality is your unique selling point. Clients are desperate to work with people they like and engage with. And letting your personality and business intersect might alienate some, but it could also attract the kinds of clients who ‘get’ you and want to work with you.
Being too safe makes it harder for people to get a hook on you, to engage with you and to be sold on your message.
Let’s fact it: the soloists who embrace their personality – in all its weird, wonderful, batshit crazy glory – are the ones we remember. They’re the ones whose websites sing. The ones whose about pages are peppered with clever lines you can’t help but giggle at.
They’re the ones – like Jeremy – who turn lemons into lemonade, and make it work.
So if you’re struggling to break out of the mould and need inspiration on bringing more of your personality to your website, your socials and your marketing, come along to Jeremy Southern’s masterclass next Friday, hosted by Flying Solo member Rachel’s List.