One of the best parts of being a freelancer is that you can attract clients through the authority of your personal brand. Apart from single-handedly being able to focus on your work and enjoying your own pace, you can create your own hub for your freelance business with blogs, vlogs, social media posts, and more.
However, like any other full-time job, freelancing has its ups and downs too. Whether you’re a budding freelancer or a newbie trying to get the ball rolling, one thing is certain: you're going to have competition. That's why it’s important to stay ahead not only of market trends, but to stay on top of your own game as well.
The Blue Ocean Strategy does a good job of outlining how you can create a whole new market for yourself—without intense competition. "Blue Ocean" is a metaphor for industries that may not exist (yet) or is currently unknown. Since it's virtually unexplored, demand has yet to be created and there's no one to compete with. The opportunity for growth and profitability in the blue ocean is ample and rapid.
The rules of competition and operation have yet to be clearly defined, and this renders competition irrelevant. In other words, the blue ocean is a wider, deeper, and unexplored market space with untapped potential. For example, if you run a website that caters to the IT industry, you might never think of tapping the fashion domain as it makes no sense to reach out to its audience. However, using the Blue Ocean approach, you will learn that your work can figure in such a field. The Blue Ocean Strategy presents a totally new roadmap at your disposal—a strategic guide for attracting new clients and creating a new market for yourself, and not just grab another freelancer’s clients.
If you’re thinking of ways to catch a break in your freelancing career, check out these key points according to the Blue Ocean Strategy:
Stop competing in existing market spaces. Seek uncontested ones.
Chart a new course in the known "oceans" and strive to find new markets. Utilize various methods such as SEO and social media to market your work. Try cold-calling and cold-emailing small businesses and organizations to pitch your services. This way, you can showcase your writing skills and broaden your client base. Additionally, you can work with a whole new set of clients rather than the small subset of customers already available on freelancing platforms.
Stop trying to beat the competition—make the competition irrelevant.
According to Blue Ocean’s author, the only way to beat the competition is to stop trying to beat the competition. In blue oceans, competition is irrelevant because the rules of the game haven't been set yet. Instead of trying to beat the competition, focus on creating a leap in value for your clients. Avoid competing for price—instead, offer your client better value. For example, bid for projects that you can deliver before its deadline. If an assignment is due in 10 days, submit it in 7 days or less. It's not an easy road, but doing this sets you apart from the crowd and offers better value for the client.
Create new demand and capture new markets.
You may not know it, but trying to exploit existing demand can be an uphill climb. Refocus instead on creating and capturing new demand. For example, if you’re targeting only local clients, now might be a good time to pitch to international individuals and organizations as well.
The alignment of these Blue Ocean strategies takes a holistic approach to the formulation and execution of the strategy. Blue Ocean doesn’t aim to out-perform the competition; instead it aims to make the competition irrelevant by reconstructing industry boundaries. Keep your core values as a freelancer on a new and uncontested market space —this will ultimately create new demand and high profitable growth.