3 min read

There are a lot of reasons why someone may choose not to work with you. They may think that the price is too high, the timing isn’t right, they don’t need your service, or they may even choose to go with your competition instead.

More and more people are beginning to freelance, and, naturally, some of them will be your direct competitors.

But there’s an easy way to avoid competition – and it starts from the beginning.

Most freelancers sit back and wait for clients to come to them. Or, they hear that someone needs help with some paid work. And if you’re getting that work, that’s great! But this is exactly the type of situation that often ends in losing a project to the competition.

By the time someone comes to you or you hear that they need help, they’ve already began raising their hand publicly and saying, “Hey, I need help with this.”

That puts them into search mode. And when they are in search mode, they’ve probably already begun talking to multiple freelancers or agencies.

The competition has already started.

You’ll be competing on price or quality, and if you’re not the absolute best, or the absolute cheapest, you’re going to have a hard time getting the project.

You don’t want to be the cheapest, and there’s often going to be someone doing as good or better work than you.

You want to avoid the search mode entirely.

In order to avoid a client’s search mode, you need to get in the door first. Now, being hired as a freelancer isn’t much different than being hired as an employee. Imagine two circumstances of getting hired for a job:

1. You have a conversation with a hiring manager, and she says, “Oh by the way, I was about to write a job description for this role but I think you’d be a perfect fit for it. Do you want to talk about it?”

2. You come across a job posting on Indeed, Monster, or LinkedIn and submit your resume alongside hundreds of others.

It’s obvious which situation you’d rather find yourself in.

There are two ways to become the first freelancer considered for a project:

1. You get really lucky and talk to a potential client just as they have recognized a need

2. You propose a project to a potential client

The bottom line: if you propose a project to a potential client, you can convince them to hire you before they ever consider anyone else.

If you sell someone on an idea – on an investment in themselves or their business – and you sell yourself as the perfect person to bring that idea to life, you can avoid the search mode entirely.

And when you avoid the search mode, you avoid competing on price (at least against others).

So be more proactive. Identify people or businesses who need your help, and start the conversation! You’ll be doing them a favor.

After all, who would want to spend time looking for the right person for the job when the right person can come straight to them?