Why work local if you can work worldwide?
If you’re a freelancer who works predominantly online, it’s tempting to think the world is your oyster. And you’d be right, it is. As a web designer, or content writer, or consultant of some kind, you have the tools and accessibility to work with exciting clients on any continent.
Yet for all the benefits of an international clientele, there are actually just as many benefits – if not more – from working solely as a local freelancer. In your region, whether a city, county, or state, there are potentially thousands of clients in need of your services.
What’s more, it’s usually easier to reach and attract clients a couple of miles away than clients who are on the other side of the world. Potential clients tend to look first for freelancers in their area. There’s a familiarity, a deeper level of trust, and a sense that things will be easier with a local professional.
Positioning yourself as a local freelancer
As well as the benefits of attracting clients, working local also offers a number of exciting and lucrative passive income streams to consider.
We’ll get to these in a moment but first…
…what’s a great way to position yourself as a local freelancer?
If you have a freelancer website already, then it’s simply a matter of changing a few keywords and location details here and there on your pages. You can also write some blog posts that will be of interest to your regional target market.
But it’s on a second money-making website where the true magic can occur.
Create a local-focused website
An innovative way to get noticed locally is to create a second website devoted to your city or region. On this site you write about local events, interesting businesses, cultural news, and fascinating places to visit, as well as engaging interviews with local business owners and notable people.
It’s extra work and it will take time to build but if you’re already involved in your local community, have a strong local network, and love where you live, then it can quickly become a passion. And once the website develops, it can boost your income dramatically.
Attract local clients
Your local-focused website, with regularly updated high-quality content will naturally attract local people. They’ll subscribe to stay up to date with your articles and will read more about you as a person. As and when they need your services, you’ll be the first person on their minds.
They’ll also think of you when they hear a family member, friend, or colleague is in need of your freelancing services. As a result, in time, you might even attract more clients via your local-focused website than your actual freelancer website.
As your website grows, so does your site’s influence, reach, and ranking. Local companies and brands will look to get in front of your regional readership, so as to catch some of your traffic. You can charge these businesses a sum of money to publish an article on your site related to their business, services, or products.
In a similar way to sponsored articles, companies and influencers will also pay for advertising on your website and in your general marketing. These might be in the form of ads in your website’s sidebars or inside of the articles you write.
The more regional people you can prove are visiting your website each month, the more you can charge. If your site really lifts off, then the income potential from adverts and sponsorship is truly huge.
Running a locally-focused website also helps with networking in your area. Local businesses, leaders, and influential people will grow familiar with your name and probably read what you publish. They’ll invite you to networking events which in turn will open you to lucrative possibilities you might not even be able to imagine just yet.
If you like to network and you’re a more extrovert type of person, then this can be an enjoyable and exciting bonus of running a website like this. Simply being a ‘freelancer’ doesn’t usually afford you opportunities like this.
Affiliate and Referral Deals
Another way to earn income from a local network is to arrange referral deals. You refer prospects to local businesses and if that prospect becomes a client, then the business pays you a referral fee – usually a fixed percentage of the final price. The more you connect and network with your community, the more leads you can send to different businesses.
A regional business might also have an affiliate program. You place a coded link on your website and you earn affiliate income whenever local people click through and make a purchase. This can work particularly well with vacation affiliates, for example.
(See also: Earn Income with Invoice Ninja’s Referral Program)
Making money and strengthen social bonds
As you can see, the power of local can open many doors that being a ‘worldwide’ freelancer just can’t. If you love meeting people face-to-face and have a passion for your city or region, then focusing locally has the potential to seriously boost your income (especially if you’re a work-from-home mom for example).
You’ll attract more clients and also more passive income opportunities.
But perhaps even more importantly, you’ll also strengthen your standing and sense of belonging in your community. For some people, who might find the isolation of solopreneurship somewhat difficult, this can be the way to really flourish as a social and happy freelancer.
Going local can open you up to a world of connections right on your doorstep.