IT freelance - Why define a marketing position?
What is marketing positioning?
What do we mean by “marketing positioning”? Marketing positioning generally applies to a product or service.
A product’s marketing positioning is what differentiates it from competing products or services in the eyes of consumers or customers. It answers the question “why does a consumer choose this product over another? ”.
A brand’s positioning is built around the following axes:
product strengths (value added),
product quality (style)
Why does an IT freelancer need to define a positioning strategy?
IT freelancers need to define a positioning strategy because they are a business in their own right – and a business needs to set itself apart from the competition.
An IT freelancer needs to find their business positioning because, quite simply, they only have two arms and one head. When they start prospecting, they need to choose a specific target or sector, based on their positioning choices. If they don’t, they’ll accept every assignment, without selection, and won’t be able to manage their workload.
The advantages of defining a positioning
Defining your positioning allows you to:
choose a specific customer target, whose needs you will learn to understand well;
build a coherent sales pitch;
communicate more effectively with your potential customers and feel more at ease;
set more expensive prices in line with your positioning;
define your business model;
enjoy your job to the fullest;
become an expert.
Customers buy customer experience
Today’s customers are buying much more than a service. They are buying a customer experience. They are going to judge the perceived experience surrounding the service, rather than the service itself.
For example, if you’re a freelance web developer with the same skills as another developer, your interpersonal skills, your communication, your ability to work in a team and to make proposals will make the difference for customers, more so than your development skills. So don’t just highlight the IT languages you master.
Choosing the right positioning for an IT freelancer means building a strong identity that customers can recognize.
Good positioning means you can charge more
It also means you can justify a higher daily rate and earn a better living. Customers know why they choose you over someone else. Just because you’re self-employed doesn’t mean you should undervalue yourself.
Good positioning allows you to thrive
Finally, having the right positioning allows you to fulfil yourself at work, to land assignments more in line with your interests and, even better, to choose your clients, once you have acquired a certain level of experience and reputation. By choosing a client niche, you will be identified as the specialist or expert in that segment, and the clients will come to you. You won’t even need to prospect any more.
Knowing how to shift your IT freelance positioning
You also need to be able to shift your positioning to adapt to your market. Your positioning needs to adapt to changing market trends! It often happens that a brand or company defines a positioning, but that customers receive the product in a very different way to that which the brand had originally planned. So don’t get hung up on one positioning!
What questions should you ask yourself when choosing your positioning?
To define your positioning, you need to rely on your skills, of course, but also have a clear picture of what you want to do.
Choosing a positioning will require you to carry out some introspection in order to develop your personal branding. Start by asking yourself a few essential questions:
What are my skills?
What are my strengths and weaknesses?
What experience do I have? In what profession? In what sector of activity?
What do I enjoy doing?
What are my values?
What do I bring to my customers? What problems do I solve for them?
Why would companies choose me over someone else?
Formalising the answers to these questions will enable you to write an elevator pitch of a few lines to introduce yourself. Practise this little presentation speech until it becomes completely natural. Then you’ll feel much more at ease in front of your prospects.
Choosing your customer target
Defining your positioning means making choices. You can’t target “all businesses”. You need to define a precise customer target and stick to it:
What type of business (size, turnover, etc.)? VSEs (Very Small Enterprises), SMEs (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises), Intermediate-Sized Enterprises, large groups, etc.
In which sectors? Banking and insurance, tourism, business services, public sector, etc.
In which geographical area? City, region, country, international.
What is your relationship with the end customer? Direct, subcontracted, co-contracted, white label, etc.
When it comes to carrying out an assignment, always remember that companies can choose between several options: hiring an employee (in-house), employing a temporary worker, subcontracting to an agency or a large company (outsourcing) or using a freelancer.
Freelancers offer a number of advantages for companies:
Cutting-edge expertise (experience, specialisations, resourcefulness, self-training, technology watch, etc.)
A single point of contact from start to finish, with a sense of customer service (you carry out the assignment, not a trainee or a subcontractor of subcontractors).
Better responsiveness (availability, speed, you make all the decisions, not a project manager who has to report to management)
Increased flexibility (adaptability, flexibility, your services are recorded as variable costs and not as fixed salary costs, etc.).
Remember to highlight all these advantages in your positioning, in addition to your technical expertise!