Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Kraft Heinz Co (NASDAQ:KHC), Kellogg Company (NYSE:K). They’re household names. Their products are diverse, ranging from everything from razors to pet food. Besides a lot of other things, one thing they have in common: much of their success comes courtesy of their white label partners.
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It’s a strategy that growing numbers of businesses are tapping into. By outsourcing work that is seamlessly customized to reflect their brand, these companies make themselves a one-stop shop for their customers without increasing overhead costs. They can save on time and resources – which means they can focus on brand enhancement and market growth.
If you’re a skilled and experienced freelancer, you just might have what this hungry market is looking for. Time to get in on the white label action.
What You Need and What You’ll Get
Got cred? If you’ve worked as a freelancer with strong brands, you’ve got a leg up. And if you offer something that’s difficult to hire for, or that your partner doesn’t need a full-time employee for – even better!
As an experienced freelancer, you know that acquiring and maintaining clients can be time- and energy-consuming. You can rack up a lot of non-billable hours simply looking for work. As a white label freelance partner, on the other hand, you’ll only need 1 or 2 agency clients to scale up.
Just be careful not to put all your eggs in one basket, because if you lose your partner you’ll be back to square one. So whether you’re home-based or a digital nomad, you need to find a balance that will keep you supplied with steady work over the long term.
Find Your Freelance Focus
If you’re multi-talented, good for you! Maybe you’re a full-stack freelancer: since you’re experienced in developing both client and server software, you’ve got plenty of potential options. Perhaps your skills are in SEO. Great – because that’s a hot commodity right now.
But those talents aren’t necessarily going to make you more marketable to potential partners who are looking for a very specific skill set. That means you need to dig down and find a specialty to focus on. If it’s in SEO, you’ll need to zero in on one or two of a range of skills, including:
- Conducting keyword research
- Optimizing site content
- Building backlinks and relationships
- Auditing for SEO
- Content writing for SEO
It’s important to be clear about the specific skill set you’re offering. “Jack-of-all-trades” sometimes translates to “master of none” – so make a choice. That’s how you can optimize your value as a freelancer - and make it easy for potential partners to decide that you’re the right fit.
Get the Right Fit
As a white label freelancer, you’ll provide services to an agency on their behalf under their brand or name. So you need to know two things: what they’re looking for, and what you can provide.
Agencies are looking for a broad range of skills. Among them:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Web marketing services
- Website design
- Pay per click (PPC) campaign management
- Content creation
- Social media optimization (SMO)
- Graphic design services
- Email newsletter management
Shortlist your professional strengths – then figure out who might be in the market for them. Take a strategic and targeted approach by segmenting agencies based on your service profile.
Here’s where market segmentation comes in handy.
Agencies provide service based on
- Cost (for example low budget customers)
- Industry category (marketing agencies for lawyers, for example)
- Services provided (such as web hosting or SEO)
Target a segment based on one or a complement of your core skills. Website design can complement SEO skills, for example. Also look at the repeatability of the service required. For instance, you’ll get more work as a landing page designer who builds pages for each campaign than you will as a one-time website builder.
Making Your Move
Once you’ve defined what it is that you bring to the table, it’s time to reach out to potential partners. Ideally, you’ve narrowed the list down to agencies you’ve identified within your niche market.
Believe it or not, cold emailing works better than calls, since it's non-real-time – giving your potential partner time to respond and giving you time to set up automated, sequenced email messaging.
It may be a short list – but that doesn’t mean you should tear through it. Don’t spread yourself thin by reaching out to all the names on your list simultaneously. Remember: the name of the game is establishing and building a working relationship that’s going to last.
That won’t happen overnight – so allow time for a getting-to-know you period with each potential partner before reaching out to the next. The wait will be worth it: it’ll give both partners a chance to get to know each other and decide whether they’re a good fit.
Top Up Your Tool Box
Be sure you’re ready to go when you get the green light. Your agency partner may want you to use their in-house tools – but chances are they’ll want you to come equipped with your own. That means Investing in tools that will optimize your ability to ace all the work you’re assigned. That could include everything from a phone solution for communication with business partners, to graphic design templates, to email marketing tools.
Know what your partner wants and expects – and be prepared to deliver. The White Label market is white-hot right now. Why not get your slice of the pie?