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SWOT Analysis For Individuals and Freelancers
Not familiar with the term SWOT and wondering how you can use SWOT analysis to become competitive? This article is focused on providing insights into this analytical technique to improve your competitive position and helps you formulate a strategy to stay competitive and remove all the barriers to success as a freelancer.
What is SWOT?
“SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.”
What is SWOT Analysis?
“SWOT Analysis is the analysis for the identification of internal strengths and weaknesses, and external opportunities and threats.”
SWOT Analysis is the best analysis technique that gives any freelance business, freelance engineer, or individual freelancer a direction to work out current and future plans by doing a strategical analysis of evaluating strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
It helps you identify areas where improvements can be made to grow and become more successful. Strengths create opportunities, and threats reflect your weaknesses.
Before we deep dive into SWOT analysis, Let’s understand SWOT first,
Strengths are your capabilities and skills that you can use to acquire a competitive advantage in the market against your competitors. It defines what are you good at and what skills and abilities separate you from the competition.
In SWOT Analysis, strengths are your internal positive, favorable, and strong points in which you can do well and excel. These are the winning factors that give you success.
Strengths, such as unconditional after-sales support to your customer, help you retain your existing customer and enhance your competitive advantage.
Your weaknesses are the absence of the strengths, skills, and capabilities that are required to meet the competition.
Freelancers often neglect their weaknesses and do not pay attention to the possible damage they can do. Your competitor is always targeting your weak points and if it’s not timely addressed, you may lose your competitive edge.
If your competitor is doing better than you, then it’s an indication that they are aware of your weaknesses. Find out how other people see your services in your market and why your competitor is able to beat you in competition.
Weaknesses may stop you from performing at your best. They are areas where you need to improve to remain competitive.
Opportunities are potential areas where you need to focus to grow your market share, get more projects, and earn more profits.
In SWAT analysis, opportunities are the external factors and prospects that may open doors to new markets and clients and provide a competitive advantage.
They are the new openings and chances for something positive to happen, but you’ll need to be prepared and worked to turn them in your favor.
These opportunities may arise with new developments and technological advancements in your field of expertise. If you are able to exploit opportunities, it can give you a competitive advantage and enables you to take the lead in the field.
Threats are the external factors that cause potential danger or harm your market position. You can only work to manage and reduce those threats, but cannot control them.
Your competitors are your biggest threats. And their competitive advantages can possibly harm your income and market position.
The other uncontrollable threats could be force majeure (natural disaster), new government policies, political instability, new tariffs, and many more.
Identifying the threats helps you develop competitive strategies to reduce and eliminate them.
Importance of SWOT Analysis for Freelancers
It is one of the most popular and widely used brainstorming techniques to identify and evaluate one’s current position, growth and expansion possibilities, limitations, and barriers to success.
By doing a SWOT analysis, you can visualize your current status, position, and standings. You can measure your performance and analyze your strengths and possible opportunities, which in turn helps you penetrate further into the potential customers and markets.
Not only that, but it reveals very helpful information if it is done smartly and correctly. A SWOT analysis provides key information about factors that may impact the performance of the freelancer, both in positive and negative ways.
It helps you evaluate your competitive position and provide valuable information that you can use to formulate a competitive strategy to improve your position.
It provides insights into both internal and external factors. Strengths and weaknesses are internal, while opportunities and threats are external factors. Some of these factors are controllable and some are beyond your control.
It can help you to further strengthen your strengths, improve performance, take advantage of new opportunities, manage your competition, increase profit, and risk minimization.
SWOT analysis also highlights the weaknesses of your freelancing areas and skills that are holding you back. Your competitors may take advantage of those weaknesses if you do not work on those areas to improve.
It opens up the doors to the untapped opportunities that you are not focusing on. There are multiple external opportunities that you may consider growing as a freelancer, and SWOT analysis highlights all those possible opportunities.
SWOT Analysis of Yourself as a freelancer
List your best skills and strengths, and work on how you can further refine them?
Analyze your weakest areas and find how they are impacting you and what measures are required to eliminate them?
Identify the related or new skills learning opportunities available to you.
Keeping in view of your weaknesses, find out how these weaknesses or any external factor like the saturated market or any other factor may harm your current position.
An Example SWOT Analysis for Freelance Writer
- Post Graduate Degree
- Major in Literature
- 10 years experience of writing
- Wrote articles for major publications and journals
- Passionate for Books
- Not an expert in technical and academic topics
- Not good with SEO
- Too many distractions
- Low typing speed
- Lacks communication skills
- An increasing number of New Blogs
- More writers are needed than ever
- Freelance Platforms
- Online Newspapers and Journals
- Global Expansion
- AI Writing Tools
- Increasing Competition
- Saturated marketplaces
- New SEO requirements
- Possibility of new taxes on freelancers
Now it’s time to interpret the above SWOT and pair the strengths with opportunities and weaknesses with threats to use it to formulate strategy and future plans. Use your strengths to overcome and eliminate weaknesses, and counter threats with opportunities.
Just as an example of what he can do based on analysis:
- The writer can use his experience to attract new bloggers for content writing.
- He can overcome the problems of SEO by learning SEO techniques.
- He can set up a devoted space for him to avoid distractions.
- Online journals will be interested in him because of his degree and experience.
- Do some research on AI writing tools and learn them to take advantage of technology.
Since SWOT analysis is different for every freelancer, therefore you need to do the exercise yourself. Do the brainstorming sessions and find out your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Analyze your current status and plan your strategy for the future.
I leave it to you to do further analysis and prepare one for yourself as well so that you can learn more and understand SWOT analysis further.
SWOT analysis can easily improve your freelancing skills if you do it correctly. It helps you shape your strengths into opportunities and take maximum advantage of them. You can improve your competitive position by working on your weaknesses and keeping an eye on the possible threats.