Let's kick off this week full of freebies and announcements with a SWOT analysis worksheet. Add this to your marketing arsenal as a way to figure out your current place within your market.
What is a SWOT Analysis?
You conduct a SWOT analysis by taking an honest look at four key areas:
- Your Strengths -- What gives you an edge over the competition?
- Your Weaknesses -- What do you need to overcome to be, or stay, competitive?
- Opportunities -- What opportunities exist within your market or specialty for growth?
- Threats -- What are the biggest external threats or challenges you'll face as a freelancer in your specific market?
Let's look at an example of what you might come up with if you were a US-based freelance writer fresh out of college with a business degree, and you wanted to write business-oriented online content. In this example, let's say you spent your summers working for an internet marketing firm in addition to earning your degree.
Example SWOT Analysis
Using the example scenario above, your SWOT analysis might look something like this:
- Specialized degree
- US-based (targeting US clients)
- Internet marketing experience allowing you to offer value-added services like SEO and social media assistance
- Strong understanding of marketing fundamentals to promote your own services
- Limited experience compared to your main competitors
- Lack of visibility in the market
- Extremely limited marketing budget
- Rapid expansion in your specialty (more online business publications as well as constant new businesses launched needing web content)
- A growing international market (with a demand for native English speakers to help overseas companies target US-based customers)
- Growing competition alongside the growing demand
- Low-priced competitors skew prospects' idea of value
When you conduct a SWOT analysis, none of these sections should remain blank. No matter how good you think you are, you do have weaknesses. No matter how new you are, you do have strengths. And every market will have both opportunities and strengths. If you can't think of any, try talking to existing clients or colleagues to see if they can shed some light on things you haven't considered.
Download the SWOT analysis worksheet for freelance writers below to get started.