What better way is there to live your life than waking up without the worry of making it to your office on time everyday? And knowing that you are the master of your schedule? And that you are making money by doing something you love?
Thanks to technology, it got freelancing with it. Freelancing has taken the professional world by storm and over the last decade, the number of freelancers has rapidly increased. Infact, 57.3 Million freelancers residing in the US collectively contribute $1.4 Trillion to its economy every year.
However, freelancing is not a magic trick. It requires you to invest time into self-development so that you realize your talents and then accordingly start enhancing them in order to succeed.
As a freelancer, it is a certainty that you do not have a regular paycheck. It depends on your skills and how well you are able to market yourself and find new clients.
Here are some tricks of the trade that you should know and follow:
The first thing you need to do before you quit your job and take the plunge to become a freelancer is to gather all the things that will help you get projects.
For most careers as a freelancer, you need to have a profound portfolio that awakens the clients’ interests and highlights your skills. You can go through your achievements and select those that best represent your talents in your chosen field.
You can also take your portfolio a step ahead by diversifying it. Add some achievements from the field you wish to operate in. For example, if you wish to seek some projects in Software development, you can add some of your achievements or additional certificates in Graphic designing with it. This will give you an extra edge against your competition.
Once you are done with the portfolio, start looking for a place to work. It can be your room or the dining table or your favourite coffee shop. Having a particular place of work will help increase your productivity.
Build effective relationships
Pretty much all of your freelancing careers depend on the relationships you develop with the people you work with. Your reputation is the major criterion for getting new clients. So, make sure that you build effective and meaningful relationships with all your clients.
Ask your clients for honest feedback and testimonials once the project is completed. This will greatly assist you to improve in your future assignments. It will also establish you as someone who is serious about his/her work.
Reach out to potential customers but do not forget your old clients. Get in touch with them occasionally. It will help you develop a personal and meaningful relationship that will go a long way.
Just in case you are thinking, you can’t catch big fishes while freelancing – Buffer, Edgar, Groove, Ghost operate on 100% remote teams!
Find a support group
Just because you plan to go solo in order to earn a living doesn’t mean that you actually need to go all the way on your own.
There have been people before you who have done similar things. Reach out to these people for suggestions. They have firsthand experience of dealing with clients and making a name for themselves.
When you are working alone, with no one to guide you, the only thing that you can look to answer all your questions is Google. It is definitely a great tool for learning but insight from an actual person is much more valuable considering their real-time experiences over the years.
Discussing your mistakes and accomplishments with other people in the same line of work will help you avoid committing the same mistakes again and prevent you from other probable blunders. The emotional support of peers from the industry will also go a long way for your mental health.
Market yourself across multiple platforms
Never make the assumption that once you have entered the business, clients will automatically find you. You need to work hard to get noticed.
Advertising is a big part of your success. Advertise to potential clients on different social media platforms. Your Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram profiles must be filled with the appropriate social media posts that showcase your work amazingly. And the best part you don’t have to sit for hours or hire a professional for this marketing of yours. Just some image editing tools like Canva and get yourself promoted in front of your audience.
Ask your friends to refer you to people looking for assistance in your field. You can distribute pamphlets at your local coffee shops.
Bonus tip: Include testimonials from your previous clients, it automatically puts you forward as an expert in the chosen field.
Do not sell yourself short
Bragging is bad. But not talking yourself up in front of a potential client is worse. It doesn’t mean that you have to lie. Just give them facts about your achievements and skills.
For example, if you tell your clients that web page designing is your forte, show them webpages you have designed. This will impress them and help you seal the deal.
You are going to spend a lot of your time working on your client’s project. On top of that, you are solely responsible for managing your entire business- accounting, marketing and everything else. Make sure that the amount you are charging reflects that.
Set goals and strive to meet them
You need to be clear about what you actually want to achieve through the hard work you put in every day.
Your first task should be to estimate the amount of money you can charge for your services. Then decide upon the number of projects you will need to take up in a month in order to make ends meet.
Prepare for ups and downs
When you freelance, there are definitely going to be periods of droughts, periods where you find few clients and it gets difficult to earn a living, there is no avoiding it.
There will also be times when you feel like you are on the absolute top of the world. Like all the pieces of your life are fitting together like a puzzle and there is actually nothing more that you could have asked for
In both these periods, what matters most is that you keep a clear head. Do not let success, or failure, get to you. In the bad times, you might have instances where you question your decisions and even your skills but stick to the mantra that it is just a phase and it will pass.
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