How to Grow Your Freelance Career
Feb 06 2016
Being a freelancer means you have freedom to choose projects and people to work with. While most people assume that freelancers just sit at coffee shops all day with their laptops, the reality is much different. Freelancing is a job just like any other and requires great organizing skills, strong willpower, and dedication. People opt for freelancing due to many reasons such as inability to find a job and taking destiny into your own hands, desire to establish yourself as a reputable member within a specific niche or because they want to spend more time with their families. In order to succeed as a freelancer, you need a few career coaching tips that you can use as guidelines. That’s exactly what I’m going to in this post; I’ll share some tips that helped me succeed in freelancing.
When you’re a freelancer, you shouldn’t consider yourself as an employee anymore. Instead, you should consider yourself and the service you provide as a small business. Being entrepreneurial helps you understand what your responsibilities are. For example, when you’re your own boss, you are the one who has to find clients and conduct a certain project. This means that you are responsible for entire chain of commands.
Don’t worry, as you’re getting more experience in freelancing, you will also develop your entrepreneurial skills.
TIP: Instead of waiting for someone to stumble upon you as a freelancer who can conduct a certain job or assignment, you should approach potential clients via email, social network etc.
Showcase your creativity
Always bear in mind that freelancing is an open market and you are competing with millions of freelancers within that market. Instead of trying to copy someone else’s work or trying to make it similar to stuff that some other freelancers did successfully, you should strive to showcase your own creativity with a career portfolio.
I believe that being brave to do things your own way at the beginning and demonstrating your creativity important for establishment of your own identity and reputation. You have the freedom to represent yourself as the person or freelancer you want to be, which is why you opted for freelancing in the first place.
Furthermore, recruiters and clients always look for freelancers whose works or services stand out which isn’t possible if you feel afraid of expressing creativity. Bravery and hard work always pay off.
Polish your resume
When you’re a freelancer, your resume is oftentimes the first form of contact between you and potential client. This means that you should pay extra attention to polishing your resume. If you can’t, or don’t know how to make a resume that stands out, you can always hire someone to do that for you. Ideally, your resume should be customized to the type of job you’re applying to in order to catch client’s attention and lead to an interview.
In freelancing, resume that showcases relevant skills necessary for certain project and experience is always a step in a right direction.
Connect and be patient
To succeed as a freelancer, you need a lot of patience, particularly at the beginning. Before starting to despair how clients don’t turn to you at desired rate, you should always bear in mind that beginning is the most difficult part and as you get more experience, you will also get more client.
Connecting is another thing that will help you succeed as a freelancer. As mentioned above, there are millions of freelancers in the world. Although you shouldn’t copy each other’s works and project, you should be able to establish great communication with people from your niche. Other freelancers are going through the same thing as you do which means you can exchange experiences and help each other. Plus, connecting with other freelancers can improve your chances of getting hired. For example, if some other person is hired to do something but client needs more people, they can easily recommend you. Isolating yourself from people in your niche is never a good idea.
Get organized and take breaks
What makes successful freelancers stand out the most is their ability to organize their time. Sometimes, you will find yourself working for 3 or more clients and all of them need their projects urgently. In times like these, your organizational skills can help you do everything according to the schedule. There is always something with a higher priority and you should arrange your assignments bearing in mind the urgency. I use planner that I always carry with me and write down all projects and details about them.
To ensure productivity it is important to take regular breaks. These breaks will help you reenergize and motivate yourself to continue working.
Establish online presence
Online presence is like an online form of your resume or demonstration of skills you have regarding your niche. Having a strong online presence can also help you get hired sooner than you think as client already has an insight into what you can do. You can set up your own website or a blog, create a LinkedIn profile, and become active on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Learn to say no
Saying “NO” to some job is much better than accepting it only to send a low-quality finalized project. If you feel like you cannot submit high-quality content to your client, you should let them know you can’t accept. They will appreciate your honesty and send a different assignment. This also shows your responsibility.
Go easy with the attitude
One thing I’ve learned as a freelancer is that you should always know how to control yourself and your attitude, even though you know you’re right. While some clients can be easy to get along and communicative, others aren’t good with communication, never state what they want, and they expect some things that you know aren’t correct. Although these things can be frustrating, you should never let your attitude get better of you and react harshly. Remember, that person is paying to perform certain task in certain way. The only thing you can do is to do your best and be open to suggestions and edits they might have.
When you’re a freelancer you will work with different people and different characters. Good attitude, positive energy, and enthusiasm are always appreciated by all clients.