More and more people these days are making the decision to quit their day jobs to go freelancing. In fact, more than one third of Americans are currently freelancing, and that number is expected to burgeon in the coming years. So why do these people choose to be freelancers instead of building their career within a company? Answer: being a freelancer means freedom, flexibility, and financial independence. Moreover, you no need a fancy degree or X years on the job. What you need is proof of skill to claim the deal.
Although it may sound easy, there are always challenges and difficulties, and it can be especially hard when you are in the initial stages of your freelancing career. But with good sets of skills, knowledge, passion, and the right attitude, it is not impossible to be successful in this field.
Equip yourself with the right skills
Job skills vary depending on what type of freelancing you do, but all good freelancers share certain characteristics.
Effective communication, time management, negotiation and organization skills are must-haves, but companies also have their eyes on particular skills, including sales and marketing, IT and programming, design and multimedia, engineering and manufacturing, writing, translation and more…
Just remember, do the best work you can do with the work you have, and let those opportunities grow into others. And don’t be afraid to ask other freelancers how they landed a gig and employers for more work.
Build Up Your Online Presence
No matter what you’re offering, your voice, tone, and overall image needs to reflect your personality and work style. This will make even strangers feel like they know you (trust is everything!) and help you stand out. Make sure you showcase your freelance portfolio online with a personal website so potential employers can search for your work and contact you directly.
Bottom line: Give yourself enough time to do great work; network, network, network; and be clear about what type of work you’re looking for.
Focus on quality
As an inexperienced freelancer, you may not have a large client list to fall back on for work, but you can make up for this and set yourself apart in other ways. Your answer: Quality, quality and quality.
Delivering your best work, and on time of course, is what will keep clients coming because reliability is how you become your client’s go-to.
Find Your First Clients
Start by spreading the word to your friends and networks. Let them know you’re accepting work, what you’re looking for, and what you’re offering. Next, build your brand on social media by sharing interesting stories relevant to your field. To get attention on social and cut through the clutter, share posts that are educational, entertaining, visual, or funny. (Bonus points if what you post is all four.) Be punchy and add value to your (prospective) client’s day with your content. Oh, and don’t be afraid to share your work!
Pick freelance jobs that’ll grow your portfolio, for freelance, start small. Only by doing your best work from the start will you be able to leverage your portfolio to add more clients. However, you need to make sure these gigs are a good investment of your time and effort.
Start by seeking out long-term freelance gigs that will give you a steady source of income while you branch out and grow your client list.
As you continue to build your client base and produce quality work, clients will start referring you to others. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to transition to being a full-time freelancer!
Tasks to do
- Create your email address.
- Payment gateway account.
- Register at market places.
- Complete your profile.
- Setting skills and taking tests.
- Compare to others who do what you do rank on: reputation, knowledge, experience.
- You will start choosing a starting rate lower than you like.
- Compare your rates with others.
- Do you have any bonuses to offer?
- Deciding what to bid on and when.
- Place at least one bid on a project to see how the process works.
- Start with part time.
- Do not take over load.
- Dedicate two hours everyday for 90 days.
Note on pricing: professionals charge based on what it’s worth, not based on cost.
Writing killer bids
- Be specific as possible
- Provide a detailed rate and time frame for delivery
- Always provide standalone samples to back your claims
Things never to do in your bid
- Copy/paste an old bid
- Ask for cost range before providing your bid
- Apologize for a lack of experience or industriy knowledge
- Have even a small typo
- Bid outside of your areas of expertise
Build capture point into your website to capture visitor
- Create list building system at your website.
- Create an e-mail list so you can follow-up and nurture your prospects.
- Generate ideas for content that can be given away for free to these prospects.