The concept of being your own boss is quite fascinating and stress-relieving. Freelancing has created a hypnotic trance and engulfed many people in its sheer magnetism. You may not find enticing to pursue your regular job because of the time limitations and having under the constant look of your boss.
After ditching your regular job, you dive in this field of freelancing and at the start, you find it quite intimidating and daunting. You come up with an idea of work freely and do what you love. You have courage, dedication and an ability to give quality work, but with the passage of time you feel overwhelmed and occupied and unable to fulfill your dreams of working what you love most and what you are best at. Following are the tips and techniques that I’ve found useful after getting my hands-on my four years of a freelance writing career. Some of the tips are common sense and some I developed with the passage of time.
1: Get Ready:
Before starting freelancing work, you must make up your mind for what you’re doing and get prepared for ups and downs that may come along the way of your freelancing career. You may come across with difficult times when you feel drenched and stressed and you start looking for alternatives for your living. That is the time when you need to be focused – the time you think you give up may be the time just few steps away from your success.
2: Don’t give up on your regular Job before you start Freelancing:
If you have made your mind to make living through freelancing, then don’t be quick in leaving your regular job. After coming from your regular job, you can give extra time to your freelancing work. It is wise to leave your job when you start earning 50% through freelancing of your regular income. Freelancing is not a kind of work that you start in urgent basis, it requires time, patience and dedication.
3: Manage your Time:
Most effective thing to make your freelancing career grow skyrocket is how you manage your time. Time passes within a blink of an eye, and soon you will be stepping nearer to time require to get your project done. Before you take any project, you must schedule a plan to complete that project and measure properly how much time it needs. Spending too much time on one project may allow you to say “No” to the potential clients that bring most revenue to your business.
4: Make a Blog or Website:
You cannot grow in the services you provide unless you have a proper platform to showcase your skills. Making a blog or website gives a professional look to your business. Doesn’t matter if you write like a pro or not just write and make your services available to the world. With the sudden increase in literacy rate, this world is becoming more competitive. You cannot stand out from others unless you have an ability to broadcast your services.
5: Join less competitive Freelancing sites:
Everyone is well aware of the popular freelancing websites like Fiverr, Upwork and Freelancer. These sites are already filled with skilled and competitive freelancer which leave no room for newbies. It is better to start your career with freelancing sites that have been newly launched. It provides you more work with less competition. Once you make a portfolio and get enough experience to showcase your abilities then you can go for popular freelancing sites.
6: Learn to say NO:
The sooner you develop this ability to say NO to the clients you think you cannot work with, the higher is the opportunity to grow and progress. It is observed most of the newbies say YES to every other client that comes on their way which is the first rule to ruin your freelancing career. If you cannot say NO to the clients, makes it difficult for you to say YES to the potential clients.
7: Give Bonus or Free Work:
When you are at the start of your freelancing career, it is important to grow the list of clients as well retain the existing clients. Suppose if you are giving your writing services to clients then you can offer some percent off on their first project. Or you can give free ebook in exchange for their email. Whatever method you choose to fascinate your clients, will allow them to come again and again and leverage your freelancing work.
8: Use Social Media:
You must be well aware of the importance of social media unless you are living in Stone Age. It is observed most of the people waste time on social media doing nothing except stalking their crush or getting impressed from the lives of other people.
In order to grow your business, take every social media account like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Youtube as your business account. Don’t use them as your personal account. It will increase the possibility of getting more clients with great revenue in hand.
9: Think out of the Box:
Don’t develop your portfolio from your perspective, make it according to the client’s perspective. You must be creative and think out of the box in order to stand out from other. Instead of being general in your niche, be specific. If one person is a jack of all trades and one that is highly qualified in a specific niche, who would you hire? I definitely would go for a specialist. Highlight your skills clearly and in a proper way that client finds no difficulty in anticipating which subject you’re expert at.
10: Don’t Compromise on Quality:
You won’t be compromising on quality as long as you strictly follow the rule to say NO to clients. Quality is a universal fact that follows along your freelancing career. Poor quality or work half done is enough to scare the hell out of your customers.
You must give special heed and focus to every client. Always try to follow up regularly, so clients don’t feel they are left out in the process. Try to provide quality work in order to make your clients satisfied.
11: Follow Deadlines Strictly:
Once you have sealed the deal with your client, try to follow it strictly. Don’t procrastinate and deliver the project on time. This will leave a positive impact on your business and develop a long-lasting relationship with your client.
Although you will have a burden of doing other projects but these excuses will do no good to clients. Don’t leave an impression that you are busy in doing other projects, this will mark a negative impact on your business.
12: Listen Carefully:
If you don’t have an ability to incorporate client’s voice into all of your work, you cannot be a successful freelancer. Giving your suggestion is good to start a conversation and build a rapport with the client, but the client is always right at the end. Don’t impose your suggestion on the client instead follow the instructions given by the client.
13: Keep your Finances Clear:
In your freelancing career, it may happen you work your butt off to meet the deadlines and you ignore finances completely.
Instead of measuring your finances once or twice in a year, it is better to look after your finances every now and then. It will give a clear picture if you are charging less than you deserve and when is the time to make new commitments with clients.
14: Be Confident:
Whatever service you provide, be confident in it. Don’t give an impression you are a newbie or give a simple nod that you can do that project. Give a proper reason why a client would hire you. And what are the skills that put you above from other competitors. Clients always look for the person who is qualified and skilled in his craft, they won’t end up giving the project to the person who would mess up their project.
15: Raise your Rates:
With continuous hard work, courage, and dedication, there comes a point when you get to know you should raise your rates. Don’t beg for projects instead show your skills in a way that satisfy your clients and make them want more.
There is a fine line between elaborating what you are expert at and what you are blabbering. Don’t try to be pushy or brag about your skills. Once you gain much experience, keep increasing your rates.
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16: Be Humble:
If you have got much skill in a specific niche that puts you ahead of your competitors, then don’t get too arrogant. Getting arrogant will leave you in the middle of nowhere and puts your freelancing career at risk. Raising your rates is not arrogance instead it means you are becoming more competitive and qualified in your niche.
17: Be Motivated:
Freelancing is a process that requires hard work, dedication, perseverance, and patience. Always keep your desk filled with motivational quotes or lives of the successful leaders. This will keep you motivated along the way to your freelancing career.
With the bunch of projects and strict deadlines, you may feel exhausted and burnt out. And it may occupy your mind with the thought of giving up your freelancing career.
The human body needs exercise for its freshness and maintenance, similarly, human mind needs motivational quotes and some motive to keep it stay tuned and progress. It is wise to start with baby steps, even one step ahead counts as progress. Be worried about staying still, it will lead to death.
18: Always get a Down Payment:
In my freelancing career, I have learned, never start a project for free or based on mere trust. Always demand a down payment from your client before starting the project. It will build a confidence and rapport with you and client. And before sending major files, demand full payment from your client.
19: Guest post on your Relevant Blog:
Your skills and qualification will give you no benefit unless you have a massive audience to see it. Once you have created a strong portfolio and showcased your skills, it is time to boost your online presence. A quick way to reach your potential clients is to guest post on other blogs in your specific niche. It will highlight your skills and make available to the number of people.
20: Be Clear
Don’t ever lie with your clients. Because they are the people who bring revenue and are advertisers and marketers of your business. Follow up regularly with your clients and make them assure you will deliver quality work within the time period assigned.
21: Take Break:
During the completion of the project, you may feel stuck and burnt out. It doesn’t mean you rush and complete the project anyway. Take a break and come back with a fresh mind. Giving project in a rush means you are either run short of time or are compromising on quality.
These are the top 21 tips to grow and progress as a freelancer. Share your experience with more tips that you find useful except the ones I have already mentioned.