Eight tips to start as a freelancer
Every day there are more people who decide to become freelancers, taking advantage of their talent and skills, without having to meet the narrow work schedules of the typical employee. There are about 1.1 billion people around the world who are solo entrepreneurs, ie. being self-employed without having employees of their own. 57 million of them were working from home in 2019.
If you are considering starting your own business, remember that besides the many advantages that this lifestyle offers, you should also consider its challenging aspects to achieve lasting success.
In the beginning, many freelancers feel lost and they do not know how to go forward or deal with the daily challenges. It is normal to have doubts about this new, wide and competitive world. These tips will help you to take off and to leave the fear aside:
1. Build your own brand
Many clients analyse the profiles of potential suppliers. This includes the resume, portfolio, social networks, blogs, and references. That is why it is important that you build a professional social media presence and that you keep all channels updated. Do not forget that your brand is your cover letter to the world.
Please consider that when the skills you offer are new and specific, the chances of being selected increase.
2. Sign up on various job platforms and project recruiters
When you start working as a freelancer it is often difficult to find the first clients. That is why marketplaces like freelancer.international have been created. They allow you to find clients and projects both around the corner and from far away overseas.
When you register on a freelancer marketplace, you should create a clear profile, showing your specific experience and your portfolio. Remember to point to the niche that best suits your experience. This way you find exactly the clients that need exactly what you are best in.
3. Make your offer is the most attractive in the market
There might be hundreds of freelancers competing in your field. This is why it is important that you follow these tips when you are bidding for a project:
Read the project description carefully and let the client know if you have doubts or if something is not clear.
If you have examples of similar projects that you have done previously, provide them.
If you analyse the proposal and you think that the client should focus the project differently or should add more information, do not limit yourself.
Be confident in what you are offering and remember that you are a freelancer on the road to success.
4. Offer reasonable rates for the market
Money is one of the issues that worry most freelancers, especially beginners. Although getting projects is important, receiving the right amount is also important.
Be as specific as possible regarding the price you will charge and the time it will take to deliver.
Do not set low prices just for fear that another freelance will take away your work. Try to find a rate that is just as acceptable for you as it is for your client.
5. What is your best time of day?
One of the advantages of being a freelance is time flexibility. To work efficiently, it is, however, advisable to establish a work schedule and adjust to it. Choose the hours in which you feel most creative, productive and calm.
6. Do not be afraid to say no
The time will come when you are drowning in too much work and tight delivery dates. That is when the balance between doing the job well vs. doing it quickly becomes challenging.
Do not feel bad if you have to refuse certain projects. Most clients will understand that you are declining because of excessive work and not because you are an irresponsible professional as long as you are maintaining the awareness of that customer. Regularly contact him/her again to offer your help.
7. The key is in communication
Clients and influencers are the most important channels in your freelance work. That is why communication with them is vital.
8. Go out and see the world
Attend events, conferences, and meetings related to your area. There you will meet people who can give you work, recommend you to someone else or become your ally when you need another expert to carry out a project. Reach out and leave your comfort zone.
One great way of networking is to join coworking spaces in order to expand your network. You will never know who you are going to meet.
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This article was published in the freelancer.international news 49.