Even though the job situation remains difficult for many freelancers and contractors, we hope that with the New Year, it will be better.
In this issue, we have prepared tips about how to start as a freelancer from scratch. Moreover, we have additional tips for the people who want to try freelancing alongside their full-time employment.
Following that, we will answer the question why professional project brokers are not allowed to post requests on our platform. Thereafter, a coaching client describes to us how a freelancer (that he found via us) ensured he was prepared for his new professional challenges.
Last but not least, allow us to brighten up your day with our freelancer joke which is about a corporate executive who makes his decisions in a mountain hut.
I hope you enjoy reading this news and enjoy your winter barbecues. As always, I wish you success in business!
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.
Although freelancers often need only small starting capital for the implementation of their own business idea, the first step into self-employment is always a risk they have to take. The risks are, for example, the workload, acquisition costs, lack of capital reserves and inability to make payments on time.
One can also try the start of self-employment step by step in order to minimize such risks. After all, no one is obligated to plunge head over heels into cold water.
Being self-employed on the side means slowly approaching your own independence without having to fear from the start that you will not be able to pay the rent. Becoming self-employed while keeping the current job of your own is particularly suitable for people who attach great importance to financial planning and security. After all, employment can still be terminated as soon as the appointment list has been filled. Starting self-employment on a part-time basis is also a good way to find out whether you feel comfortable in the role of a freelancer.
In the beginning, stage, since you are not yet dependent on the income from self-employment, you can also take care of the necessary administrative tasks more easily, from visiting the tax consultant to creating your own website. The part-time self-employment is, therefore, a good way to try yourself out in the entrepreneurial role and to achieve initial success without too much pressure and a good prerequisite for long-term success.
In the past, freelancers have complained about introductions with professional project brokers. Less than 10 per cent of their enquiries lead to a project, which is well below our success rate of 37 per cent. Many project brokers are also in the habit of negotiating for lower hourly rates in order to increase their own profit margin. Since the freelancers pay the introduction fee with us, most of them do not want an introduction to other project brokers and subcontractors.
Having said that, project brokers who are genuinely interested in an introduction with a freelancer at freelancer.international can, however, can bear the introduction fee in place of the freelancer. The introduction fee is two-hourly freelancer rates.
Normally our freelancers introduce themselves in a short article. This time, however, we have a contribution from our client who has been introduced to one of the freelancers in the trainer category within the freelancer.international. She is specialised in training, coaching, time management and job applications.
After 15 years of working for the same company, I stumbled across a job advertisement that eventually motivated me to apply. However, my last application was a long time ago, so I had difficulties preparing convincing application documents within a few days, especially since the application should also be in line with current practice. Then I came across the freelancer.international in which I was able to contact a trainer in a very short time.
This freelancer, who specialises in the preparation of application documents, was able to work out the most suitable application documents with me immediately. Thus I received an invitation for an interview only 5 days after sending my application. We used the remaining days to develop a strategy to master the job interview. With success! This is how the freelancer.international has helped me to reach new shores.
Two chairmen of the board of directors talk to each other. 'The crisis is putting our company under enormous pressure. I have a very critical decision to make that will determine the future of the company. I will lock myself up in my mountain hut alone on this weekend to think intensively about which freelancer I want to entrust this decision to.'
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