How To Succeed As A Freelancer
More and more people are turning to Freelancing these days as it provides a number of benefits including the ability to charge on per project basis, ability to work remotely and work any time suitable to you. mOne of the greatest benefits of freelance work or working remotely is that you can save long hours while commuting to and fro from office.
While you are working as a Freelancer, basically you are your boss. You can choose your working hours, working places (i.e. your bedroom/garden/study table), working wear (i.e. formals/casuals) etc. You do not need to work under the rules and regulations of an employer. Although more often than not, if you are meeting your client face-to-face it is advisable that you do not wear your pyjamas.
Moreover, in organisations, sometimes you are subjected to certain disheartening situations such as promotion or appraisal of your colleague whereas you find yourself working harder than them. With office, there’s also office politics or unnecessary gossips, which can sometimes harm your work life you do not know how to smartly navigate through them. For all these reasons, people are choosing to do freelance work over becoming a full-time employee.
With an increase in number of freelancers, the numbers of websites providing a platform where freelancer can find their contract have also increased in the past few years. Some of the websites that we use include: elance.com, freelancer.com, upworthy.com, among others.
However to be a successful freelancer, one needs to follow certain rules.
Know your strengths; after all you are the boss– You need to know your strengths. Focus on what you can do best. There are several fields such as writing, data entry, computer programming, website development and many more. Many a times, when people decide to start freelancing, they get confused with where to start from.
I have personally seen profiles on freelancing sites where people apply for all kinds of distinct jobs. When you have distinct work jobs in your profile it shows a lack of clear understanding of your own strengths. Typically, I avoid hiring such candidates as I still want the best of the best when I give out some freelance work.
That said, sometimes you also need to experiment to understand your calling. In that case, do take up different kinds of jobs but if you are awarded a work you must complete the work. Nothing is more disheartening to a client when the project doesn’t get completed.
Strong portfolio– You will always get work depending on what you have in your hand. Always build a strong portfolio – that can be your website, blog, past writings etc. Let us say you are working on writing related projects, if you are a newbie you can start a blog of your own. Write regularly and build up your blog with regular visitors.
Getting contracts in itself is a tough job and typically freelancers spend half of their time searching for a contract. The search for the contract can be reduced significantly if you have a strong portfolio.
Check client history – Always check client history before jumping onto every opportunity that you get. After all, when you devote your time and energy on the project, you should do it only if you are sure that you will eventually complete the project and get paid for it. You must also check how many projects have been completed and if the rating of the client is good. You must evaluate your prospect client before you finally make a decision.
With the help of star ratings, you can also go through the recent feedback given to the contractor by other employees who have already worked under him/her. This will let you know more about the contractor or client and build trust on him/her to some extent.
Your prospect client will evaluate you on your portfolio, it’s understandable or even smart that you want to evaluate your clients based on factors mentioned above.
Charge on a per project basis – Always charge on a per project basis. Charging for an hour works only if both you and your client are clear about the project specifications and requirements. It’s not that charging per hour is not beneficial. However, if any project might take up some more time, it is always better to add a clause that the project might take up longer time and thus cost more money. The reason should be well justified based on the extra time you should charge extra from the client per hour.
However, charging per project is always better. Cost evaluation needs to be done properly and based on that one should bid for the project. This method leads to fewer problems between the client and the freelancer.
Allocate extra time for research – After bagging a project from the client, the main motive should be satisfying the client by delivering quality work. Give to the client what he asks for. That doesn’t mean that if the client asks for a rotten apple you give them one. Make suggestions on the project in the beginning of the project that will benefit the client. After all, it’s not that the client will benefit or otherwise from the project in the long run. Your reputation as a freelancer will also be at stake. Research everything before starting.
Dedication – Make sure you that you are very much dedicated towards the work before you are awarded the project. While working for sample write ups, show the real dedication towards your contractor. This would also help you to negotiate at your desired pay rates and comparatively earn more.
Time Deadline – Take the project only if you are available to complete it within the allotted deadline. Sometimes not maintaining the deadlines may charge you penalty which can bring major negativity in your earning and reputation. Keep a sharp track of time and deadlines, always.
Think fast and be faster on the keyboard – It’s a pacy world. People want their projects delivered fast. It’s always better for you as a freelancer to research fast, write fast and type fast. Only then will you be able to deliver the punch at the right time.
Have patience –Initial stages of freelancing, that is, the first six months are always tougher. Have patience, and start with smaller projects as those are easier to get at the initial stage. Enhance your work quality and that will lead you to good projects which are of higher value.
Personal Knowledge– Choose the work/topics/projects on which you have some personal knowledge or experience. Google or search engine is not always supportive in every case. Your personal knowledge adds an actual taste and life into the project.
Freelancing is tough when you start out. Give it some time and don’t give up after trying two or three times with no results. If you follow the tips mentioned above it will make your freelancing journey easier.
At Nomadcareers, we sometimes post freelancing jobs. Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive weekly job updates.