11 Steps To Becoming A successful Freelancer
Have you been thinking of becoming a freelancer but don’t know how? Perhaps you have been thinking of ways to make money online or you have been thinking about the reasons why you should start an online business. Or you have an entrepreneurial spirit. Or you just want to be your own boss, tired of taking orders and working under someone.
“75% of people who are not freelancers say they would be willing to do work outside their primary job to bring in more cash”
Truth is, becoming a successful freelancer is both intimidating and fascinating. Becoming a successful freelancer is not rocket science, it is not easy but it is doable. Here are the things you need to know:
Steps To Becoming A successful Freelancer
Gradually Ease Your Way Into Freelancing
In becoming a freelancer, don’t quit your regular job just yet. Freelancing sites like, Upwork, Fiverr and ProBlogger are excellent sites for landing small jobs in your field of expertise or any other skill that you possess. Within your regular work ours you could begin tasking yourself by creating assignments, solving them and using them to build your portfolio.
To be successful as a freelancer it is best that you first lay the groundwork before committing to freelancing full-time.
“Do not test the depth of water with both feet”
Do not Settle For less
As a new freelancer, you probably have a few samples in your portfolio when you first start, do not let it bother you. Your work is still valuable, provided you are good at what you do. While it is okay to work for a lower fee as a newbie, you end up hurting yourself and your industry when you charge below what is obtainable in the market. Spend your time on getting the reviews, references and the required experience, and then adjust your charges. Always be confident, you know what you can offer and it is worth the price tag you place on it.
Know Your place In The Industry
Can you confidently explain to prospective clients what you do and how you do it? Are you a graphic designer, a writer, a video maker or an editor? Which clients are you targeting with your service? Who should buy your service and what is your unique selling point (USP) that would make them want to buy? When you focus on something you are really good at, you would not have to expend too much energy in doing it and you will be an expert in what you do.
Successful freelancers are not jack of all trades.”
Do Your Research
As a freelancer, you should research your job and know the things you need to do to become a professional at your job. Suppose you want to be a writer, research the writing services other professionals in your field offers. Are certified digital marketer and you are planning on marketing your services to small businesses? Try searching for what services your prospective clients are interested in. make yourself the professional your prospective clients are searching for.
Create A Professional Online presence
In your journey as a freelancer, look at yourself as an entrepreneur. Always present yourself as a business or brand. You could build your own website even as you are on freelance sites, grow it and when you start generating traffic, you are sure to meet new clients and establish authority.
Meet New People
Meeting people doesn’t have to be in person. You can meet new people by joining groups related to your niche on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn Twitter etc. or groups for like-minded professionals. I personally have made lots of friends online with this blog.
You don’t need to spam groups or forums in the name of promoting yourself, leave thoughtful comments on blog posts, join Quora and answer questions in a detailed manner; this will help you grow your online presence.
Create A Backup Plan
For everything you do, there should always be a plan B, so you never feel stranded. It takes consistency and a significant amount of time to grow any brand or business. “Rome was not built in a day.” Do a proper background check, ask yourself what else you could do if you are not able to break even in the freelancing world. Identifying a possible cause for failure and preparing an alternative plan will save you a great deal in time.
Learn How To Avoid Scammers/Wrong Clients
In the freelancing world, there are people who are out to simply cheat others. Some receive your work only for them to tell you that you did a bad job; cancel the order ad no longer interested. Not telling you what you did wrong. Some disappear after giving you a job, no communication, only to be back on towards deadline. Devise a means of spotting and dealing with clients like this.
Decline Offers You Do Not Want
Do not forget why you decided to become a freelancer. Probably to become your own boss and make your own decisions or not wanting to work on boring projects. It may hard to decline offers because you are just starting out, but there is a thing about setting standards, choose your clients and be assertive.
Ask For Good Reviews
There is absolutely no harm in asking for a 5 star review, when you know you have done a good job and your clients are also satisfied.
Ask For Referrals
No need to be shy. Contact the clients that you have worked for that are satisfied with your work and mention that you could use some more work if the could refer friends or colleagues to you. Be polite when doing this, probably when you complete a project, when you receive a compliment or after you have received a breathe taking testimonial.