Although freelancing might seem like your dream job with all its benefits and comfort level considerations. But it is not as easy as it seems. Freelancing or to become a successful freelancer is a very difficult career path to choose.
One might assume that freelancing is sitting at home in your comfortable sweatpants and working for flexible hours. But freelancing in its beginning stages requires a lot of hard work. It is not just a baggy eye and a cup of coffee type of situation, it has a deeper more complex progress system. When one leaves their job to start freelancing they are practically unemployed. One would wonder what are the tricks to achieve a place in this growing economic market.
A few do’s and don’ts one must keep in mind to become a successful freelancer:
– Getting Better
It is an important personal trait to keep improving your skills. Taking an example of an artist, for personal growth you should keep exploring new techniques so that you can get better. But for someone whose daily bread and butter come from their art, it becomes very important to keep getting better and better. And keep learning new skills for the betterment of their career.
It is essential to inform the people close to you that you will be working on individual projects as a freelancer. It is also advised to inform other freelancers in your contact and keep in touch with them. You can also ask for their advice whenever needed. Do your research work before making any career changing the decision.
– Setting a Schedule
One must set a proper time schedule for his work system. Since there is no boss to hover around you reminding you the deadlines. Maintaining a work ethic is important. Separating your personal life from your professional life and dividing the time to be given to both.
– Finding Clients
This is the hardest step to overcome when talking about the freelance career. The clients won’t come to you magically in the morning. One has to work hard to attract clients.
Social media is a substantial part of our everyday lives. In the 21st century, where google comes to the rescue whenever anyone faces a lifetime crisis, why not use social media platforms to promote yourself? Try:
- Creating websites and maintaining social media (Facebook, Twitter) profiles and pages to promote your work.
- Maintaining contact with successful freelancers through their social media handles.
- Commenting, retweeting, sharing their posts etc. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Don’t set your work price according to your electricity bills. You can do a research on the market prices and according to your work quality set a price range. Many clients would offer you a project in exchange for ‘exposure’. Although it is not a complete sin to work for exposure when the limelight is expected to shine over your head. But it is also important to be firm when it comes to price or charge discussions and say no when someone tries to exploit your work.
Keep your paperwork sorted. You must set up a formal paperwork for every project you get and decide on the payment procedure and the terms and conditions that apply to both you and the client. Many freelancers get stuck between paperwork and complications after the project is done which delays payment and is also bad for your ‘work image’ in front of the clients. This will save you from a lot of chaos. And it will also create a good impression.
– Be crystal clear
You should be crystal clear with your clients and not let them be in any situation which keeps them in the dark about the project and its ongoing progress. Your business is being carried out by you, and the mistakes or achievements you make. There are no employees to make mistakes. And there are no bosses to point out your mistakes. Your reputation is in your hands. Keep the client up to date with the progress and try your best to meet the deadlines.
The most important step for becoming a successful freelancer is to be dedicated. It is very mentally and physically stressful to go through the initial stages of freelancing. You must keep in mind that if you keep working hard you’ll get more clients as the time passes by. Work should be your daily prayer.
– Dry Spells
Be ready to go through some ‘dry spells’ in terms of projects or good money. These keep coming and going and one must not feel discouraged.
– Keep Yourself Updated
There are sites which provide freelancers with jobs and companies having a certain requirement can hire freelancers from such websites. These websites create a connection between the freelancers and the companies.
- Work hard and follow certain rules.
- Don’t be afraid to try something new.
- It is okay to say no.
- Be systematic.
- Follow a time schedule.
- Now you have become a successful Freelancer