So, you’ve taken the freelancer plunge, congratulations!
Now what? How do I get my first client? How do I ensure payment? What if I’m running late on a project? So many questions, so little time! Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Whether you’re new to the game, or a seasoned pro, you can always up your game. In today’s blog post we’re going to offer a few tips on how to become a better freelancer.
- Clearly define your skills and area of expertise. Sure, you’ve got a ton of skills. But your potential clients aren’t looking for a jack of all trades. They want a specialist. The first step in becoming a successful freelancer is identifying where you can best help and subsequently attracting clients that want exactly that. You’ll both be happier in the end.
- Tidy up your portfolio. Building your initial client base can be tough. Having a professional portfolio can help attract clients that would otherwise pass for more experienced freelancers. Even if you haven’t worked with any clients yet, have a collection of websites that you’ve worked on in the past. If you’re a designer have some work ready to display on a webpage or physical book. Show off your stuff, it adds to your credibility.
- Put yourself out there. Your pitch is laser focused. Your portfolio is on-point. Now what? It’s time to get in front of your audience. First and foremost, in-person networking will always be king. Go to local events in your field, find startups in your area. However, you need to utilize the internet if you want to cast the widest net. Making profiles on sites like HelpWith can connect you with thousands of locals that need the skills that you have to offer. Sometimes it’s best to let the clients come to you.
- Have a firm payment plan. There are plenty of freelance horror stories out there, two months of work with nothing to show for it. Don’t let this be you. Have a payment plan from the beginning. Most recommend an initial down payment to ensure commitment from your client. Whatever you decide, stick to it. And if your client misses a payment? Halt until further notice. We know, you love the work that you do. But this is your business now. Treat it like one.
- Learn to say no. I know, this sounds counter intuitive. However, talk to any seasoned freelancer and they will tell you that they wish they knew this sooner. It’s easy to get excited when a new client lands in your lap, you want to help them out. But taking on too much work at once, or projects outside of your expertise, can spell disaster. It’s better to do one job well than three jobs poorly. Don’t stretch yourself too thin. As a freelancer your work is a representation of you. Not only will doing good work lead to new clients, but it’s also the surest way to fill your schedule with happy repeat customers 🙂
- Work your way up. Begin with small projects and clients. These small fish can quickly turn into big ones if done properly. Don’t be afraid to start small while still thinking big. This will also help you hone your workflow before gearing up for a heavier workload.
We hope this helps and we wish you the best of luck in your freelance endeavors. Come back soon for more tips, client features, and articles about living life on your own schedule. Go get ‘em!