The rapid changes in technology and advanced online communications paved way to the popularity of online freelancing these days. No wonder why many people want to join the caravan of modern freelancers.
I have been a freelancer for a couple of years now since I left my post in a print and publishing company. I could not remember how many times I’ve been asked about what I do for a living and I often try my best to keep it short. That I do freelance writing (but not with any newspaper or magazine— I just had to reiterate that) and that I earn a decent amount compared to what I get working in a corporate world. Then, these people will ask for some tips on how they could start freelancing themselves.
The chance of being your own boss, the flexibility of working whenever and wherever, plus the prospect of earning more makes online freelancing a promising career. No doubt, even those people who are currently employed are tempted to ditch their jobs and dive into the world of self employment. But, I tell them it’s not easy. I am still a work in progress when it comes to freelancing. I do have my own share of lessons that I wanted to share in this post.
1. Start a blog or a website
The easiest and most convenient way to showcase your skills or talents is by taking it online. You may be starting from scratch. If clients have something to look at once you applied for work i.e writing, web design, translation, photography skills etc. then you’ll have a good chance of getting the job. After all, there are many free online blogging platforms out there especially if you are on a tight budget. You may start with WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or Blogger.
2. Promote yourself
Let the online world knows about your presence. Clients will not just discover your blog by accident. How? Join groups related to your niche, network, send emails and get in touch with people you know through social media. Prepare your business cards too because you’ll never know when you will bump into like-minded people or those who might need your services.
3. Prepare a reasonable work flow
Time management and discipline play major roles in achieving this goal. Prepare your daily to-do-list. You will feel motivated if you see tasks being ticked off on your list. Remember, if you don’t work, you won’t get paid.
4. Run your own piece of work
While you are working for others and paid for your job, it is also advisable that you create something you can call your own. A project where you can inject your own personal ideas. Remember you blog/website in #1? Write a new post or create new designs. It will act as a counter-balance to your bread-and-butter work.
5. Turn new clients into repeat clients
How? Make your clients happy! If you can deliver ahead of time without sacrificing the quality of your work and his budget, then do it! Your clients will definitely remember you and would even recommend you to others if they had a pleasant experience working with you.
6. Have a heart of stone
Freelancing is not for the faint-hearted. It will not always be sunshine and daisies. There are times when clients will just ignore you or won’t even commend your work. Accept that fact. Move on and just keep on “hustling”.
Or better yet, check out The Beauty and Madness of Freelancing
7. No job lasts forever
No matter how long you’ve been working for a client, it won’t last forever. There are many reasons why a job ends: your client’s financial budget, change of ideas, switch of priorities, lack of time etc. The thing is, you have to be ready all-the-time. How? Work for more than one client.
8. Learn to say NO
Do not bite off more than you can chew. While it is recommended that you have more than one client as stated in #7, it is NOT wise to grab every job being offered to you. If the quality of your work will be compromised— be honest enough to say no.
9. Know how to price your work.
If you are already a pro in freelancing, then you probably know how much your work’s worth is. Or if you are a newbie, feel free to ask your fellow freelancers. Remember, over charging and under charging are both unethical in this kind of field.
10. Freelancing is your business.
A one-man business— this is how you should treat your freelancing stint. And as a business, you should be fully aware of all its details like client’s negotiations, paperworks (taxes, permits, copyrights) and accountabilities.
Test the water first before you fully take the plunge to freelancing! Sign up on Fourerr and start offering microjobs! Want more deets? Points and rewards are yours for the taking as you collaborate with the entire Fourerr community!