The rapid shift towards independent work and freelancing has increased significantly over the past years making it one of the fastest-growing career options nowadays. In addition, the shift of moving to digital, working flexible hours, and being able to work from any location has made freelancing a viable option for so many people.
In this article, we provide you with five golden tips to support you in the quest of becoming a successful freelancer.
1- Decide what services you want to provide
The core freelance services you will provide depend on your skills and what you excel the most at, market demand, and your passion; think about what interests you because you will be reaching the utmost of creativity when working on something that you are passionate about. Secondly, do your research! Search the market you want to venture in, gather as much information as you can from the internet, do primary research to collect data, and gain insight on what people want via analyzing their responses. Furthermore, ask people within your close network (friends, family, etc) in order to benefit from their experiences, and understand what services are in demand from your current skill set. Also, to help you decide on the type of services to provide, start by identifying a problem that people in that industry are facing and try to find a solution for it through your service. This will help you deliver unique services that are different from other businesses and will help you attract customers.
2- Price your services
Decide how you will price your services, will you be charging by the hour for your services (if so, what is your hourly rate) or will you have packages or a combination of both. Create a clear offerings list with all your prices so you are able to give a price quote once you get a request for a service. Remember to scope out the industry of your service to gain a better understanding about other freelancers and companies providing the same services as you do and see what their prices are and list them in a sheet for future reference. This will help you in determining a suitable rate for your services by comparing it with others. Similarly, to value your time spent working, don’t forget to set a price for your effort too. Although, as a beginner in the field, it is not recommended to give a high price in regards to your services at first. Instead, set a standard price then raise it gradually as you progress and develop in the industry until you are known with enough credibility that will justify your high prices.
3- Market yourself
Deciding on how you want to market yourself is a step that can effectively boost your services and help you gain popularity in the field. Think if you will be going directly to the customer, or will the customers come to you? Will you market your brand online, or will you market it via partnerships and collaborations? Different marketing methods will take place depending on the industry and your preferred style. It is also extremely beneficial to utilize social media platforms to promote your services through Instagram/YouTube/Twitter/Facebook as this will help you reach a wider audience. It is also highly advisable to ask your previous clients who were satisfied with your work to recommend you to other possible clients in order to reach a broader clientele base.
4- Build your name
If you are new in freelancing, you may want to take a few free projects just to start building your name and positioning yourself in the market. If you cannot afford to take free projects, be flexible with your fees when you first start in order to help you build your portfolio of customers. Once your name is out there and you have a track record you can price your services according to how you see fit. Additionally, it is crucial that you become social and in constant contact with associative peers that are well known in the freelancing field, you are undertaking, for by engaging in such social circles you’ll be second handedly promoting yourself by association which will give you more public presence. It is also advised to not shy away from being interviewed for podcasts, TV, radio, and guest blogging for online publications as these public appearances can build up your reputation as well as help in increasing your popularity amongst people. You can likewise follow current trends and associate them with your work as a means to relate to the masses. For instance, if there’s a challenge like The Ice Bucket challenge and you work in designing illustrations, you can illustrate a simple gif of a cartoon figure doing that challenge.
Once you start getting projects, it is time to get serious about the work. Make sure you deliver as per the client’s scope, time, and with the highest quality possible. To do that you need to create a schedule and mark everything that needs to be done, all the unfinished tasks, and the ones that are being on hold, this will help you stay organized. Also, whenever possible, try to over-deliver to the client. Give them a little bit more than what they asked for to show your commitment to their success. Don’t fear giving too much and being extra with your work as that will speak highly of your dedication and will land you more recommendations. After all, it’s not always just about the money; because success depends on trust and well-affirmed relationships to guarantee the survival and continuity of the brand because once mutual trust is established between the freelancer and the clients, the same clients may come again due to their satisfaction with the service.
By following these tips, we hope you will be able to successfully pave your career as a freelancer in your field of choice.