Are you someone who likes to work independently? Do you feel stifled in a formal office atmosphere? And most of all do you hate answering to a ‘boss’? Well, if you answered yes to all these questions, you are probably cut out to be a freelancer.
Freelancing gives you the freedom to choose your working hours, to choose the projects you would like to work on and offers you flexibility not possible while working in an office. Yet freelancing is no piece of cake and not all freelancers are successful. What are the factors that separate successful freelancers from the ‘also rans’?
Well, here are five time tested tips to reap success as a freelancer.
1. You Can’t Beat Professionalism
For all the flexibility and freedom freelancing offers you, never compromise on professionalism. Clients expect you to adhere to deadlines, to respond on time and in general maintain a professional approach. And you should. Freelancing is highly competitive. A less than professional approach may be all it takes for a client to award the project to a competitor, even though you may be good at what you do or better than the competitor.
2. Confidence is Cool
Confident freelancers are successful freelancers. Well, the very reason you ventured out on the freelancing path (leaving the security of an office job) was because you were confident of your skills in your niche. So why let your confidence falter now?
Say, you are a freelance writer. You may not know the specifics of the client’s business, but you do know the nuances of writing. The client does not. A confident, self-assured attitude makes a difference and you are better able to convince the client why YOU are perfect for his/her project.
3. Figuring out the Fees
Surprisingly, the most common mistake freelancers make about fees is not overcharging, but undercharging. The temptation to slash your fees to attract prospective clients is huge, but don’t give in to it. It might actually work against you as most clients associate low fees with poor quality. Of course, there are always people looking for a ‘steal deal’. But working with such people who don’t respect your time and expertise is not worth the effort and this is definitely not the right approach for a successful freelancing career.
4. It’s Alright to Say No
Don’t over commit. It is alright to say NO and decline that big project if your plate is full at the moment. It is better to decline a job than accept it and do a bad job as it will affect your future prospects. Also if you heed tip #3 and don’t waste your time on projects that are not worth it, you will have time for projects that are.
5. Spread the Word
Marketing is indeed the key for the success of any business. And freelancing is no different. Get the word out there that you are now a freelancer. Use your network of ex-colleagues, friends, and acquaintances. Network through social media. Promote your services through your website and blog. Use any offline resources like brochures, flyers, etc if you think they might be helpful.
So which of these tips are you going to implement instantly? Let us know in the comments. All the best on your journey to success.