The potential of freelancing as a mainstream career is growing. According to an article published in Forbes, almost 80% of the jobs created in the past five years were freelance. Despite the growth and the fact that freelance gigs today pay better than before, choosing to enter the freelance worlds is still a significant step. Whether your decision to become a freelancer has been motivated by losing a job, or whether you simply desire to be your own boss, there are crucial things you need to consider before diving into freelancing. Please note that, while a career as a freelancer can be quite liberating, it can also be somewhat terrifying. Where does one start? How does one locate clients? How much should you charge? To help you get started, here are seven of the most important things every freelancer ought to know:
Getting your first job is often the hardest
For those who are getting into freelancing for the very first time, it will be frustrating to learn how hard it is to land your first gig. Without samples of previous work and a visible track record, it can be challenging to find someone to hire you. However, once you have started to gather a few jobs under your belt, you will be able to demonstrate your work to potential clients, although there are some instances when you may have to complete some pro bono work to prove yourself to customers. When you are still new to freelancing, reaching out to a potential employer about a job for which you are bidding is one way to proactively get gigs. Asking smart questions about the task shows the employer that you are paying attention to the instructions.
Please remember that there are likely to be other freelancers who are comparatively more skilled and experienced than you, bidding for the same jobs. The main difference you can show is an insight into what the customer wants. To land your first clients, relationship building is critical. Thousands of freelancers get jobs through personal connections. You could also use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to build relationships and use those connections to get work.
A Successful freelancing career takes time to build
There are no overnight successes in freelancing. In fact, do not expect money pouring from the sky as soon as begin your freelancing career. There are particular requirements like time management and networking, which will help build your career. Even if you are amazing at what you do, you are likely to notice that you need to acquire additional skills. Furthermore, learning to balance your new roles may require time and patience. Maintain realistic goals and always plan ahead.
Rejection is an integral part of freelancing
Freelancing is like any other job, meaning that some of your work will be rejected. In addition, since freelancers increasingly work with multiple clients at a time, there is often a reduced sense of stability. Clients can sometimes change, or the company may decide to terminate your services. In all these cases, freelancers must remain determined. Accept criticism and rejection, and use the feedback to improve your practice.
Marketing yourself is more challenging
When you are formally employed, there is no need of worrying about getting clients. For such jobs, your employer is your client. However, when you work as a freelancer, you must keep seeking customers even when you have regular work. You must consistently market yourself and your work. Some strategies of marketing yourself include building a professional website and showcasing your work to the world. As you market yourself, remember to highlight your skills, which make you useful to your target clients. Indicate some success stories and keep working on your pipeline.
Freelancing requires you to build an attractive portfolio and a strong brand
For those planning to get into the freelancing career, it will be useful to know that long-term success in the venture requires you to have an online portfolio. If you are good at the creative work that you do and can prove it, then you are better placed to set your rates and reject clients who do not benefit your business. Of course, you will still need to generate great reference proposals and to pitch yourself. If you need assistance with developing your portfolio and resume, consider getting professional writing assistance from essay writing service like Ozessay. However, once you have established a great online presence, you will consistently get new clients.
In terms of branding, you will come to realize how important it is to keep a strong and positive brand. Here, branding covers each element of your company’s personality, including customer approach, logo, and how the public sees you. A strong brand makes you memorable. Tons of skilled photographers, writers and designers currently consider themselves freelancers. Branding yourself in a unique way allows you to stand out.
Setting the right price for services is a delicate balance
When you start freelancing, of dilemma you are likely to face relates to the pricing of your services. It raises the important question of what your time is actually worth. As a traditional employee, your salary often considers business costs such as licensing, taxes, health care, and other essentials. However, when you work as a freelancer, you will notice that it is your responsibility to cover these aspects when quoting your price. In many instances, in the interest of getting new customers, freelancers try to charge as little as possible, hoping that they can cover for the low rates by taking lots of jobs. This survival rate approach to pricing is quite risky, as it doesn’t consider the flow of work. Most people assume that lower prices translate to more sales. However, the truth is that when the price is too low your service or product gets inadvertently placed at the bottom of the market. As a result, customers tend to associate your brand with low quality, and you end up attracting the wrong kind of customers. The key is in knowing how much you need to thrive in the business without losing customers.
Effective communication is critical
As you consider delving into the world of freelancing, you must remember the critical role of communication in your long-term success. While you may not be working as a full-time employee of the business or firm that has hired your services, the employer must be updated on the progress of your work. Part of being a good freelancer is keeping all the lines of communication open to ensure that concerns and questions are addressed as soon as they arise. Even after submitting the project, you will still need to be open to feedback, and be ready to make revisions to the work, if needed.Freelancing is a growing field with immense promise. However, before you dive into freelancing, consider the issues outlined in this paper, including the risks involved. By covering all your bases, you get to limit mistakes and improve your chances of long-term success.