Freelancing – This word has something in it.. It may be freedom it offers (or) the phrase ‘work from home’… Everyone is jumping to Freelancing these days… Even if my dog thinks that i am not providing enough biscuits, it will jump into Freelancing..
But how many of them will succeed??
Do you want to??
Let me give you some tips that will help you in being a “SUCCESSFUL FREELANCER”
1. Know your Skills
SHORTLY: Knowing your skills doesn’t mean just knowing them.. It means knowing your level in those skills, your influence and the scope of the skills. And also the direct and indirect competition in this market.
- Always as a Freelancer, you should know what your area of expertise is – Whatever it may be!!
- Know your level in each skill.. It will help you in filtering jobs and applying for them..
Web Designing : Professional
Web Development : Medium
- A part of knowing you skills is – Will your skill/category have a future scope? Is your category of jobs growing or getting stagnant with time?
- What about the number of Freelance competitors in this category? Are they increasing?
- Outbreak of Risks in this category – Always watch for outbreak of any risks in the category.. Sometimes release of a technology will crush a category of works.
- Always be ready to jump and manage in case, Jobs disappear in the particular category.
2. Stay Updated.
SHORTLY: If you want to survive in the field of Freelancing, always stay updated. Even when you take a nap, a tech might be introduced and you will be outdaed.
- Same old school advice every single ‘Tutorial Gurus’ give you.. Stay Updated.. Or you will turn outdated..
- Always monitor your Niche.. Select the Top 10 Blogs that post content about your Niche.. Subscribe to Email updates.. Know what’s happening..
- Build a network or a group of friends in the same niche/category.. A weekly discussion with him will give you a small update of what you missed!
- Google Alerts – If you think some particular technology is going to take the place of an existing category, use Google Alerts tool to monitor it and use it!!
SHORTLY: A Freelancer should always have a blog or website, where he regularly publishes his experience in projects, problems faced and Tips for new freelancers.. This will make you look like a professional even if you are not one
- A website is the face of a Freelancer when it comes to long term jobs and off-site jobs.
- In your website, list all your projects together and the clients.. This will make you look like a professional..
- Blog about the problems you faced in every single project and the steps you took to solve them.. Make you sure that you doesn’t include the problems caused by the client.. Now this will show your problem solving skills.
- “One who teaches look like a Guru, even if he is not ONE..” – Sridhar..
- That guy, he is right… Always post some advice, tips and tools for Freelancers.. When clients see them, they will get a confidence that you know what you are doing.
Are you a New Freelancer and need tips on Building a Website/Blog for you?? Let me give you a complete Tutorial..
4. Don’t be MultiTalented in various Categories
SHORTLY : ##My Personal View. Make sure your skills stay in the same category. When you list too much of categories in your skills, it gives an impression that you are not good at anything, taking down long term job opportunities.
|Multi Talented Freelancers – Is that a good thing?||[poll id=”3″]|
My Personal View But Comments and Critics are welcome..
“Jack of all trades, Master of none…” – An Old Proverb..
This is the impression you are going to give your clients, when you list a series of unrelated tasks in your profile.
Below are some of the reasons, that will justify my idea on this
- When you list lot of skills, a bad review in one of the skills (in which you are a learner) will get you a bad impression in the skills (In which you are a master)..
- If you think, that including a lots of skills will increase your rate of hiring, adversely it decreases it..
- You will not be shown in Freelancer search very easily (oDesk, Elance or Freelancer) if you have lot of skills listed on your profile.
- If you are multi-skilled, you will always remain a Freelancer and you will never be ready to take the next step to grow..
Are you a Successful Freelancer already?? Read Successful Freelancer?? What should be your next step..
5. Have your own Payment Gateway (Incase)
SHORTLY : Have a risk free payment gateway for your clients to pay you out of Freelancer websites (oDesk/Freelancer) too.. Some clients search for contractors in Freelancer websites and contact them directly.. You shouldn’t miss them…
Don’t know how to set this up?? – Payment gateway for Freelancers to accept payments directly.. With Email Invoicing
Let me quote some reasons why you should do this and the risks in accepting payments outside Freelancer websites…
Why you should?
- Some clients with long term and high paying projects might hesitate to pay the 10% commission to the freelancer websites.. So having your own payment gateway will lure them into hiring you.
- Having a payment gateway in your website will show you big to them.. You will project youself as a large business freelancer, unlike other small freelancers who depend just on freelancer websites.
- Show them that “You mean business!!”
- You get all the clients who couldn’t verify their payments due to various reasons like lack of credit cards
Wait a minute!! Isn’t this against Terms and Conditions of freelancer websites.. Read Below..
Risks Involved with Solutions
- You violate Terms and Conditions – How to accept payments outside freelancer websites without violating terms and conditions..
- Some clients cheat.. In Freelancer websites, you have dispute management system, but what should be done in your payment gateways? – How to manage disputes in Payment gateways
So what do you think of this? You can comment below..
6. Learn to Say No – By 1stWebDesigner.com
SHORTLY : Even from the beginning of time, learn to say NO to projects, which you can’t complete.. Or even those projects, where you get underpaid.. Saying NO sometimes will increase your confidence level too
I never thought that it is wrong to accept every project you get..
But IT IS!!
I have missed this for year or so.. And i have placed my reputation in stake…
- Even when you are new to freelancing, accept projects which are reputable
Example : Once when i was new to oDesk, i had no jobs for 1 week.. (I didn’t look at the right place) So suddenly i get a call or interview.. It was for writing a Adult story and i accepted it, though i didn’t like it. Two days later, i apply for right job, got awarded and got a 5 star rating. Now a long term client in interview, asked me, “you write adult stories?”
And i lost that job…
- When you have some experience, say NO to clients who underpay you and to the ones who comes to you for a single project.
- Say NO to clients without reputation..
7. Time Management – Plan out a Week!!
Important : Never plan for a day.. You will never succeed Come on! Be practical! When you plan for a day, due to many circumstances, you might not follow it and it will discourage you definitely..
Easiest Tip to hear! Hardest one to do!!
Time management is one of the most important duty for a Freelancer to follow, without which a freelancer can never succeed..
To become a professional freelancer, you should manage your time.
Some duties to which you should give (daily) importance are
- Your Freelancer works.
- Learning session, which includes reading blogs and newsletters.
- Interacting with your peers and clients.
- Preparing a daily report for each client (As per requirement).
Some duties to which you should give (weekly) importance are
- Updating your profile and portfolio.. (Which most are lazy to do)
- Blog about your experience that particular week.. (Blogging for Freelancers – Complete Tutorial)
- Send a Mail to your previous clients (How to keep in touch with your clients? – For Freelancers)
- A compulsory day out..
Why Time Management?
Without Time management, you can never succeed as a freelancer because,
- You cannot improve your efficiency. To improve efficiency, you have to manage your time.
- You will be the same start-up guy even after 5 years (You work when you have work and sleep)
- Sometimes you might not be able to suggest deadlines to your clients creating a bad impression.
- Clients trust freelancers who are reliable and finish work in time..
I missed out some tips.. One can never be complete when writing Tips.. Help me cover most of it.. Comment below