how to become a successful freelancer? Well, how about we break it down to begin with? Success and career are two different aspects. For some success implies money, for some it is a symbol of their social status, others think it is all about making a fortune and some truly believe success is about true satisfaction that one gets from the work done on a given day or over a period of time.
Which one of them are you is what you need to first define to get to a point where you can pat yourself back on be recognized for what you accomplished. You can plan some short term goals and see if they are being accomplished and that’s how you define short term success which eventually brings the long term satisfaction you are looking for.
Qualities needed to become a successful freelancer
- Always have a clear mind and not be worried about failures or what I call a lull period during which you don’t find a lot of work coming your way
- Have never say die attitude and keep hunting for new leads, opportunities, connections or whatever it takes to get yourself some steady work
- Focus on the process of continuity and don’t get caught up in floating thoughts which often create a sense of confusion and you cannot focus on your actual tasks
- If you have a great idea in mind, put it in writing, talk to people, check its feasibility and don’t let it consume most of your energy and focus because remember, as a freelancer you need to get projects and complete them for your survival
- Think of survival first and then growth which means you first need to have your plate full all the time with work and only then you can think of growing your freelancing business by taking small breaks
- Have an appetite to learn and master in your skill(s) because they are what bring you the work at end of the day
- Make sure you deliver the work on time and keep client informed about the progress
- Have an open mind and accept constructive criticism, remember that its a process which other successful freelancers follow to retain client relationship
- Have everything documented about what you offer, what you don’t, what are you end of terms and conditions and have some clarity when getting into a relationship
- Although it might seem challenging, no one can cares your name better than yourself which means you need to avoid sub-contracting work to someone else and put your reputation on stake, unless you have someone that you can trust upon
- Even if you get the work done by someone else, make sure you have those skills needed to take over the project and complete in case its discontinued for any reason
- Never depend on one single source, keep researching for new marketplaces, forums and focus groups to build a steady pool of leads
- One quality that stands out between successful freelancers and the ones that are average is the willingness to share knowledge and contribute to community, remember as much as you need to sell your services, upselling it is equally, if not more important
- Don’t think of doing a day job because it will not allow you to focus on your freelancing gigs and without a concrete approach, you cannot taste the kind of success you hope to, of course there are exceptions, but if you cannot multi task or juggle between a day job and your freelancing activities, it is pointless to get into it
How can you plan/define your success while freelancing?
- You need to make bi-weekly or monthly evaluations of how many projects have you completed in a given month
- How many leads were you able to get in a given month and how many have been converted into sales?
- What is lacking on your profile/website/blog that your competitors have? Make notes of them and squeeze them every now and then whilst giving priority to your day to day activities
- Try and find someone within your network that can collaborate and join force with you and take up ownership of some of your activities
- Build a strong content base that will educate your potential clients about technology or whatever is useful to them, give options and let them feel accommodated instead of making it a one dimensional service
- Be part of a marketplace which allows you to have a profile with positive reviews and recommendations from clients as it will help you to get into other marketplaces
- don’t keep bothering about your competitors, focus more on what is in your hand and what can be done to improve your stats
By following some or all of these, you can get an idea on how to become a successful freelancer in the long run. If you need any other tips or have specific questions, feel free to drop me a message on comments section and I will do my best to answer all of them.