Tips for new freelancers! Being interested in freelancing Vs becoming a freelancer and sustaining in the long run are 2 different perspectives. While freelancing is in demand, a lot of freelancers opt out because of insecurity, lack of opportunities, fluctuating income and other external factors such as family pressure, social stigma.
Know your limitations
Not everyone that creates a freelancing account succeeds. It is therefore important you make a honest analysis about yourself, your needs, skills and a combination of other factors that will help you to define your level of commitment towards freelancing. If you go about freelancing without understanding all these factors, it is going to be extremely difficult for you to continue in the long run
Give yourself time
This is another important reason why a lot of freelancers fade out. From my own experience, I have realized freelancing needs a lot more breathing space and time as compared to a day job where you are part of a team or company and don’t need to take ownership of all the activities associated with a business.
Give yourself a good year or two, complete few projects that will help you go to the next level and keep learning new skills and methods all the time to educate yourself on how to become a successful freelancer in the long run
Don’t fear competition
Yes, competition is inevitable in all walks of our life, but it is the same for everyone. Even before you think of competition, be in a zone where you can create a market for yourself based on your skills and that’s when you will taste success without having to worry about other freelancers.
Never take it for granted
Freelancing demands a lot of patience, focus, dedication and concentration which means any small mistake you make can lead to your downfall. From the time you apply for a project to completing it and offering support, you need to balance all of them and make sure clients are satisfied.
Define your terms
Yes, it is a known devil you cannot please all clients. But if you define what your terms are upfront and make it clear to your clients, they will have a better understanding of what to expect or not hire you and create a scenario of blame game.
Keep your price competitive
In today’s ever growing demand for freelancers, your price becomes a crucial factor in determining your success ratio. Yes, there are top notch freelancers that work with selected clients on their pricing standards, but until you get to that zone, make sure you offer affordable, yet value driven services without having to quote the lowest all time.
Finding new sources is a must
Yes, sticking to a source which brings steady leads is good, but as a freelancer, you always need to be on hunt for finding new sources or network that will bring additional leads for you. Depending on your lead to sale ratio, you can decide whether to stick with one source or find multiple options.
Never over commit and under deliver
Yes, it will be very tempting for a new freelancer to grab any opportunity that comes his way, but never commit to something you aren’t sure of. Your first client will turn out to be the most important and its therefore important you take extra measures to land the right deal.
Work under reputed freelancers
This is definitely one of the best models that seems to work for new freelancers that are struggling to get leads. I have always encouraged and awarded projects to new freelancers to help them get started and some of them have since then got new clients and repeat business which implies you need to find reputed freelancers that can share some of their work burden with you.
Offer value added services
A client might be looking for his website speed to be improved. If you are good at optimizing speed, offer him something more on top to get your foot in the door. I always make it a point to offer value added services to clients and they like my inputs and add on services.
Keep in touch with your first client
I must admit this is one of my biggest mistakes that I regret. I failed to keep in touch with my 1st client and later realized he was on a hiring spree for some other skills which I had in me. Imagine what would have been the scenario had I kept in touch or made him aware of my additional skills.
Ask questions, most clients like it
A lot of clients expect you to ask some intelligent questions in relation to their project requirement as it helps them to re-define their scope and and provide clarity to both sides.
Build and maintain your website
There was a time when I thought I never needed a website because I was able to convince my clients to hire me. But then my perception changed and I launched my official website Hyderabad Web design, Development Agency which helped me in creating an identity and I ended up getting direct leads from the articles I wrote on my official blog.
Keeping learning new skills
You might be good at writing or design, but it is always important to be multi faceted if you want to taste success in freelancing. I have seen a lot of freelancers sticking to one core skill which did wonders for them, but for many it is not the case because they aren’t a master of one particular skill.
Learn the art of upselling
Upselling is a concept which does wonders if you know how to go about it. As a simple example, a client wanting to get logo design might be on the look out for a brand new website or an existing website redesign which implies you need to know the client’s business requirement in totality and offer him integrated services.
Don’t get frustrated
Because you are on your own, it is easy to get frustrated on a given day when you don’t get enough leads or if a project fails, or you might not get paid by a client. As a freelancer willing to succeed in the long run, you need to focus on continuity and not get upset by isolated instances.
Don’t depend on others
if you would like to succeed as an individual, you need to take ownership upon your shoulders and stop finding people that can fit in your freelancing model, I have tried my hands at hiring assistants, but soon realized they don’t have the same level of passion and energy I have for my freelancing.
You need to know when to hire addons or partner with someone, but until then you are on your own.
Learn to save
You need to have a tremendous amount of financial discipline to sustain long term freelancing, there will be lull periods when you might have to make a refund or not much business will be generated. It is therefore critical you save as much as you can and build a reserve of funds so you can be less stressed if a break is needed.
Be a step ahead
Majority of clients look for freelancers that are a step ahead than them and offer inputs and recommendations that are cost effective. If you can help clients beyond the defined scope, it will help you to be in good books of your client which can land you referrals, repeat business and goodwill in the long run.
Follow these Tips for new freelancers and keep your spirits high in order to establish yourself as a successful freelancer.