Work as a Freelancer Online? It’s Easy If You Do It Smart
Let’s face it, freelancing is hard work. You never really know where your next job is coming from, and it’s impossible to guarantee a steady monthly income. The worst part is, you do it all by yourself. You have to manage your own projects, track your work hours, correspond with clients, hunt down your next job, and set aside money for taxes.
1. Responsibilities to get used to
This is just a fraction of your responsibilities, and it doesn’t even include the actual work that you are contracted to do. You may also have to:
2. Work as a freelancer is not that easy
Freelancing is not for the faint of heart. It’s much easier to find an hourly or salaried job where all you have to do is go to work. Someone else takes care of managing and paying you, and, of course, you don’t have to constantly worry about finding another job. No one can argue the difficulties of operating alone as a freelancer, and not everyone has the discipline and drive to do it.
Working as a freelancer is easy if you do it smart. Learn more about being an effective and outstanding freelancer.
3. Develop a working strategy
If you want to make your freelance career even better, you have to find a way to resolve the difficulties that present themselves on a daily basis. You have to develop a strategy that places you above your competition and helps you find the better jobs.
There are three important things you need to do:
a. Market and promote yourself
Marketing and self-promotion is a must if you want to make it as a freelancer. People need to know you exist if you want them to hire you for their next job. They need to know that you are a website developer, graphic designer, writer, bookkeeper, telemarketer, or whatever it is you do! You also need to make sure that you can prove that your work is of good quality and begin building a positive reputation. In other words, your skills and experience need to be apparent to prospective clients.
There’s no better way to do it than to enlist the help of your fellow freelancers! Sales and marketing experts can help you turn your monthly scramble into a lucrative business, and they can help you at a price that suits your budget. Just like you, expert sales and marketing freelancers offer their services at a reduced cost because they don’t have to pay for office space and other exorbitant business expenses.
Improve your freelance career. Find a way to resolve the difficulties, marketing and self-promotion is a must.
b. Understand your clients’ needs
You must understand what clients want, and it goes beyond asking questions in a job interview. Understanding which traits and skills clients find most desirable can show you what needs to change in the way you handle your freelance business. Most of the time, people don’t know that they’re making a mistake. What may seem like a good idea to you could be a major turn-off to clients. Gaining a sense of their view on freelancers is probably one of the most valuable investments of time or money you could make.
c. Get organized!
Next, you need to get organized. Remember, no one is there to remind you of your deadlines or to kick you out of bed and make you go to work. It’s your job to set up a good schedule, meet your client’s requirements, be available as necessary, and work at a pace that can financially support you. Here are a few key tips to help you get and stay organized:
Getting organized will not only keep you from making avoidable mistakes, but it will also help you work efficiently and establish yourself as a quality freelancer. The sooner you can begin integrating good habits, the easier it will be to manage your time, projects, and work-related finances.
Understanding the skills and traits clients want, can help you manage your freelance business.
To help you get a better sense of how implementing these three changes can help you, take a look at the following stories:
The Floundering Writer
Gloria has just decided to become a freelance writer. She has plenty of experience writing for herself, but she has never written for a client and has no references, reviews, or examples to showcase her work.
It’s been hard for her to find clients who will work with her because they can’t be sure of her credibility or performance. More important, she hasn’t published her work and she isn’t present on any platform that can let prospective clients know she is a freelance writer. What she needs is to be seen so that she can get started.
She realizes that the only way to be seen is to brand and market herself as a writer. This will let clients know that she’s professional and take her work seriously. It will also help her gain more visibility and land jobs. She decides to ask for help from a freelance marketing specialist who can turn her into a sell-able brand. She finds a great freelance marketer online who sets her up with a plan to make herself known to paying clients.
Soon after, she landed her first job where she received a testimonial that helped her land even more jobs. Now she is an established freelancer with an outstanding reputation, and she is also constantly employed.
The Undisciplined Freelancer
Adrian is a skilled freelance web developer with a lot of experience in his field. He has plenty of work examples to give to potential clients who usually hire him to complete their jobs. He’s good at making money through online job sites, and he works every day.
The problem is, he doesn’t work enough. He’s barely getting by at his pace, and he doesn’t leave any time for networking, learning new skills, or self-promotion.
Without doing any of these things, he runs the risk of falling behind and placing himself below his competition. He works from home and he finds it difficult to stay disciplined and motivated to work. He knows he needs to change if he wants to thrive as a freelancer, so he makes a list of new habits and practices and starts to integrate them immediately.
He first decides to establish a sleeping schedule to avoid oversleeping and starting his day off wrong. Next, he locks away his phone, video games, and anything else that can distract him during his work hours. He sets up a calendar and installs a time tracker on his computer to help him consistently work 40 hours a week.
With these small changes, Adrian was able to double his working hours and increase his pay accordingly. He struggles a lot less with distractions since he removed the things from his environment that tempt him to veer away from work.
He also sleeps only eight hours per night and has avoided oversleeping by waking up at the same time every day with the help of an alarm. Now, he is open to more work because he knows he can efficiently manage his time.
A New Starting Point
Greg is just starting out as a freelance administrative assistant. He has plenty of in-office experience, but he’s never worked for someone online. He’s also never worked by himself, and he’s struggling to find a balance with self-management while trying to find a way to attract clients.
He’s submitted many proposals to clients through freelance websites, but he rarely gets a response. The responses he does receive are typically rejections.
He’s not quite sure what he’s doing wrong, but he knows something needs to change before he ends up back at his old office job.
After yet another client tells him that he’s not a good fit for their job, he begins to question how he can become a perfect match to what clients really want. He realizes that the only way to get the answer is to understand the clients themselves and what they need from their freelancers.
His first idea is to read books about how to find freelancers who work in his field. He wants to learn what clients are being recommended to look for in providers and make necessary changes to his conduct and presentation.
Once Greg understood what clients typically look for in online providers, he was able to implement the right changes to make himself a viable candidate for more jobs. Since he’s made these changes, Greg hasn’t had a problem attracting clients and getting jobs, and he doesn’t have to worry about going back to his old workplace.
Regardless of how difficult it may be, there are enormous benefits to working the way you do. You get to set your own work hours, work from home or even a café, and you get to do work that you really enjoy. You are your own boss, and nobody can tell you how to live your life, when to work, or where to work. That’s why you freelance. You don’t take the easy way out, because the rewards of freelancing outweigh the many challenges that come with the territory.
Set up a good schedule, meet your client’s requirements, and work at a pace that can financially support you.
We hope that this overview has piqued your interest for considering whether online outsourcing is right for you. If you're ready for the next step, check out our books and the many freelance marketplaces to explore how freelancers can help.
If you liked this article or have anything to say about any of the points made, please leave a comment below, we would love to hear your views. Thank you.
Recommended Content for Freelance Service Providers
Freelancers possess almost all traits of solopreneurs: they mostly work by themselves within the confines of their skill sets, and they often focus on making applications for and winning projects on different platforms. Freelancers need to understand what employers require and, to win more projects, the psychology of employers. Freelancers need to understand the psychology of buyers as well to make winning proposals. If freelancers want to expand their offers, they need more training; for example, a designer who was only selling logos before, but then learns a new skill, like web design.
From the Blog
Work as a Freelancer Online? It's Easy If You Do It Smart - There are many different freelancers; there are those who have been doing it for years, and there are those that are just entering the industry. This article is for every one of them.
10 Most Popular Types of Outsourcing Categories - As a freelancer, you are going to be working under one or more of these categories. It's a good idea to know what might be expected of you and how it affects the client’s business.
From the Shop
Online Freelancers from a Buyers Perspective- This book was written by an employer who has had many years of experience working with new freelancers entering the industry. This book is based on those experiences. Read if you dare.
What Can A Freelance Recruitment Specialist Do for You?- It is one thing to work under a certain category, but skills like this give you a higher station where you can work at the client’s level with their entire outsourcing process.
What Can A Freelance Project Manager Do for You?- The ability to help clients with their outsourcing can be a huge asset. Imagine being able to do anything for them because you have access to a lot of freelancers and you can manage them all.
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