People always ask us: What are your best freelance tips? An increasing number of us choose to work as freelancers. We're attracted to the increased freedom and flexibility. Tired of the traditional 9-5 and dream of having greater autonomy. But taking the first step can be hard.What do you need to know before entering a freelance career? What will make you successful? How do you ensure that you can create a life that unites the personal freedom with economic freedom?.Read along for our best freelancer tips here. We promise you these freelance tips will give you a head start.
Tip #1: Choose your niche
Instead of trying to solve all of the world’s business issues, choose a niche where you can truly excel. What are you good at? What are your core competencies? Is there a demand for those competencies from today’s business environment? Make sure to choose a niche you’re passionate about, where you have a proven track record and strong qualifications.
Tip #2: Brand yourself
As a freelancer, you’re your own brand, and it’s your responsibility to sell yourself. You might have plenty of years of experience, but if you don’t know how to communicate them, you might not get booked for any jobs. Spend some time defining what makes you special to companies. How would you brand yourself in one sentence? What’s your main qualifications? How can these help solve clients’ needs? Provide documentation for your answers to these questions by stating your educational background, how many years of working experience you have in your particular field, in which industries, and what skills you’ve gained from those experiences.
Tip #3: Be professional
Freelancers value being the creators of their own happiness, but with that comes a certain responsibility. Your clients see you as an investment, and therefore it’s critical to act the part. You should always keep your promises, be on time, meet deadlines, solve the problem efficiently, while ensuring high quality, and make sure to communicate clearly and transparently with the client along the way. Be accountable. Be professional. Provide high quality. This will lead to better ratings for you and therefore a better chance of getting hired by the same or other clients in the future.
Tip #4: Understand the client’s needs
Businesses are living, breathing organisms made up of people like you and I. They have a culture, a vision, and a goal. Make an effort to show the client that you want to get to know them. Spend some time getting to understand the organization, its needs, opportunities, and challenges. Ask questions and listen carefully to the answers, until you have a clear sense of how to structure your assignment. You’ll find that it’s much easier to satisfy the client, if you understand their DNA. In that way, you can provide a service that is tailored specifically to the business’ needs.
Tip #5: Communicate, communicate, communicate
One of our of best freelance tips is to communicate extensively. I cannot stress this enough. Business relations are like marriages: Bad communication is the root of all evil. You, as a freelancer, have to make sure that you communicate with the client every step of the way. From the initial phase, where you get an overview of the task at hand and ask clarifying questions, to the problem-solving phase, where you ask for sparring if needed and keep the client updated on your progress, to the final phase, where you present your findings or provide the finished product. Most clients are pleased to feel like you’ve held their hand along the way. This minimizes misconceptions, saves you time, and provides you with a happy customer. Who doesn’t like that?
Tip #6: Develop your skills continuously
Businesses’ challenges are constantly changing, new technologies are constantly entering the market, and demand for new skills is constantly on a rise. Therefore, you as a freelancer need to keep yourself educated on the newest trends and develop your skills accordingly, so that they are up-to-date with market demand. There’s plenty of good online resources to dig into, reports, videos, and tutorials, but you can start here by reading about the most highly sought-after competencies of the future.
Tip #7: Foster long-term relationships
I’d like to use the analogy of marriage again, because as a freelancer you need to look at your business relationships, not as cold transactions, but as real human interactions. It’s people who will hire you. It’s people who will pay you. It’s people who will recommend you to others or hire you again. Act professionally throughout your interaction, establish the client’s expectations, and over-perform a little. If you do this and follow all of the steps above, you have a bright career ahead of you.
Tip #8: Practicalities are boring, but well, practical...
The freedom, flexibility, and self-determination of being a freelancer comes with the need to gain a hold of all of the practical stuff too. Do yourself the favor to get an overview over tax rules, health insurance, and pension to make sure you’ve considered how you want to live your life - also in this aspect. These were our best freelance tips. If you find these tips helpful, remember to check out these blogposts:
- When to say no to a freelancing job gives you some good insights into when you should turn a freelancing job down.
- How to become a freelancer presents a list of advice on how to make a financially sound transition
- How to get jobs on Worksome provides you with advice on how to secure jobs on our platform.
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