In our previous article, we discussed part of what is necessary to work as a freelancer and kick-start your career successfully. In this article we will discuss a few more tips that will make everything easier for you.
A Freelancer Needs Accounts on All Major Social Platforms
Social media platforms work great as information hubs. As a freelancer, having social media presence (for example, on LinkedIn), and using it to connect with key players in your industry –and in the industries where you want to find clients– will help you get found by prospects. Share insightful content, get involved in debates, and let others know about your daily achievements. In other words, use social media in the most effective ways to bring new clients to your business, making sure you do it in line with your personal brand.
Do Voluntary Work
While you try to find colleagues in your area as part of your freelancer networking efforts, also try to find local non-profit organisations where your voluntary services might be needed. If possible, find one that works for a cause you are really passionate about or care about a lot. In this way, your voluntary work may bring added value to such cause and you will feel useful and helpful. In relation to voluntary work being beneficial for your freelance career, remember that it counts as experience. Another advantage is that you can establish long-term relationships with people who will be happy to recommend your services to anyone.
Undercharging will kill your freelance business. Many novice freelancers may fall into this trap by thinking it’s the best way to get their names out there and insert themselves into the market. The truth is that undercharging means that other freelancers will need to decrease their rates to get work, and this drives prices down and devalues the whole industry. Why? Because the more people do it, the more it becomes the norm. Besides, price usually reflects quality. So, work on being able to provide top-quality services and charge a fair price for them, even if it means that you will need more time to find clients willing to pay it. You will find them, they will keep coming back to you, and they will recommend your work to others.
Save for the Winter
Very often, at least in the translation and design industries, December and January are the worst two months when it comes to a good workflow. They can get quite slow and work only starts picking up again by mid-February. Just as having a cash cushion before you start is crucial, so is saving money during the rest of the year to live comfortably over quiet months. Acknowledging that we won’t have consistent incomes every month allows us to plan ahead.
Partner Up With Colleagues
As a freelancer, landing clients might sometimes be limited by your own skill set. Partnering up with other professionals with skills that complement your own allows freelancers to increase the number of services they are able to offer, which in turn means more and bigger clients. Besides, when you are part of a team where each person takes care of a specific task, your productivity gets a boost because you only focus on what you are able to do well.
Show Confidence (Even If You Don’t Feel It)
Are you familiar with the phrase ‘Fake it until you make it’? If you are not, learn it and make it your motto. Fake your own confidence until it becomes real, but always deliver on the expectations you set for your clients. You should never, however, fake your skills. If a client asks you whether you are able to carry out a certain job, and you know you have the skills to do it but are not entirely confident on yourself, always say yes. Don’t let the impostor syndrome play against you if you have the necessary training to deliver top-notch work.
Don’t Give Up!
You will face setbacks more than once throughout your freelance career. After all, nobody said it was easy! Be flexible to change what might not be working (your business plan, your marketing strategy, your website, etc.), and remind yourself of all the advantages of being your own boss and managing your own hours. If necessary, take a few days off (you don’t need to ask for permission from anyone). Only passion and persistence will move you forward. You can do it!