So, you’re a freelancer, you’ve set your website, have your portfolio, created a profile in a freelance website just like Taskitoo.com. But now what? Getting all these things set up can be really quick but it doesn’t guarantee that the money will start coming right away.
Actually, earning money as a freelancer may take its time and it has a lot of tricks and factors anyone must take into consideration to really become a successful and self-sustainable freelancer.
Understanding how freelancing works
Have vision about your freelancing career
If you’re planning on freelancing, it’s important you know that it won’t work if you see it just a way to skip going to the office. The main attractive of freelancing is that it is a entrepreneurship and not just a job. Take this into consideration and have a clear plan.
You need to take your freelancer career as a possible reality and work for it. But to do this, you’ll probably need to surpass the feeling of powerless that makes us all be so afraid of taking the first step. Make this a reality and if it’s taking you too hard to get motivated enough, then you can start by drawing some logo sketches or imagining a brand name or just the colors you would like for representing your brand, etc. These simple tasks may really help to give you the little push you needed.
Take your time before you quit your office job
Earning as a freelancer is definitely possible and you’ll be achieving your goals sooner than you though if you do things right and are patient, but it also may take a lot of time to actually make enough to survive out of it. Besides, before you start earning there’s a lot of stuff to do so, you can do them while you work so you won’t end up in a financial crisis.
Slow periods will be there so, be prepared!
As any other business in the world, freelancing has its slow periods were finding clients will be really hard. If you’re new to it, this might be very frequent until you gain some reputation and even for a while before even getting your first client, that’s exactly why we recommend taking some time before quitting office job. But even if you’re a really experienced freelancer earning hundreds or maybe thousands of $$ it still will happen eventually.
For facing these periods, it’s important to have a plan. You can have an emergency saving box or invest in something that can quickly return money to you in case you need it. Also, you can change the price of your work or include some special features. But don’t give up, remember that just as in any other business, things will go up eventually.
Be the boss and take responsibility
It’s common to think that an as a freelancer you won’t have to worry about bosses or be accountable to anybody, but the truth is that you will be your own boss and accountable so you’ll have to absorb the responsibilities too.
Also, bosses are a good meter for our performance; generally we know that if they’re happy and giving good feedback, we’re doing it right, but if we’re not, they’ll be mad. In this case, it’s different and when you’re freelancing, you’ll need to be the one engaging reflections about your daily tasks and achievements. Of course, you can consult some colleagues that are more experience but at the end, the responsibility will always be yours; you’re the captain of the ship!
Perfect your pitching and forget about modesty
Something that is really known among brands is that “mouth-to-mouth” publicity is the best publicity a company can get. Well, this is also valid for your own freelancing brand so, if you want to start earning as a freelancer, it would be necessary that you speak a lot about yourself and what you do.
Having a pitch speech or at least some sentences will definitely help to introduce you faster and maybe find some clients in place you wouldn’t imagine. Even if sounds old-fashioned in this digital era, having some presentation cards can actually be very handy for getting your personal brand out there(for some careers more than others, but always useful).
Learn how to manage your alone time
Working as a freelancer cuts out all the social interaction that an office job offers. This can very delicate for some people that tend to feel alone and sad. On the other hand, there’re also people that tend to isolate themselves and this can lead to overstress or overworking in general.
It’s important that you manage solitude for concentrating into really get the work done but it’s also important that you get some social interaction or at least get to work to some public space where people is simply around.
Now you know the job, now start earning as a freelancer with these bits of advice!
- Define your dos and your don’ts
Freelancing, as we said before need to come from a solid vision and that vision must be well directed. This means you need to clearly define what the services you provide are, and which ones you don’t.
This is important because you want to get a reputation on a career and if you start doing some other jobs you can end up delaying your true goal and getting stuck in medium jobs of several kinds without ever getting to the top of freelancing with your special skill (remember that if you’re well ranked you can earn thousands an hour as a freelancer).
- Adapt your pitch to your ideal client
You’ve probably heard about defining your ideal client. Well, that’s really important because that’s the base of all your further actions; your pitch needs to be adapted to the needs of that niche and also would be your social media campaigns, your SEO work and everything you do for earning money as a freelancer.
If you’re not sure how to know what your ideal clients are, make sure you ask yourself these three questions:
- Where does your product/service really solve a problem?
- Can they hire you?
- What describes demographically the people that can be interested in your product/service? (gender, age, location, interests, etc)
- Create a great portfolio
Finding new clients will always be hard, but if you don’t have a good backup to prove them your worthy, even before they hire you, then the odds will be against you more than ever.
As a freelancer on this digital era, a portfolio comes in the form of a personal website or LinkedIn profile mostly. So you’ll have to create one that accomplishes these basic factors:
- Demonstrate your expertise.
- Focus on successful past experiences.
- Be honest about who you are.
- And of course, includes your contact information.
Remember a portfolio will speak for your abilities and will show the potential client that you have everything they need; you want to convince them that you’re the perfect option, so dedicate time to build a good portfolio website or profile. Finally, post the link in all your e-mail marketing campaign and social media campaigns as well as regular e-mails.
- Keep your skills to the top
Let’s face a truth: freelancing has an ocean of competitors as earning money as a freelancer is getting easier and the jobs are also more demanded. But this also means that it’s harder to differentiate yourself so, keep practicing and learning new skills and building demo-projects that you would like to earn from in the future. Also, enroll in online courses that relate to your area of expertise and sooner than later the effort will pay-off.
- Find social allies
Networks are the trend these days and the world tends to be really small so, you’ll probably have on your regular social contact some friends that are related to some other friends that could actually hire you. So, studying your actual contacts and making some pitching for them could work as a trampoline for you to get your first projects.
Also, if the contact is really your friend, you can even ask them to give you some recommendations or write to the company in your behalf. Whether you really get the job or not, it’s always better to get introduced than to knock the door out of nothing.
- Charge what you’re worth
The banker expert and successful freelancer Celina Wong, says that even when it could be tempting to start with really low prices to beat competence can be tempting, it’s a mistake as you’ll only get clients that will always wait for you to charge them less than the rest of the market. This is not the kind of clients you’re pointing to, but the ones that are willing to pay what you’re worth.
So, it might sound crazy but setting your price at a reasonable rate for your skills will say more about you (especially if you’re new and have no references or rank) than just a “hire me because I’m cheap).
- Divide your fans from your clients
You’re always to have those supportive people on your social network that share your content, interact with your post and recommend you but will never actually hire you. These people are great because as we said, they’ll help with expanding your brand and giving you moral support. But you need to remember that your content has to be directed to those ones that actually will make you earn with your freelancing career.
Make your efforts and communications strategies point to the niche you previously defined and segmented and let your fans keep enjoying your content without annoying them in vain.
- Blog a Lot
Finally, you know SEO is everything on advertising these days so, why not to include a blog alongside with your portfolio website? You can provide quality content that convinces your potential clients that you know what you’re doing while positioning on the search engines.