You probably noticed the recent surge of people switching to freelancing with each passing day. And the fact that you are here reading this means that chances are, you are thinking of shifting yourself, or you already have.
As you know freelancing is for anyone, but if you want to make the top dollar, you will have to be one of the top freelancers as well. Having skill in your own forte can take you so long, so here a few tips and tricks to amp up your overall freelance career field:
8 Best Freelancing Tips for Beginners In 2020 (Easy & Effective)
#1. Basic Tips
Jack of All Trades, Master of None
In the world of freelancing, there are a lot of skills at your disposal. Most forms of service-based jobs can be freelanced over the internet in one way or another. When you pick up a skill quickly, it starts planting ideas into your head.
“If I learned this skill so quickly, I can learn a few more and offer a wide range of services, all by myself.”
But the key to success in this particular scenario would be to not get ahead of yourself and bite off more than you can chew. Don’t try to learn every skill you come across. Try to master one skill and learn similar skills around it. Master that skill. Pick a niche and stick to it.
Say, for instance, you picked up a new skill- SEO, and now you think you should pick up content writing as well to deliver finished products like SEO backed articles.
Make A Professional Cover Letter
Cover Letters are massively underrated ways of promoting yourself. Simply writing up a cover letter to meet the industry-standard will not be enough. You have to mention the A-Z details, like your skills, work experiences.
Yes, even though you have mentioned these in your CV, but an in-depth knowledge of your experiences and the degree of your skills can be the X factor that seals the deal. Or even create openings for better pay.
Be sure to finish your cover letter with a call to action- simply ask them for an interview or an online meeting, so they get an interpersonal understanding of all that you have to offer.
Make A Portfolio
A portfolio is a holy grail for freelancing jobs. In fact, most general corporations now require you to submit your portfolio. Because at the end of the day, what really matters is the career field you are up to the task and can do the work.
No matter how many degrees and recommendations you receive, these are all amendments that can’t truly show your potential.
The primary purpose of the portfolio is to provide your recruiter or employer with concrete evidence of your previous work and your capability in delivering.
Without a portfolio to showcase your skills, your chances of getting a contract or a job in the freelance industry will be next to nothing. Build A Professional Website. You can check out the best WordPress portfolio theme here.
It takes about 50 milliseconds for people to evaluate you as a professional, only by looking at your website. So it’s crucial that you relay the right message through your website to intended parties.
Plus, having your own website to showcase your trophies and achievements will surely give you an edge over the rest of the candidates. Plus, there are various web site builders around like WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, and many other CMS. So you can use any one of these to make your very own website.
Just be sure to keep things on your website as simple as possible, because simplicity equals good UX.
Step In Different Marketplaces
Sometimes going for the “More is Merrier” route can really boost your overall freelance career. Most freelancers, big and small, all have a steady client base spread over different networks.
Hypothetically speaking, if you are going to be a freelance writer, then instead of opening an account only on Upwork, you could open one on Fiverr as well. This way, the probability of you landing a gig goes up by 200%
Create an account in as many different freelance marketplaces as you can. Make sure you don’t go overboard with it, because that will prevent you from being able to manage and answer to all the clients, which will get you bad ratings over multiple platforms. Make sure you have a few that you can manage easily.
Always go for a Contract.
When you work on medium to large projects, always go for a contract to avoid payment issues.
It is perfectly natural for you to want to start on your big project without any delay; however, the tedious paperwork will be worth the wait.
The reason why this is a must simply because without anything being legally confirmed, you have the weight of uncertainty on your shoulders. But if you move forward AFTER you sign the contract, you can work without any worries regarding the payment or any new task being added to your workload, which was not a part of the initial agreement.
#2. Sales & Marketing Tips
Optimize All Your Profiles
Optimize your marketplace profiles. Give proper information. Build an attractive brochure for potential clients to check and evaluate if you are worth the time and money.
After completion of each project, add it right away to your network. Leave no space for recruiters to second guess your importance to them. It should be clear as day.
Build a Strong Network
Join your local freelance community, skill-related groups, forums, and keep in touch with all your clients. Send them Christmas cards over the holiday season.
Every link preserved is a new client earned.
Plus, through these networks, you get to attend webinars, workshops that will keep you up-to-date with the relevant industry and the new trends.
At the end of the day, you have to keep on evolving like everything and everyone else continually. Or you will not be able to keep up with the competition.
Be Active and Helpful in Different Networks
If you are going to be a part of a community, chances are, you will have people asking you for quick last-minute help with their projects. Try to tend to these help requests, for these can someday come back to you as good karma.
Besides, to survive in any industry, you will need friends in different sectors of the field. In the future, you may require some help from your own, and when that time comes, the people you helped out will help back.
Never Rely on just ONE Client.
This goes without saying. But DO NOT depend on any one client. Every client is entitled to terminate your ongoing work relation at any given time, for whatever reason.
You can risk it. Even if the client is colossal. Plus, the more different business entities you mix with, the more refined the quality of your experience will be.
Know the Competition
Always be aware of your competition. It does not matter if it’s a small firm you are competing against an individual. Mine all the data you have regarding the competition in your field. How much do they charge? What are the extra benefits they are offering? How are they in contrast to you?
All these will surely open up new opportunities for you to grow, and at the very least, you will be able to analyze how much growth you need, and you can acquire.
Knowledge is Power!
Create Your USP
Every business entity dominating its respective market has its own unique selling point. Something that sets them apart from the rest.
Plus, no matter how small you are as a freelancer or even a business. As long as you have something out-of-the-box that no one else is offering, you will always have a constant inflow of clients.
Keep your sales pipeline full.
Any sales-oriented business needs to keep its sales pipeline full. Don’t get it confused with the sales funnel. These are 2 different things.
Anyway let’s move on to the basic principles on how to keep your sales funnel at full capacity:
- Keep a balance between marketing, networking, and selling. One can not be compromised for the other. These are all necessary requirements.
- Prioritize your oldest and also the biggest clients. They will bring in more leads for you to monetize on, and your loyalty to your past customers will reflect on your customer satisfaction rating.
- When marketing, use every medium you have at your disposal, from email marketing to social media to telephone calls.
- Go with the flow of sales. If your business is going through a recession, bring down your rate. If your business is booming, don’t take advantage and charge more. No business is fail-proof.
- Learn to prioritize where to focus on. The best way to go about it is to keep track of every data you can collect. Every bit of information you gather will be a resource for your business.
#3. Branding Tips
Create your brand value
Drive yourself to be different. It does not matter how great your competition is, if you are the same as your rival, you are capping your growth.
If the sky’s the limit, then why stop at skyscrapers?
You will also have to formulate strategies to give your customer/client base a sense of satisfaction through incentives. A typical example would be offering coupons; this shows that there is something to gain from doing business with you.
Another thing most of us forget in this world of freelancing is the 2 cents our employees bring to the table.
Always ask for client feedback
This is important for any business. You have to let the world know that you meet your clients’ deadlines and expectations.
With the aid of testimonials, i.e., review, anyone researching you or your company will know that it is safe to invest their trust, money, and time in you.
#3. Career Development Tips
Never Stop Learning
Try looking at things realistically. There is no end to learning, and as I said earlier on, your overall growth will be capped if you start inputting irrelevant information in your brain.
At some point in your career, you will need to widen your horizons. Say, you’re good at blog writing, you should proceed to pick up complementary skills like ghostwriting and even screenplay if that’s your cup of tea.
It is not entirely impossible, but it is definitely advisable to avoid hoarding skills without mastering one fully.
Check out Mike Volkin’s freelancer course, who’s been featured on the Upwork homepage, dozens of TV shows, radio, and podcasts.
Regulate inflow of information
At the end of the day, you are only human. You can push yourself beyond the Average Joe’s workload. But the more you keep this up, the more likely it is for you to cave in to stress.
Plus, if you keep on adding one thing after another, there is a high chance of you mismatching some of the information. There will be times when you start forgetting bits and pieces from the information you just encoded into your memory.
So, pick a pace that you can handle and go steady with it. Give yourself some slack.
#4. Personal Development Tips
Develop Communication skills when you enter the freelance industry, a prerequisite is an English fluency and excellent interpersonal skills.
English is the universal language that most of your clients, partners, and colleagues will communicate through.
As for interpersonal skills, you need this because merely speaking the same language is not enough. You have to be able to read through gestures, tone, the figure of speeches. Your target market is the entire globe, so expect people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
Picking up bad habits is easy. And so is forming bad habits. Never let your productivity fall
As explained in the earlier points, if it’s too much, just do the bare amount, but make sure your workflow is constant. Once you get used to it, you can start increasing your workload.
Focus on your personal development
This is merely you investing time in yourself. Self-love is a powerful tool to sculpt yourself as an efficient person emotionally, socially, and physically. One is interconnected with the other.
There is no point in life if you sacrifice all forms of joy and pleasure. Just make sure that you are not harming yourself in the long run or others, and you are good to go.
#5. Work-Life Balance Tips
Exercise Your Mind and Body
The 2 aspects of life- physical & mental. If you can enrich these two dimensions, you will have eternal peace. There is a 3rd aspect to life. It’s both abstract and materialistic at the same time. It’s called money.
Without a stable physical and mental condition, you can not generate the 3rd.
Daily stretching, light cardio, strength training, and meditation is enough to reinforce you from the inside out thoroughly.
Keep a Routine
AKA Discipline. It’s the key to success. Everyone is famous and rich, they all have a fixed routine which they follow.
Without a well structured and organized schedule, your mind and focus will be all over the place, and procrastination will shortly follow.
#6. Money Management Tips
Always try to make monthly deposits. Open a savings account. Or you may end up overspending.
It is also crucial to have an emergency fund in case of emergencies. Sometimes you may miss big opportunities or even acquire losses for a shortage of a couple of dollars. So better safe than sorry.
Plan how you will pay your taxes; make sure you audit your finance and accounts.
#7. Technical Tips
Keep a backup of all your data.
Get yourself a secure cloud account. No matter the nature of your business, you should always keep a backup.
Disaster comes unannounced!
Always Keep a Backup Device
Keeping backup devices is a must, may it be a new phone, pc, or even a tab. If you lose one or you are on the go, you will require the assistance of a secondary device to finish any task with an approaching deadline.
#8. Client Management Tips
Don’t take your clients for granted.
First and foremost, NEVER make excuses. Own up to your setbacks and make up for it, even if your client doesn’t ask you personally.
On the off chance that you do make a mistake, and the client lets you off the hook, don’t make a habit of repeating that mistake.
Keep in Touch
Send Christmas cards over the holidays. Make sure you forward all offerings and new packages or services that you start promoting.
Ask for a Down Payment
Asking for a downpayment is a smart way of evaluating the working relationship you can expect from your client. With a little explanation, your client should understand why you are asking for it.
Clients who have been in the business will expect you to ask for a down payment, and in fact, you may stand out odd if you don’t ask for a down payment for freelancing jobs.
And most importantly, the main reason for the down payment is because of potential scam clients. They will cover 25% to 50% at the beginning for long term projects, and when you let your guard down and submit in your project expecting to get paid, your client vanishes from the radar.
Furthermore, when you receive partial payment for your project, it motivates you to work till completion with quality.
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Bottom Line: Best Freelancing Tips for Beginners In 2020
In this new dawn of the 4th industrial revolution, freelancing has been one of the most prominent tools to generate revenue for a lot of people who previously had no access to such a golden opportunity.
Approximately 61% of the freelancers are doing what they do voluntarily.
You can be an individual without any degrees or certificates or away from locations with job opportunities. Still, as long as you have a stable internet connection, you can earn money through freelancing platforms with a skill that you may possess.
With that said, one thing to keep in mind is that every job comes with its fair share of the powerplay. The competition is extreme, especially in the field of freelancing jobs. In the US, freelancers spend over 1 billion hours per week.
So use these tips and tricks to kickstart your freelance career and get a headstart above the freshers in the industry