How to become a successful freelancer?
Maybe you have a permanent job, but you don’t have enough money?
A side job will bring you additional income and this is a good enough reason to focus on freelancing.
Maybe you are permanently unemployed because your native employers can’t appreciate you or can’t afford to pay you your preferred salary?
Or have you been out of work for a long time because you have high demands on the work environment, team, type of work, etc.?
Whatever the reason is, freelancing will give you diversity and the opportunity to choose your clients and the projects you work on. Read on.
Maybe you are tired of working for others and to comply with the mood of the boss or the incompetence of colleagues?
Do you think that you have nothing to learn from office work and you have so much more to give and show as knowledge and skills, you want to develop? Definitely read on – freelancing is the right direction of development.
And if you can’t find a job because you don’t have the skills, but you want to be a “director”; or you are too lazy to get an education and you want everything to be ready and you just don’t see another way out of the situation… Don’t read any further – freelancing is definitely not for you!
A key factor for a good freelancer is:
To be able to impose the mentioned tasks, criticisms and discipline on yourself.
Just imagine ..
You are in the garden making a barbecue with friends when you receive an email with Subject “EMERGENCY”… It is this self-discipline that I am talking about, the one that will make you get up and do what you need faster, but most of all in an effective way.
This is the most characteristic feature of a truly successful freelancer.
How to choose the projects to apply for?
There are several criteria that are good to follow to find out if this is your project, namely:
Do you have all the skills that the client has indicated as necessary?
- If there is a strict deadline, will you be able to meet it?
- Have you done something similar to what the client requires and if so, consider how much time and effort it took you;
• Does the client have other published projects and if so, what is his rating? (it is important to know which client you will potentially work with, and in these platforms the feedback system is very useful); If you have the answers to these questions and they tend to be positive, then you can start by writing your cover letter.
How to prepare your cover letter?
In the previous point I talked about what are the most important questions you need to answer before you start applying for a particular project. Here I will pay attention to the message you will send to the client.
The first step is: Carefully read the requirements and description of the project.
If there are examples (say, sites that the customer likes) take a good look at them (how they work, what technologies were used by the people who developed them, etc.) to understand the overall concept of the desired end product.
In most of the projects there are attachments in which there are additional explanations, photos, etc. Be sure to check them out! It is pointless to waste your time and the time of others if you do not know what you are applying for!
Your cover letter must be personal!
Don’t make templates and never copy / paste, clients understand when you actually paid attention to their requirements and when you apply blindly!
It is quite common practice in the description, somewhere between the lines, to have an animal name, color or something that is not related to the technical specifications of the project, with which the client wants to start your cover letter to make sure that you read everything.
In the beginning you can add a waving emoticon. In this way you will stand out from the other cover letters and you will attract the customer’s attention.
How to form the price for your work?
It is important to know: Exactly how much your time and skills are valued. In the platform you will come across all sorts of proposals for the cost of project implementation – from ridiculously low (and even offensive to the efforts you have made to be good at your job) to phenomenally high.
Of course, the offers for cheap labor are far more, but any serious customer (one who knows that cheap is always more expensive) will pass them by.
When setting the final price for the project, take into account the following:
- Do you have the necessary resources of knowledge and skills to successfully complete the project
- How long it will take you to complete it.
In the platform there is an option to see what prices the other freelancers have offered, which is a huge plus as you can estimate the average price of the project and offer your own, supported by strong arguments!
Tip: If you are completely new to the platform, initially focus on small projects, whose budget is also not large. It is difficult for a client with a project for $ 10,000 to entrust its implementation to a person who does not have a proven rating and positive feedback about his work in the specific platform.
Communication with the client when a contract is concluded
You have already attracted the attention of your first client and it is time to start your first project.
You have received instructions and files (if any). It’s time to start work. You would not want to disturb your client at any time for questions that arise during work, so it is good to determine the way and time of communication from the beginning.
For example, if your project is the development of an information website for a beauty salon and you have one month to complete it, you can offer your client to hear (or write) once at the end of each of these four weeks.
This way you will ask questions that arise during the work, and the client will be able to monitor the progress of the project in real time (and if, and in most cases as a rule, there are any comments or new ideas and suggestions, they can be applied in a timely manner ).
Always have the confidence of an expert who understands your work. This way you will find your “Golden Client” faster, with whom it will be a pleasure to work, and in the end this is the most important thing!
How to successfully complete your project?
The most important thing for a freelancer is:
How the project will end, not when (although this is not unimportant). The platform has a strict rating system, which includes feedback from previous customers. In this way, your future clients see how you have done so far and what impressions you have left for your already completed work.
Even the most sleek and well-chosen portfolio cannot overcome negative feedback. It is for this reason (and not only) that I mentioned above how important it is to select projects according to your skills and time, because if you disappoint your client with one or the other, your low rating is guaranteed.
Therefore, before handing over the final product, inspect it carefully. And it’s not just about good feedback or high ratings. This speaks to your attitude towards your work as a professional!
If there are any bugs or any flaws, even if the client tells you it’s okay, fix them! Offer to help him integrate (if it’s an online store, say, offer to explain how to add and edit products, create new categories, etc.). This will elevate you in the eyes of the client, and you will strengthen your professional attitude to the commitments! And from this follow recommendations.
How can this client hire you again?
By following all the steps described above, you are already a professional.
If your work is done well and on time, and your attitude is good and professional, then it is unlikely that if necessary, the client in question will fail to turn to you – already proven professional, and even better – it is likely to recommend you to your partners!
Congratulations! You already have all the information to start as a really successful freelancer! So what are you waiting for?
Write as a comment which advice was most useful to you.