How to get started in Freelancing
In general, the decision to work as a freelancer is normally a last resort. This is because in my opinion, most people aspire to work in a company before trying to work on their own.
It is a risk that only a few are willing to take. And, why would anyone give up the convenience of a fixed salary, an office and other advantages for the adventure of working independently? In my case, the answer to that question is simple: By necessity.
You must be aware that being a freelance is not just a job or lifestyle, there is also an attitude towards the profession. When you work for a company and you do a bad job, the person who answers to the client is the company you work for, when you are a freelance, your reputation is always at stake.
Being a freelancer has its advantages: being your own boss and enjoying great work flexibility. Being able to choose when, where and with whom you want to work is one of the main attractions of this lifestyle. But not everything is a path of roses. Getting to work on your own requires effort, dedication and a great responsibility.
After all, you are alone in this and you should worry about maintaining a steady and balanced work flow if you want to maintain a certain financial security.
You are the only one responsible for your work, and this can be frightening and liberating at the same time. If this is your case or if you are thinking about launching yourself to the freelance world, I want to share with you 6 tips that you must take into account in order to be successful.
1. Stay updated
Although you might have been in the industry working for years as an employee, now you want to enter it in a different way. Keeping updated with new trends and advances in technology is crucial to succeed.
This does not mean you have to read a lot of academic journals every morning. Simply spending 10 minutes a day to keep an eye on the most recognized blogs in your industry may be enough. Another good idea is to sign up for online courses or webinars with which you can learn from other professionals in the sector.
Continuous learning is what distinguishes a committed and passionate professional for their work from one who simply wants to earn money.
2. Promote yourself
A freelance professional with little experience is unlikely to be the favorite candidate for a client. But this does not mean you cannot get good projects to work on. Although it is always easier to start your career as a freelancer once you have some experience as an employee, there are some ways to make yourself stand out.
You can expand your network of contacts by attending conferences, connecting with leaders of your industry in social networks, and joining online communities related to your concerns. LinkedIn is a great tool to connect with other professionals and get new projects. Create a website to add to your projects and do not underestimate yourself. If you do not project confidence and security, nobody will patronize you.
3. Build your portfolio
Having a portfolio is essential to get new projects. It will be like your cover letter for your new clients, so you should include only the most special and important projects. In this way you will show your clients everything you know and can do for your business.
As for its design there is nothing difficult. You can use hPage.com website builder.
4. Establish a work schedule
As an independent professional, most of your work will be done remotely. The freedom to work when and where you want sounds great. But sometimes you can inevitably finish working more hours than you want to in order to meet the deadlines of a project.
So that this does not happen to you, it is essential that you establish a work routine and adapt the deadlines for the projects based on it. You should always leave a couple of days of margin for problems that may arise, whether professional or personal.
(Remember that you are the only one who can carry out that project and do not have the support of a team). In this way you will avoid stress, you will always deliver the work on time, your customers will be happy and you will feel satisfied.
5. Communicate clearly
Good communication is the best tool of a professional freelance. Maintaining an open dialogue with your clients will strengthen your confidence in your work. A daily recap email, or a weekly project status update meeting will save you headaches in the future and strengthen your relationship with the client.
6. Understands the project
The only way to do a project well is by understanding its objectives. This way you will be able to know if your client's needs matches to your professional skills and values.
As we have said before, a good working relationship is based on mutual trust and understanding. If you do not know what your client wants or you are not qualified to carry it out, you should tell them as soon as possible, and in any case recommend another professional.