For those who are looking to make additional income or want to pursue a career change, learning how to freelance successfully can benefit you in many ways. Once you have identified a strong skill you wish to offer to others, you will be able to narrow your customer base and begin applying for employment opportunities.
Whether you want to supplement income from your full-time job or you want to start a career as a freelancer, there are several tips you should follow to ensure your success.
After you have determined the field you wish to freelance in, you will need to follow certain steps to get a positive response when you contact potential clients about your services. The more steadily you can build your clientele, the easier it will be to create new freelance work for yourself whenever you need it. Following these tips will improve your chances of freelancing successfully.
How to Determine What Freelance Field You Should Enter
The first step toward becoming a successful freelancer is to determine what field is right for you. For those who are mathematically inclined, you may want to offer freelance accounting or bookkeeping services. There are a multitude of companies who are seeking individuals to help with payroll and other business matters and becoming a freelancer in this field will allow you to build a steady stream of clients. If you have strong writing, reading, or editing skills, you can employ these services in the freelance marketplace by finding opportunities that utilize your skills. Whether you want to freelance your coding skills or transcription skills, there are numerous opportunities available once you have identified what field works best for you.
You will also need complementary skills when you are freelancing, regardless of the field you choose to enter. To become reliable in the freelance field you will need to effectively offer outstanding time management skills to each of your customers. If you have agreed to complete four freelance projects in a short amount of time and are unable to complete them due to a disorganized schedule, your clients will become dissatisfied with your abilities. While you may be the strongest freelance account on the market, being unreliable will severely hurt your chances for success. Bad reviews can hamper your freelancing career, especially if there are a number of them. Ensuring you are capable of organization, time management and effective communication will help you to avoid potential setbacks.
How to Start Freelancing
Once you have determined the freelance field you want to join, you will need to take some additional steps. Many individuals and companies will post freelance work on online forums and job listings. All you will need to do is search through listings in your desired field and determine which opportunities meet your preferences and qualifications. After you find a position you are interested in, you can follow these helpful tips to start freelancing immediately
First, determine the skillset necessary to complete a freelancing task. For example, if you are a writer and you find a listing for freelance blog writing for a law firm, you will need to have a working knowledge of the law. The skills you possess must be applicable to the freelance position you are applying for, as this will help the employer determine your legitimacy as a freelance candidate. Misrepresenting yourself is never a good idea.
Secondly, learn how to market yourself to potential employers. Freelance work can be difficult because this is fierce competition for a limited amount of work. The key to freelancing successfully is learning how to market yourself to show employers you are the best candidate. If you are proficient in Excel and have strong time management skills, be sure to mention your time management skills to employers who are looking for a bookkeeper for their business. Other individuals applying for the position will neglect to mention crucial information such as punctuality. Ensuring you mention these things to employers will help you to stand out from the rest of the group. Reuse some of the same keywords from the job listing as some employers use a software that scans for those particular keywords.
Provide a flexible schedule to potential employers when you can do so. If you tell a potential freelance client you can complete work on a flexible schedule, they may be more apt to provide you with additional projects in the future. Candidates who state they are only able to work at certain times on certain days will limit the freelance work they are able to gain. Allowing flexibility into your schedule will help you to balance your full-time job requirements while still completing successful freelance work.
Building Your Brand as A Freelancer
To create a consistent level of success as a freelancer you will need to find ways of building your brand to attract new clients. There are several ways you can achieve this task and you can utilize the method that works best for you and the service you offer. One of the easiest ways you can build your brand is to create a personal website. By creating a website, you will be able to provide prospective employers with a portfolio of the work you have completed thus far. Potential employers will appreciate having the ability to witness the work you can produce firsthand. Employers like to see other projects you have worked on, and it may give them additional ways to utilize your services. Websites are an efficient way to advertise your skills and to present a professional appearance when applying for new freelance opportunities.
You may also find it helpful to secure a letter of recommendation or reference from a previous employer upon completion of a freelance task. In doing so, you will be able to provide another professional source that legitimizes your ability to provide a skill to new clients. There are easy to follow templates available online for those who do not have experience requesting a letter of reference. Whether you choose to request the letter online, in person, or over the phone, there are tips you can follow to ensure you are asking in a professional manner. It is always best to give the person you are requesting a reference from the ability to say no to your request. If someone feels obligated to provide a freelance reference, then it may create a complicated situation. Additionally, you should explain why you want the reference and how it will be used. Many of these references can be placed on your website as a testimonial.