6 tips to succeed as a freelancer
6 tips to succeed as a freelancer
Freelancing has held appeal for people for many years, but the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed it onto the center stage. It took a pandemic, but the side hustle finally got promoted - into the C-suite. With the workforce becoming increasingly remote, with companies embracing flexibility and with the biggest talents making their way over to independent workers, the gig economy has never been more interesting.
The gig economy is booming, so we’ve created 6 key tips on how to succeed as a freelancer. These can give you a hint towards techniques that really matter and how to get ahead of a lot of other freelancers.
- Define your area of expertise
You can’t help everyone with everything. When it comes to acquiring clients, being the jack-of-all-trades is rarely the most optimal approach. Our experience at Free Agents™ tells us that clients want skilled professionals who have been working on various projects and can add expertise with specialized skills. 61% of freelancers specialize in 2 to 3 talents which are higher than the average of permanent employees. Often, just 1 can get you a very long way with pretty cool projects.
So, consider the type of freelance work you want to engage in and where you can really make a difference. Know where you have completed work in the past. Consider your experience and how that can help to shape your freelance career. Specific background or industry knowledge can be a great advantage. If you’re looking to step up or add something to your expertise, consider doing extra courses, education or certifications to complete the package.
- Work on your personal brand
As a freelancer, you might invest a lot of time and resources in helping businesses with e.g. building brands or growing the business. You use your expertise and you’re good at it. But how often do you apply those skills when marketing yourself?
Especially your LinkedIn profile is the foundation of your personal branding. From a marketing perspective, neglecting personal branding will sell yourself short and contribute to you missing big opportunities. LinkedIn is the go-to network for professionals, recruiters, and alike. You might have used it during your corporate life hunting for a better job, but have you really given it much thought since you started freelancing? Think about it – when targeting any type of business, odds are that they are more than likely on LinkedIn. It’s a gold mine of quality clients. Having a top-notch LinkedIn profile will help you stand out and get found by these potential clients.
Check out these 7 tips to make your LinkedIn profile stand out.
- Update clients regularly
When working as a freelancer, providing a good experience for your client is incremental. When you begin a project, update your client on the progress regularly. Communication is key, and will you stand out as someone genuine who is actively working towards the objective while still understanding the process to get there. Also, pay close attention to the guidelines outlined in your agreement with the client – sometimes, key updates are expected at certain times.
Likewise, it’s always a good idea to let the client know if anything changes with the project. Maybe you have to adjust a deadline or maybe certain circumstances force you to change the deadline or scope of the assignment. Be honest about it and keep the lines of communication open. Share the reasoning behind the change and how you can manage it for them.
Once you finish and turn in the project, continue to nurture open communication regarding their satisfaction. You never who the client will recommend you for next. Also, knowing how well you met their expectations can demonstrate that you care about the client’s experience. Once again, this helps your personal brand.
- Network, Network, Network…
As a freelancer, network is important. Find other freelancers and independent workers with whom you can spare. That could be as a part of a freelance network or shared office facilities. It’s a great thing to have like-minded with whom you can share your successes as well as frustrations. It’s also a good idea to sign up in freelance online freelance communities on platforms such as LinkedIn or Facebook from where you can get a lot of useful tips and tricks for guiding your career.
- Work on your Free Agents™ profile
As you might know by now, one of the best ways to be considered for some of the best freelance jobs is through online platforms. At Free Agents™, it’s completely cost-free to create a profile. By doing so, our software will automatically match your profile with relevant jobs. Then, experienced consultants will make sure an actual match is there. You will receive an email notification every time a job is offered to you.
For these reasons, it’s beneficial to keep your freelance profile at the Free Agents™ network tight and tidy. Update it with relevant keywords, a relevant description and take the personality test which will offer you an advantage when in dialogue with clients and provide you with interesting insights about yourself.
- Set your price right and adjust as needed
While it might be tempting to start by underselling yourself when initiating a freelance career, you shouldn’t. Price yourself competitively based on your qualification.
Remember that all freelancers face the question of how much to charge. It’s a delicate matter to balance and requires you to understand your value, target clients and the larger competitive market. If you set it too low, you might be leaving money on the table and not getting paid for the value that you offer. Contrary, if you set it too high you may lose projects to other freelancers with a lower rate. Take a look at your professional experience and expertise in the industry, consider the types of similar jobs you’ve completed, the results you’ve produced and the typical rates in your industry. Price yourself honestly. Consider these factors and do remember to also consider both an hourly and monthly price.
Here’s a small list to consider:
- Put your experience forward
- Look at your freelance expenses
- Compare against your salary
- Ask other freelancers
- Set a benchmark