Become A Successful Freelancer with these 8 Actionable Tips
Imagine being able to work whenever and wherever you want without the office drama - appealing isn’t it? The allure of freelancing has attracted many in the digital age, prompting them to leave their full-time jobs. But as soon as they are faced with the reality of having to look for their own clients and promoting their own work, most, if not all, are stumped. They now ask the question, “What do I do next?” It can be daunting not knowing where to even begin but we rounded up the following 8 Tips to help you ace being a Freelancer:
1. Know your brand
There are freelancers all over the world doing the very same thing you are doing. Your greatest competitive edge is your brand identity. Being a freelancer means you will be running your own business, so you’ll have to make a name for yourself. What are the main services you will offer? What personality can you bring to your clients’ brand? Who is your target market? You’ll have to establish these to make sure you focus your energy on the right projects.
2. Draft a contract
Now let’s get to the nitty gritty of things. Having a contract is a must - it protects both you and the client. Important details for a project should be clearly stated in a document so you will both be on the same page all throughout the process. Having basic terms of your working relationship will help manage expectations and it will help in building trust between you and your client.
3. Learn to say ‘no’
Those new to freelancing often find this hard to do. “Saying no to a client? Wouldn’t that lessen the chances of getting more work?” Oftentimes people get every project they could get not considering if they could really be helpful to their client. Bottom line is, if you believe you can’t do the work, be ready to say no. If you’re not able to deliver the best product or service, you’ll inevitably disappoint your client and that’s worse than saying ‘no’. There will also be times when your client would want you to take on more work than what’s stipulated in your contract. In this case, it’s really all about weighing the pros and cons. If you see a future with the client and you think helping them with this one task can potentially lead to a bigger project, by all means, do it. But when it becomes a routine where they ask for more free work, it’s time to say no. It is okay to adapt to their needs, but you are running a business - you have to think of that, too.
4. Build your portfolio
Just like in a regular job, you’ll have to show your clients that you can deliver. Sort through all the projects you’ve worked on and create a portfolio that highlights your best work. Here’s ours. Whether it’s a project you’ve headed, an event you organised, or articles you’ve written, organise them in a way that showcases the services you offer.
5. Know how much to charge your clients
Another popular question from freelancers: “How much should I charge my client?” The number relies on several things:
(1) Skill Level. It’s self-explanatory but if you have years of experience and education on your belt, you can charge more from your clients. Most clients prefer experts in the field and they are willing to pay more - just make sure you can meet their expectations.
(2) Target Market. Know who your client is and know what they can afford. Are they a small business or a corporation? You can adjust your fee accordingly.
(3) The Project. Much like any businesses, you’ll have to consider your capital. Does the project need a new software? Do you need to purchase equipment? You should consider the collaterals and materials needed for the project when thinking of your fee.
Lastly, (4) Your Needs. Always consider your monthly expenses when charging your clients.
Make sure that in every effort you put in your work, you’ll have a return of investment and revenue, this is your main source of income, after all.
6. Network your business
You need to put your name out there, so get proactive. Attend events, seminars, product launches, and anything else relevant to your industry, and always carry a business card with you. These are all chances to meet new friends and potential clients. Having your own website and being active on various social media platforms are the best ways to promote your business digitally. Not only will this help showcase your work, it also establishes your credibility as a freelancer.
7. Listen to the market
The demands of the market change over time. To be able to survive this ever-changing landscape, you’ll have to listen to your target market and be able to adapt to their needs. Is there a new trend you need to follow? Are there new services or software that would help improve your work? Be sure stay up-to-date on the latest trends so you can offer the best services to your clients.
8. Partner up with specialists
As the needs of your market continue to grow, it is sometimes best to partner up with specialists and consultants that have years of experience in the field to help you expand your service offerings.
Digital consultant agencies such as April9 help freelancers provide clients the best services there is with their team of industry experts.
Freelance work can sometimes feel overwhelming but following these tips will help kickstart and grow your freelancing career. See how April9 has helped supercharge other businesses in the past, or get in touch directly and see how we can help you.