Every day to a freelancer is a fresh start for exploits. As challenging as freelancing is, it promises to be a rewarding walk into financial freedom and the right work-life balance.
Did I mention challenging? Absolutely. To become a freelancer who earns above rock-bottom income is not a one-day task; it requires a lot of self-sacrifice and commitment to reach that goal. Even much more important is that it is a time-bound goal, and every attempt to achieve it must begin now.
Whether you are a beginner or an oldie in freelancing, figuring out how to succeed in the business feels like walking through a maze. Sometimes, it gets confusing. Other times, it gets lonely. But if you can start before tomorrow ends to make certain moves in the right direction, your goal will be clearly on sight and attainable.
So, what are these freelancing moves?
1. Stretch beyond the horizon
To upscale your relevance as a freelancer, you must add to your existing knowledge and skill. Moreover, it is up to you to explore resources on topical issues in your field of expertise. You can attend workshops and listen to podcasts, besides reading books authored by professionals who have a track record of success over the years.
Also, the internet is a vast library of valuable resources you can study at your convenience (the free ones are available if you are cash-strapped). Above all, practice the bits you have read and heard to gain mastery of them.
While developing your skillset, be aware of your feelings, habits, behaviors, and thoughts in the workplace. This will help you identify your weaknesses and how it's affecting your work. When you've identified them, don't get disheartened. Embrace them as that is the only way to work on them. This will help create growth opportunities in your freelance work life.
2. Build your own website
Have you thought of building a website of your own? Aha! lots of freelancers have let that thought in, like a riveting made-for-TV drama unfolding in our heads but ended up getting distracted with other things.
Only a handful could say: "Hello from the other side" because they have successfully moved from their "thinking" stage to the other side of the world where doers live. Isn't it high time you do the same if you're not? Every freelancer does not need a website but every forward-thinking freelancer does.
With a website, you have an advantage over other freelance professionals whose sterling profiles are displayed only on freelance marketplaces. Your website serves as a front-desk office where prospective clients get a firsthand feel of your personality, skills, and experience from your published content.
3. Bite Social media
Take a bite of all the goodies social media has to offer — schedule content, post them, track your audience, engage them, do all with a wink! From Facebook to Instagram, Tiktok to Snapchat, Twitter to LinkedIn. For the love of social media, go viral!
There is no easier way to scream "I'm at your service, y'all!" on the internet than through your public posts. Grab your audience's attention through posts; they could be samples of your latest designs and the stories behind them, quotes, DIY videos, and infographics. They help increase your visibility and announce your skill competence to potential employers. Whether you choose to publish every day or twice a week is up to you but be consistent. Remember, every social media platform is unique. Therefore, adapt the tone of your posts to fit in.
4. Invest in quality work tools and equipment
Anytime your work tools require repairs, you cannot help but remember your freelance status. As an independent worker, you are solely responsible for the cost of servicing your equipment. And when they are overdue for a replacement, you are obliged to be quick about it to prevent delays in executing contracts. In that case, it is wise to invest in quality equipment for efficiency, safety, and durability.
5. Connect with other freelancers
Loneliness is one of the banes of freelancing. A freelancer could get so used to their own company that it becomes somewhat tasking to step out and socialize, how much more with fellow independent professionals.
If you think this description matches your lifestyle, make a concerted effort today to widen your circle of association to include other freelancers, in-person or online and build your network.
Within your network, you get to share your experiences (the good, bad, and ugly). Provide mutual emotional support to one another, and build a community of people with a kindred spirit. Associating with fellow professional freelancers makes you anticipate meaningful conversations. More so, you have people to run to anytime you feel overwhelmed all by yourself.
6. Plan well
Nothing done without a solid plan produces successful results back-to-back. For real, you cannot just wake up anytime you want, work when you feel like it, and cash out real big. Instead, you will end up clashing with angry clients who aren’t having it.
Freelancing has provided us with the freedom to create a schedule on our terms. Thus, it is highly beneficial to develop a customized to-do list that guides your daily activities. On the list, you can map out time to go to bed, run errands, have coffee breaks, take a nap, and of course, time to freelance.
7. Build a portfolio
Freelance sites are swamping with charlatans who claim to be expert freelancers. No real client would want to waste time with such people. Building a robust portfolio is one of the ways to prove your skills. Therefore, let your portfolio prove your mettle as an expert freelancer.
Your portfolio showcases your skills in specific niches and defines your brand. Generally, your freelancer portfolio is all your relevant work samples in the past and present, which you present to clients who wish to hire you or to the public.
Never had a client? Assign tasks to yourself and complete them until you reach a specific outcome. You need to prove your skills . . . remember? Tweak, arrange and upload them on your website or your profile created on freelance platforms.
If you are a beginner, get inspired by some work done by top freelancers, mostly those within the same niche you are before you start building your portfolio. You can find work done by top freelancers on Google, their websites, freelance marketplaces, etc. None-beginners are not left out, after all everyone needs to be inspired at some point.