I’ve been freelancing for almost two decades now. I have been somewhat successful, made a little name for myself and introduced freelancing in my country and also have students from all over the world.
As a teacher with good Facebook presence, I’ve been playing my part in educating the masses about the importance of the internet, how to make money online and to opt to freelance. I genuinely believe, given this huge gap between industry and academia, students should learn a computer skill and start offering their services online as a freelancer.
Many people are starting freelancing because this seems to be the mode of work for the future. People can earn good money than a regular nine to five job and most importantly, they are the boss of their own. They can offer their services from the comfort of their home without leaving it and getting stuck for hours in traffic on their way to work.
The question I am often asked is, how can I be a good freelancer?.
Here is a quick set of actions you need to take and with regular approach to the work, you are better destined to succeed in the future.
Learn a skill:
Without learning a skill and mastering it to perfection, you do not stand a chance to sweep over your competition. You can become an expert in your field by continuously learning and practicing the skill.
Be it web development, graphic designing, content writing or any other skill. I have observed, only the top, skilled freelancers ace the competition and go to the top of the charts in the “skill” categories of a freelance marketplace. This is because they have a better knowledge of their niche.
Do not over-commit:
In a pursue to win projects, many freelancers over claim the expertise and promise to over-deliver. This does not work with freelancing. If there is something one can not do, be open about it and state the truth.
When freelancers over-commit to deliver something they have no expertise in, they eventually end up messing up and losing the project. Eventually, they lose money and getting negative feedback from their clients.
Time is money:
We have been hearing about this all our life. But in the online world, this means business. If you have committed to a deadline, you better get the project delivered before the deadline.
Your client always values the commitments, this is one of the main reasons why you can win their trust again but’ if you can’t honor your commitment, better be prepared to fade out of business soon.
When you win a project, always create a word document and list all the deliverables with clear, fixed milestones and get your client to approve it before you start the work.
This way, your client can not take the liberty of going outside the agreed scope of the project nor you can charge them extra which they may consider as a hidden cost.
Stating the facts clearly is the best way forward in winning over your competition and entrusting your client with client retention.
Now, you may be wondering what the heck gentleness has got to do with freelancing?.
Courtesy sails over the hostile tides in all walks of life and freelancing demand it too.
As a matter of fact, any bitterness in your text messages or in your bid or PMB (project message board) could put your client off.
Remember, as a freelancer you do not meet your client in person. Your client may well be sitting seven ocean across and the only way you can make them feel better to do business with you is by being courteous and gentle with your written messages.
Always listen to their requirement, they pay you money for that and deliver what they’ve asked for.