You have just got over the most difficult obstacle of making a decision to unleash your true potential and enjoy freedom by choosing to freelance. It is the most authentic, safest way of making money online and statistically speaking, the future is full of freelancers as almost every one out of three individuals will be self-employed.
To become a successful freelancer, you have to go through the master’s manual of pushing the best foot forward and building a solid base in order to beat the competition. Your competition is tough, extremely sharp, and could well be ahead of the curve already. The skills in demand change every quarter, it is the survival of the smartest online.
To win freelance jobs online, you need to pay heed to these 8 actionable tips. They’ve worked for me, and could well change your life.
1. Focus on learning a skill and becoming a master.
It is the survival of the fittest. For an average skill with mediocre expertise, the chances of a long-lasting presence in any freelance marketplace are dim. In my two decades of freelancing career, I have not seen someone who is a master of a particular skill and still struggling in the online world or failing to say the least.
Although it is tough competition, however, if you can polish one skill and become the best, you stand a good chance of winning freelance jobs online. The more you polish your skill and learn every nitty-gritty detail about it, the better the chances of you winning new projects and making freelance money.
2- Focus on your profile.
Freelancers focus on bidding and push hard to convince the client to talk to them. The importance of a good profile cannot be ignored and should be addressed before bidding on the projects.
Your freelance profile is your resume. It’s a gateway to the job and if the profile is not presentable, the chances of you winning many projects are extremely low. A good profile is a perfect combination of the following elements.
- Nice profile picture.
- Your work description highlights your skill.
- All Information about you, a brief introduction about your academic background.
- A portfolio is as important as a brick-and-mortar store with products on the rack. If there are no products for sale, there is no sale.
- Video, a YouTube link embedded in your profile. Appear in the video and introduce yourself for 1:30 minutes. I have observed, profiles with videos get more project leads and invitations. The video should be made in a proper light and with proper sound.
3- Focus on bid quality over quantity.
In the excitement to send out many proposals on different sites daily, sadly, you are not doing justice to your time. Quality bids, addressing the client’s project placement directly get a better chance of being noticed over a canned response.
A good freelancer focuses on projects that match their expertise. They are selective. They only place their bids on the projects If they feel comfortable in successfully completing them. Don’t send canned responses to every project, instead, filter the ones you have a feel for, place your bid smartly, and address the client’s problem mentioned in the project placement.
4- Focus on addressing the client’s project problem.
When you bid on a project, you should look for a problem stated in the job post. If they have posted a project, they need something. Figure out their need and explain what you can do to address that issue and how will you do it.
Your ‘HOW‘ weighs a long way. If you can explain the action plan for addressing a problem and clearly identify the timeframe to get it done, your bid gets noticed.
When placing a bid focus on these 7 points.
- Rewriting the project in your own words.
- Introduce yourself and your expertise.
- What can you do to address the problem?
- Provide a portfolio related to the project. Try avoiding stuffing your bid with your complete portfolio.
- Giving an offer, a free sample or a mockup helps clients in making a decision.
- A call to action such as ‘looking forward to your response’
5- Focus on a value proposition.
One of the major mistakes freelancers from Asia make, is they plead in their bids in order to get noticed. It does not help them a bit. If you beg for the work, the client would rather prefer to move to a freelancer who is confident about their work and has a clean proposal specifying the action plan.
Sorry folks, there is no place for mercy here. It’s a professional world. Prove your mettle and win the projects based on your expertise.
If you focus on proving a value, you will be noticed.
6- Focus on sending a contract after you are awarded the work.
Freelancers make the mistake of jumping directly to the work without taking care of documentation. I believe, a contract is very instrumental in a sound, worry-free relationship with a client.
The contract should clearly specify the do’s and don’ts so there is no hidden cost or surprises from both parties.
A good contract typically mentions the project description, deliverables, timeframe, additional cost (if any), price of the project, and maintenance period.
7- Focus on convincing your client to ESCROW.
You do not want to do all the hard work only to find out that the client rips you off in the end. If you want to avoid any last-minute headaches, ask your client to deposit money in Escrow right after a project is awarded.
This protects not only your interest as a freelancer but also protects the client’s interest as well. Once the money is in escrow, both parties can go into dispute if things do not go along well at any particular point.
8- Focus on client retention.
Acquiring new clients is hard, it’s an uphill task but retaining the existing ones is easy. Freelancers ignore the importance of client retention. An existing client can pay you better in the long run because they have tested you with the first job. They know your commitment level, they understand you and feel comfortable working with you over hiring someone new for their next job.
A good freelancer focuses on client retention. 70% of freelancing success is attributed to existing clients.
Do you find these tips useful? I would love to know your thoughts.