Freelancing is the new preferred mode of work. People who are unable to find a fixed 9 to 5 job or are not satisfied with their employment are choosing to work as a freelancer. It is predicted that every one out of three people would be self-employed in the near future.
In the U.S. alone, last year, independent contractors were one of the biggest contributors to the economy. According to the annual State of Independence in America report, the 41 million independent working Americans generated $1.28 trillion in revenue for the US economy in 2018.
Freelancing is freedom. You can offer a skill from the comfort of the couch at home while wearing your pajamas. There is no commute to work early in the morning and you make money if you do more work.
Many people learn a skill and start working on different freelance marketplaces but soon realize, it’s not as easy as they initially thought. Freelancing requires a lot of patience. You are digital labor. That means every single day, you have to spend time searching for a project to make ends meet.
Some days are good, others a huge disappointment; because you do everything you could best possibly do but don’t get any work lead. A disappointment only a fisher knows who spends all day sitting on the bank of a river trying to catch a fish but returns home empty-handed in the evening.
I am one of Asia’s most successful freelancers with career earnings of over one million dollars and growing.
There could be many factors lying down to such disappointments. As a freelancer who has been successfully freelancing for almost two decades and as a teacher with around 35,000 students in a closed Facebook group, I have observed the following attributes that result in your failure online.
Why Do Freelancers fail?
- Lack of writing English. As a Freelancer, you can only communicate in English and if you can’t write grammatically correct English, your chances of survival in a saturated marketplace are difficult.
- Lack of communication skills. It means, you can write English but you are unable to express yourself and sell online.
- Lack of business development skills. Tony Robbins says, 80% of your success is psychology. You need to have good business development skills to foresee a client’s future work and identify existing requirements.
- Too worried about the price of the project — too early in communication with your client.
- Lack of proper skills. This means you do not have skills that are in demand that could win you a project over the competitor.
- False commitment to the client. Not honoring your words for successful project completion and meeting deadlines.
- You inculcate a hidden price in your proposal.
- Picking too many projects and being unable to do justice to all.
- Focusing on a one-time relationship over a long-term relationship. I would like to tell you, 75% of my success is attributed to client retention. I went the extra mile in satisfying the client so they would repeatedly give me their business in the future.
- Getting fed up with bidding when you do not get a response. This is one of the biggest reasons why people give up freelancing. Without realizing, there could be something wrong with their bid proposal or perhaps they lack the skills a market demands so they quit.
How can I succeed in freelancing?
Bottom line is, freelancing is good, it pays out well only if you are good enough with your written English, and communication skills and have mastered the computer skill you want to sell online.
The silver lining for a freelancer is a winning proposal that can grab the client’s attention. In a tough competition where everyone is working hard to win a job, you’ve got to have something different in you.
You need to have something in your that sets you apart from the competition.