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How to Succeed as a Freelancer: 10 Tips you NEED to Know

The world of freelancing has become so popular in recent times that we’re running out of seats at Starbucks. But if you’re new to the arena, it’s important to remember that it’s not all sipping lattes while sat on the Macbook. It’s a dog eat dog arena, and you must grab hold of every opportunity that comes your way.

Here are just ten ways to give yourself a healthy edge over the competition.

#1. Invest In Your Brand

I’m sure that you are an absolutely brilliant [insert your job title here], but this counts for very little if nobody knows about your services. First impressions count for everything, which is why building an attractive website and designing a great logo will pay dividends. On a separate note, you should go the extra mile to invest in your appearance and general communication skills.

#2. Have Contracts For Everything

If life teaches us anything, it’s that you can’t trust anyone. Therefore, drafting contracts for every job you complete is essential. This instantly prevents the threat of clients wanting more or arguing that you’ve not completed the work that was agreed. It should also enable you to seek full and speedy payments. And, yes, money is the most important factor of all.

#3. Show Clients What You Can Do For Them

There’s nothing wrong with shouting about your achievements in business, but nobody likes someone that blows their own trumpet when it’s not even relevant. You may love the results of that project you once did for Coca-Cola or another global brand, but that doesn’t mean you have to show it off to everyone. Keep your portfolio filled with work that shows what you can do for them. You’re trying to impress them, not yourself.

#4. Ask For Recommendations

I hate to break it to you, but prospective clients aren’t that bothered about the fancy lines you have to say. In truth, they’re far more likely to take notice of what past clients have said about their experiences. Therefore, getting testimonials and honest reviews can be your greatest asset. Whether displayed on your website or elsewhere, their impacts can be enormous.

#5. Get Networking

Not working with a regular team of colleagues certainly has its perks. However, it’s not uncommon to miss some of the camaraderie of being in a team. Attending events and joining online communities can be the perfect way to stop this becoming a problem. Crucially, though, it’s also the best way to create winning contacts that may recommend you to potential clients. It’s who you know that truly counts in business!

#6. Don’t Go It Alone

As well as building a network of potential clients, you should think about the potential partnerships that could be out there. You may have prepared yourself for a battle against the world, but it needn’t be that way. If you’re a graphic designer, working with a writer may work wonders in certain circumstances. Likewise, a plumber could work alongside an electrician. Keeping clients happy is the key.

#7. Diversify Your Work

As a freelancer, you probably have your eyes set on a specific type of client or job. The harsh reality of life is that this type of work may dry up from time to time. Boasting a versatile skillset and a range of different clients will make a world of difference in those moments of difficulty. Even if it’s merely a safety net, establishing that sense of stability is vital for your long-term freelancing success.

#8. Know The Numbers

Speaking with conviction on any given subject will instantly boost your hopes of securing the desired reaction. When clients ask you about your website traffic numbers, time needed for projects, and other quantifiable metrics, a quick and accurate response will impress them. People are idiots, so this can often make all the difference regardless of your industry. On a personal note, you’ll want to know the financial numbers regarding revenue and profits.

#9. Be Ready To Say No

As a freelancer, it can be very tempting to take every job that comes your way. However, you wouldn’t buy mince when you have steak at home, and those sentiments should extend to your projects. You’ve probably seen many bosses lose out on better jobs in the past due to a shortsighted nature, and you don’t want to fall into the same trap. Otherwise, you’ll be all the expletives that you used to call your boss.

#10. Take Pride In The Work

While some people can achieve sustained success from little more than bravado and reputation (looking at you Hollywood actors), your job is to maintain the highest standards at all times. You are only as good as your last project, which is why every job you do should be completed with passion and commitment. This will ensure your reputation stays intact, breeding long-term triumphs.

In closing – what do I know? – Always feel free to tell us about your freelancing journey, we’d love to hear your story.

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Andrew Palmer
Andrew Looks after the Developers, product updates and general maintenance of the Elegant Marketplace Websites. He also runs his own Online Consultancy in the UK under the banner of Somebody's Hero.

A little about the author, Andrew Palmer

Andrew Looks after the Developers, product updates and general maintenance of the Elegant Marketplace Websites. He also runs his own Online Consultancy in the UK under the banner of Somebody's Hero.

2 Comments

  1. Maria Arango

    What made a huge difference for me was establishing recurring sources of revenue. Maintenance plans and retainers for example that for the client come with a great financial incentive and for me they mean steady income every month to cover my basic expenses. That way even on a slow month or when I’m on holiday I know I’m covered

    • Andrew Palmer

      That is a great way to go – my hosting pays all the bills, so all I have to worry about is getting in new work – and if it doesn’t come in as fast as I want it to, I know I am covered. 🙂

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