How to become a successful freelancer in 30 days
Freelancing is the latest trend nowadays. More so because several well qualified and skilled people are unable to find jobs due to intense competition nowadays.
The trend of hiring younger people on lower wages has affected experienced skilled workers too. Further, millions of people live in areas that do not have proper transportation to cities and towns.
Hence, they are unable to work. For such people, freelancing provides an answer.
Benefits of freelancing
Freelancing is also called ‘self-employment.’ It means selling your set of skills to a temporary employer. Often, such work is for a specific period and for a predetermined task only.
Here are some benefits of freelancing:
- Possibility to work only when required.
- The more you work, higher your income.
- You can become an entrepreneur over a period.
- Working at a location of your choice is possible.
- Allows you to work in a field of your choice.
Disadvantages of freelancing
While all these may sound good, freelancing comes packed with disadvantages too. Therefore, it is better to weigh the pros and cons before getting into freelance work.
Hence, you may consider these points:
- Intense competition from better qualified, skilled people.
- Inability to sustain consistent income for self and family.
- No possibilities of getting salary linked benefits from banks such as loans and credit cards.
- Lack of fixed timings, meaning working on holidays or late hours may be required.
- The general lack of respect for freelancers due to societal perceptions.
Getting Started: What to do?
Once you have weighed the pros and cons and decided on becoming a freelancer, there are certain steps you need to take.
Documentation is important
- Get your documentation such as government issued ID cards ready.
- Procure reference certificates and past employment records, if any.
- Ask employers to give you testimonials of your excellent performance.
Remember, these documents are necessary because most employers nowadays are picky about whom they give work.
Understandably, they wish to ensure they are paying for the best possible work available in the local market.
Below are more steps you can take to become a successful freelancer in 30 days:
- Join all popular freelance sites
The best way to find out about freelance jobs is through freelance websites. If you join only 1 to 2 sites, chances are you will not get any or fewer opportunities.
So it’s always advisable for beginners to join almost all the freelance sites so that you can get clients from one or other website.
- Keep your skills sharp
Now your skills have to be upgraded and fine-tuned before you get work as a freelancer. Unless you know the latest technologies, trends and market demands, you will be unable to cater to employer needs.
Here too, trade forums and clubs can help. Alternatively, you can search for latest trends and innovations through the Internet.
- Visit prospective employers
This is where most prospective freelancers miss out. They are shy to visit prospective employers. Of course, we do not mean you pester a company or individual for work.
Instead, with a few social skills, you can casually visit a prospective employer, merely as courtesy. Never speak of work during such visits, unless explicitly asked by your host.
- Study the market
This is another very important feature of becoming a successful freelancer in 30 days. You need to know precisely where you stand and what your skills are worth.
Remember, you do not have a fixed income such as salary. This means you have to depend on whatever temporary work you get, to buy your essentials.
Unless you know how much others are charging, you will never be able to quote the price for a freelance job.
- Never undersell your skills
This can be very damaging to becoming a successful freelancer in 30 days. Underselling your skills means charging a price lower than your competitors, for the same amount and quality of work.
Once you have under priced your work, there are little chances you will be able to charge more. Many freelancers fail because they price their work lower. Consequently, they end up with heavy work load for lesser money.
- Get active on the social media
Indubitably, social media is the greatest tool available to freelancers nowadays. It is free and allows you widespread publicity.
Open a Facebook Business page to advertise your work and availability. Clearly mention contact and other relevant details but not bank and payment or financial information.
Use ample pictures on the Facebook page to highlight your work, also, add testimonials wherever possible. Promote your page to online forums and trade related organizations.
- Be available 24/7/365
A lot of freelance work comes when employers require someone in a hurry. Provided you are active on the social media and your contact numbers are available with people who matter, being available 24/7 round the year is a great thing.
Employers know you can be reached all times and hence, will prefer to call you whenever the need arises.
- Call spade a spade
Employers prefer honest comments about anything. Therefore, as a freelancer, never hide your genuine concerns from a prospective employer.
If any work is difficult or can take longer than desired, it is better to say it explicitly, rather than regret later.
Give realistic deadlines. Never raise expectations of an employer unless you are fully geared to meet them.
- Get written orders
Regardless of whatever the fields you are offering services, always get a written order for the work from an employer.
Such written document is proof of what you are expected to do when to complete, resources you will need and payment.
Getting work documented helps you since it can be shown to other employers later. Further, it also avoids last minute hiccups over payment and quality of work.
A final word before launch: As mentioned earlier, freelancing can be very taxing physically and mentally. Astute budgeting is needed before you venture as a freelancer.
A wrong move can cause you immense financial hardships, forcing you to abandon the trade or severely undersell yourself.
Alternatively, you may be forced to work as second to someone else more successful.