How to become a good freelancer.
Becoming a freelancer can be a stress to the mind. You will find yourself having so many unanswered questions. From ‘where do I begin?’ to ‘how do I find clients?’ You will also wonder what processes and structures you need to have in place and also how you will know how much to charge. The head of Freelancers Union, Sara Horowitz, says, ‘going out on your own is not always a deliberate choice.’
To be a good freelancer, you have to follow some important steps.
Use a contract on every project.
A contract is not just some kind of formality that deters you from working. It helps you to avoid payment dramas like being paid late of little than you deserve. Before you start any project, you need a contract. Many freelancers tend to go into projects with no contracts and this has lead to many dramas with the clients.
No matter how boring and complicated contracts may seem, they can save you from a lot of headaches and keep you in business.
Always ask for a down-payment.
By asking an upfront payment before the work begins with new clients, you ensure you are entering the working relationship from a position of strength. Asking for down-payments manages client expectations. Its shows your new client you are an experienced and confident freelancer in-tune with industry norms. This allays doubts they had and places you firmly as equal in their minds.
It’s advisable to obtain pre-work deposits to help run things quickly and smoothly. This allows you to get the focus and attention you require from your employer in a bid to get the project completed on time.
Determine your fee.
To be a good freelancer, you need to know how much to charge. No, your worth. In the beginning, you can always set a lower fee but plan on raising the fee as soon as you realize your worth. Taking too long to raise the fee may not be as good as such. When you are reliable and charge fairly, you are more likely to be rehired by clients.
Never be afraid to say No.
As a freelancer, you have a choice to say yes or no. Saying no to a project does not mean you have lost everything. Accept a job that you are best suited in and don’t just accept any task for the sake of it. Follow your heart.
You should also no panic when you say no to seminars and conferences when all other members of your industry are attending. When you have work to do, commit yourself to the work and say no to anything that may divert your attention.
Set a schedule for yourself.
If you want to be a good freelancer, do not make a mistake of taking up too much work. You will get overbooked and this might make you fail to deliver some projects within the required time. You will disappoint your clients. Being maxed out on a particular project denies you the chance to find the next one. Plan yourself well from the beginning and give yourself time to figure out what comes next.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s OK to say no to work, especially if it’s something you are not suited to. Do not fall into the trap of saying yes to every project that comes your way.
To be a good freelancer, it’s important to make yourself findable. To achieve this, you need to be active in online platforms. You need an updated LinkedIn profile to make clear that you are looking for opportunities. Speaking at an event is another way of giving yourself an opportunity to be seen as an expert in the professional circle.
Focus on your freelance business.
It is important to treat your freelance writing business as a business if you want it to grow and be financially successful. For that, you will be more likely to approach your writing work in a more professional style in terms of deadlines and understanding your client’s needs.
Be transparent with your clients.
As a freelancer, you need to be radically transparent with your clients. Be completely honest and share the little details that you have even if you mess up.
Also, keep your clients aware of what you are working on. If it’s a long-term project, update your client on how far you are with the project. This will help put your clients’ mind at ease. Always remember to be time conscious when you are dealing with projects.
Making connections is another important secret to become a good freelancer. I recommend that you get in touch with your fellow freelancers. They are the ‘competition.’ Sure. But don’t fear to share with them as you will be able to gather information from them which will help you greatly.