Freelancing gives you a lot of flexibility with your schedule and earning potential. This sense of freedom gives other people a perception that freelancing is an easy job. If only they know the struggles of each freelancer, they will never think that way again.
Successful freelancers live by the core values that set them apart from the rest. Aside from exceptional skills, they develop strong work ethics like professionalism, commitment, and organization which they apply every time they work. They figure out how to do things on their own and structure their day…without a boss telling them to do so.
Whether you dream of becoming a freelancer, you’re freelancing now, or you’re a client looking for a freelancer, this blog will help you determine the habits of a successful freelancer.
A proper freelancing tutorial can help you to develop these effective habits.
Organize Daily Schedule
Start your day right by organizing your schedule for the whole day. List your priorities and deadlines and keep important messages, invoices, and all written contracts in a folder. You don’t have a boss to tell you not to mess around, so you need to have that self-accountability to structure your work.
One tip to help you organize your day is to have a calendar beside you or use a calendar app, whichever is convenient. Write meetings and deadlines on your calendar so that you will not lose track of your schedule.
Search for new job opportunities every day to understand your position in the market. Doing this step will give you an idea of what skills are in-demand, who your competitors are, and what is your edge over them.
Use social media to connect to other freelancers and ask for their advice on how to become a successful freelancer. Don’t forget to create a profile in top freelancing marketplaces. These sites have blogs that will teach you the tips and tricks for staying ahead of the pack.
Without a boss watching you, it’s easy to take a break anytime you want or watch sports on TV for hours. It becomes more difficult to wake up every morning and start working. These scenarios call for self-discipline because no one else will force you to get up and work.
Productive freelancers get their daily tasks done right before the deadline. If you want to become one, you need to shut down all the distractions and focus on your work. Doing this is very challenging since you need to convince yourself to refrain from taking a lot of slack time. Learn how to focus on your tasks, finish them on time, and take a break as scheduled- these are the ways to instill self-discipline as a freelancer.
Good Communication Skills
In freelancing, face-to-face conversation is not the norm. Most of your interactions with clients and colleagues happen online through email, video chat, instant messages, etc. Therefore, it is crucial to communicate effectively and ensure that you and your team is on the same boat. Whether you are sending or receiving messages, keep your ideas clear, your sentences short, and free from errors of facts and grammar. Regularly update your clients about your progress and ask for feedback about your past projects.
Set clients’ expectations about your online availability, especially if there is a time difference between you and them. If you don’t work on weekends and holidays, your clients need to know this as well.
Do Prospecting Every Day
Clients don’t come to you; you go out and find them. Marketing yourself is not easy because you are competing with thousands of freelancers from all parts of the world. Many of your competitors describe themselves as better, faster, or cheaper than you are. If you don’t know your selling point, no one will notice you.
Make it a habit to search for clients every day. There are so many ways to do this- joining freelancing marketplaces, using social media, and emailing people you know. Once you find job openings related to your niche, send your proposal to the clients. The more proposals you submit, the bigger your chances of getting hired.
Successful freelancers never stop learning. Learning new skills is possible since you have the flexibility to include it in your schedule. Check out sites like Udemy and FreelancerMasterclass.com
If you want to develop your talent, focus on a skill that is related to your current niche. If you’re a writer, study how to edit different types of articles. Polish your vocabulary, grammar, different writing styles, and how to create graphs and tables. Then, start pitching your editing services to your current clients. Offering a “package deal” service adds value to your profile.
You know what they say…all work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy.
Successful freelancers learn how to balance work and life. If you have an overwhelming workload, you might end up stressed, burnt out, or sick.
One reason why you become a freelancer is to have more time for yourself and your family. If you work day and night, you lose track of when to begin and when to stop working. This bad habit is not healthy for you and your relationship with other people.
Allow yourself to have leisure time. Relax and have fun with your friends, do a hobby you’re passionate about, or go to a spa and get some pampering. Take a break to reconnect to things that are more important to you, like friends and family.
Many people want to be a successful freelancer but only a few have the skills and the character to achieve greater heights. It takes a lot of hard work and proper training to get on top.