Freelancing offers the extraordinary potential to earn money to those who have marketable skills. The Web has boosted freelancing in ways that have never been seen before. With the proliferation of sites such as eLance, freelancer.com, oDesk.com and many others, freelancers are finding it easier to find clients and work on projects that they are passionate about.
To become a successful freelancer, you need three magical words: passion, determination, and persistence. Here are the top 5 tips on how you can be a successful freelancer:
Tip 1: Know yourself
Acknowledge and celebrate your strengths. Take time to reflect on your true strengths. If uncertain, it’s a clever idea to thoroughly examine the available job categories to figure out which of them is in line with your skills and expertise. Don’t fall into the trap of choosing the highest paid category if you know deep down in your heart that it’s not what you’re meant to do. If you focus on what you like, no matter how cheap or expensive it is, you’ll eventually excel in it and make good money along the way.
Tip 2: Clearly show how good you are
It doesn’t matter how good you’re; what matters is how good you’re in showing it! You need to master the art of self-marketing and learn how to write compelling profiles and persuasive bids. An excellent tip here is to read your profile/bid out loud or to a friend to get a clear indication of how effective it is.
Moreover, we strongly recommend that you do some readings about communication and negotiation skills in order to impress potential buyers and maximize your chances of winning projects.
Tip 3: Too much too soon versus slowly but surely
The number of freelancing websites is increasing substantially and you might be tempted to join many of them simultaneously, thinking that doing so would maximize your job-hunting success. Guess what, the opposite is true! Successful freelancers focus on one or two sites at maximum and take their time to explore them and read their user terms carefully.
The same applies to the number of projects you bid on. It’s better to focus on a few projects that you read carefully and bid effectively on instead of carelessly skimming through zillion projects and bidding haphazardly!
Tip 4: Work smart not hard
You need to be very clever when choosing the projects that you will work on. Beware of buyers who include very vague project descriptions and new buyers without enough feedback. Also, if the buyer requests too much free work or violates the rules of the site by soliciting work outside of the freelance website (before accepting you for the project), it’s time to run away from that project and ignore the buyer.
Ask yourself: what can I do to be chosen for that project? Offering relevant work samples and asking intelligent questions about the project sends the buyer a clear message that you’re professional and expert in your field
Tip 5: So far so good: Now show me the Money!
Below is a list of tips that summarizes what you need to do to guarantee freelancing success:
- Join one or two freelancing sites at maximum and read their terms carefully
- Choose projects you’re really passionate about
- Write compelling profiles/bids
- Read project descriptions carefully and ask intelligent questions to impress the buyers
- Start with a low rate until you build a reputation on the site. Then, raise your rate gradually
For more information on how to become a successful freelancer, read these articles:
- How to Start Freelancing and Succeed as a Freelancer
- How to Start Freelancing and Succeed as a Freelancer (Part 2)
- How to Start and Succeed in a Freelancing Career
- Are You an Entrepreneur or Freelancer?
- Common Mistakes to Avoid When Freelancing
Recommended Books on How to Become a Successful Freelancer:
- The Freelancer’s Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Have the Career of Your DreamsOn Your Terms
- The Wealthy Freelancer
- Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business
- What to Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants
- My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire
- How to Succeed on Elance
- Growing Your Business by Outsourcing to Freelance Marketplaces
- Project Management Best Practices
- How to Start and Succeed in Freelance Copywriting
- How to be a Successful Freelancer