In the ever-changing job market, more people than ever before are choosing to become self-employed online. So, are you planning to become self-employed?
But do you think you have got what it takes to be successful self-employed? Is it really the way to go? Can you really be a successful freelancer?
This shift of career paths is mostly due to the advantages the internet affords people, as it can allow you to work from any corner of the world, as long as you have a reliable connection.
Perhaps more importantly, it allows people to work by their own rules. The most popular option people follow when they work online is to become a freelancer, which can be in any field, from software developing and website design to writing.
Taking the plunge can be daunting, but there are many helpful tips and tricks out there which are dedicated to helping freelancers get the most out of what the internet has to offer them.
#1]. Find your niche
You might start out your freelancing career not knowing what you are. Just because you know a little about graphic design and a lot about writing, it doesn’t mean you should attempt to do both.
Settling on something you are good at and you love is the best option. From here, you can go on to define your niche further by determining what you’d like to write about, or what you’d like to design. For example, you might want to design logos for emerging start-ups.
It is important to note that if you want to change your niche at any time, you can do so if you have a strong portfolio backing it.
#2]. Network online
When your workspace is your computer, it can be tricky to network in the same way you used to. Although meetups can be organized to find clients or partners in, you should start networking online to receive the most benefits.
Sites like LinkedIn are perfect for this, but you should polish your online profile first to come across as a professional, dependable freelancer.
Once you have done this, you can get to work posting regular content on your profile, and connect with people you’d like to work for. Eventually, people will get back to you, and you can strike up a long-term working relationship.
#3]. Find the best jobs
When you have your online presence and portfolio perfected, you can start finding jobs on other platforms. Although networking is a great start, you will need to explore other avenues if you want to start earning a sustainable income.
For writers wishing to make a name for themselves, guest blogging is a great way to drum up a good reputation and make money in the process; click here to see how this can work for you. For other freelancing ventures, there are specialized sites for those looking for gigs with big-name clients. When you know where to look, the best jobs will become far more readily available to you.
#4]. Work on your brand
Like any entrepreneur or business owner, freelancers should have a brand. Not only does this paint you as being a professional individual, but it can truly help when you are looking to make a name for yourself in your desired niche.
Having a flawless website to showcase your work on is a great start, but you should also collect as many shining testimonials as you can to show potential clients how good you are.
Once you start seeing yourself as a business, this can also help you demand higher rates from clients, who will also be more likely to pay you more as a result.
#5]. Set yourself apart
Thousands of freelancers exist all over the world, which means that standing out from the crowd has never been more difficult. Luckily, it is not impossible. When you know how to brand yourself well, you are already more likely to be successful. However, there is far more to it than that.
Ultimately, it comes down to your skillset. Making sure you are always learning more about your niche is the perfect way to show clients that you hold a true love for what you do, and that you are an expert in your field.
When it comes to technical skills like design or coding, it will be a huge help to stay up to date with the latest software and to make the most of any online courses available.
#6]. Use online resources
Online resources mostly come in the form of articles and tests, but one of the most valuable things you can find is a mentor. There will be people you look up to in your field, and who you aspire to be like one day.
Sending out requests online to connect with them means you can ask them for any helpful tips to help you get ahead. If you’re lucky, you may be able to get some valuable work experience with them, but they may also run a blog from which you can take any advice you need.
#7]. Communicate effectively
What hinders many freelancers is their inability to communicate effectively. This doesn’t just mean being able to write emails well. Being consistently available on some form of communication is ideal, as it means clients know you are a flexible worker.
You should also remain friendly and professional with whoever you are communicating with, as it makes you a dream to work with. In the modern world, being bad at communication is not an excuse when people can access their messages and calls from a single handheld device.
When people want to be a great communicator, they usually have one phone reserved for business purposes, so they know to answer if they get a notification.
#8]. Be patient
Freelancing is not something that brings immediate success. In fact, it is highly recommended that you don’t quit your day job in the first few months of testing the waters. During this time, you will have to work extra hard to make it big, but it means that when you finally take the plunge, freelancing is already a viable career option.
There will be days at the beginning where you question if this is the right path for you, but if you stick to it, you will see how being a freelancer in something you love is the best career choice anyone can make.