Being in charge of your own work and getting it done in the comfort of your own home makes freelancing a really convenient, creative and interesting part-time job. However, only a full-time commitment and understanding that everything is up to you could help you develop it into a successful, long-lasting career. So, here are the top 7 tips on how to act and what to do in order to attract more clients, keep the current ones satisfied and present yourself as a responsible, reliable service provider clients will love working with.
1. Update Your Portfolio
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The list and the examples of your work are way more important than your CV. Don’t get me wrong, clients do value formal education but, all your diplomas won’t mean much if you don’t have solid proof that you can do the job. What clients need to see is that you are moving forward, so don’t get too attached to your old examples, no matter how good they are. Do keep the best one but make sure you add fresh, relevant materials so your clients can see you for what you really are – a dynamic, innovative problem solver.
2. Do What You do Best
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Improving your skills and learning new things is one thing but accepting the project you know nothing about only because it pays good is extremely dangerous for your reputation. Every freelancer aims to be the best one in his field of expertise so if developing new web applications is your primary freelance job, do take up projects that have something to do with that skill. Even projects that involve writing tutorials could be a good step forward and away from your routine. But writing about gardening when you can’t even take care of a cactus… you get the point.
3. Respect Deadlines
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Not having to face your boss every morning can be great but the fact that your boss can’t see you doesn’t mean you can slack off. You can work in your pyjamas, you don’t have to get up in 7 A.M, and you can even skip a day or two if that fits your schedule, but the work has to be done in the given time frame. And don’t worry, you are allowed to get sick, injured or have an urgent family situation – we are all humans after all. But you can’t build a good reputation by spending more time thinking up new excuses than working.
4. Keep in Touch with Your Fellow Freelancers
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Working alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely! In fact, one of the best things about this job is having the opportunity to meet new, interesting people from all across the globe. Making friends within the freelancing community means you’ll always have somebody to talk to, share tips or even team up for bigger, more demanding projects.
5. Plan B
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If you have decided to make freelancing your primary job, you have to ensure a constant cash-flow. And, according to some of the world’s top freelancers, the only way to do this is to always have a back-up plan in case one of your major clients decides to pull back. Now, don’t let this scare you ladies, because it doesn’t mean you have to neglect your primary client or take up more work than you can handle – just join some of the most popular freelance sites and you’ll have access to their database of jobs available at the moment. Use these sites to find new long term clients or one-time projects that fit in your current schedule.
6. Act like a Pro
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Go for it girl! You are exactly what the client needs! Why? Because you can do a magnificent work and you have examples to prove it! Don’t sell yourself short but make sure you don’t sound arrogant either. Keep your communication honest and professional – describe your skills and qualities, show that you are interested and ask everything you need to know about the project. Only then you can go into discussing financial compensations and time frames.
7. Keep in Touch
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Not all projects turn into a long-term commitment, but you can always save the client’s contact information and contact him whenever your workload is lower than optimal. Some of your former employers might have a job for you or know somebody who could very much use your services at the moment. You just have to remind them that you are still there and available for any work proposals.
Hope these advice were helpful ladies. Do you have any others you would like to share with all the fellow freelancers out there? What do you think is better – being your own boss and developing your career outside the office or playing it safe and working 9 to 5?
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