Tips & Tricks for Freelancers
As a specialist you’re your own particular supervisor, and that involves a considerable measure of unremarkable assignments that require decision making ability on how you approach getting things done.
Some of these tips will show up as presence of mind, yet they might be the update you have to refine your work procedure. I trust you’re ready to pick some an incentive in these tips, regardless of where you’re at with your independent profession.
1. Be amazing at something
Most masters think that it takes at least 10,000 hours or more to be an expert at something, and even longer to be the BEST. I believe this depends on the learning skills and the abilities one has, as well as some other factors. It also depends on the fact that each person is different. It may be possible to master something within a few years if you have the abilities, but the most persistent people will keep going for 10 years and will always try to be the best.
Don’t try to attain perfection or be the “best”, but try to learn to excel or master your craft, and success will come on its own. You are still learning, to this day, and you will still be learning for the rest of your life.
2. Always get a down payment
One of the biggest issues you hear about freelancing is not getting paid on time or getting stiffed by the client. I’ve luckily never experienced this, but that’s because I follow a simple process when starting a project.
To guarantee payment 100% of the time, you must require a down payment. For all projects I take on, I require 50% upfront before I start any official design work, and I make this clear to the client in our preliminary discussions and in my contracts. If the client has an issue with this, then that should raise a red flag. Also, by requiring a down payment, the project doesn’t progress without it, so you’ll never risk a late payment again.
3. Have your own website/portfolio
Your website serves as a canvas for your best work. Literally speaking, a website is what showcases your experience and skills in your niche. Don’t let potential customers wait to see samples of your work. Direct them to your website and let it do the talking. Showcase all the services you have to offer and include glowing testimonials from happy clients. These act as a guarantee of the quality of your services.
There isn’t anything more valuable in digital marketing than credibility. The higher your trust factor, the more options you have to expand your business and make money. Having a website can do wonders for business growth because every action you take on your website will strengthen your online presence. This will help you earn the trust of customers, giving potential clients more confidence in hiring you.
4. Write a blog
There are so many business benefits to blogging that it only makes sense for most web designers and other freelancers to take part. The benefits of blogging far outweigh the disadvantages. Yet, it seems like every so often someone influential makes the statement that they think blogging is dead. They claim blogging is no longer a good idea for small businesses. It’s a waste of time, they say. Social media is all the exposure you need, they go on to say.
Few benefits you’ll have from writing a blog:
- Relatively Low Cost. Yes, blogging costs a little money and takes a little time. However, it’s still a relatively low-cost way to promote your design business–especially when you compare it to paying for advertisements.
- Controlled by you. It’s true that social media is a free way to promote your business. But don’t rely too heavily on social media. You don’t own the social media sites.
- Builds authority. You can use your freelance blog to show off your knowledge in your area. To do this, create and share high-quality content that is relevant to your specialty.
- Grows relationships. The best, most authoritative, blogs tend to have communities that grow up around them. These communities consist of regular commentators who interact frequently with the blog’s authors and readers.
- Provides fresh content for search engines. It’s well-known that the search engines tend to favor sites that frequently publish new content. What better way to add new content than with a well-written blog post?
- A source of work samples for writers and web designers. Your blog can serve as a sample of your work. What better way to show them what you can do than with your own blog?
- Shows off your skills. Your skills aren’t always evident in your portfolio, which only shows the end result. In your blog, you can connect the dots and tell prospects how you worked behind the scene to make that project a success.
- A place for your unique voice. No one approaches the design business quite like you. No matter who you are, you have a unique slant on the industry. With your blog, that uniqueness gets a voice.
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5. Keep learning
Whether you’re a full-time freelancer or just looking to boost your side hustle, you might shy away from learning on your own. Perhaps you don’t have the fondest memories of school or don’t consider yourself a great student. Or you can’t see spending time learning when you could be working billable hours. Don’t let those thoughts take over. Think of learning as another regular part of building a business, right up there with delivering client work, that will give you a competitive advantage in a crowded field of freelancers jockeying for projects.
To connect with educational content that will equip you with real-world skills you can apply to your work right away, you’ll want to compare online learning platforms and find your fit.