Do you like to become your own boss? Duh! Who doesn’t, right? What If you are the nub and have no clue about how to set your own career in it, without involving anyone else? What if you fear that you would end up wandering around the internet and regret taking the decisions of working online? Yes! That happens and this fear factor has been the same for almost every person who started their online business. This article projects step-wise launching of a successful freelancing career that will enable you to know either you should start an online business or not. I have added my own experiences and done a thorough research on how exactly it could be executed. Prior jumping on the steps, let’s delve into the crusaders of freelancing. Questions mentioned below governs the ideas of whys and how’s of your decision to land into nothing but the freelancing career.
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Ask Yourself First:
Asking questions enables you to stand with the decision. This is another way to act rationally and not impulsively. The foremost factors that are considered the backbone of any success lies on the following questions:
- What is my passion?
- Why do I want to freelance and not a permanent job?
- How can it affect my business’s growth and stability?
- Am I prepared for branding myself as a freelancer?
- Do I have a complete planning and model of success?
- Where should I go to seek assistance?
- When is the right time to quit my job and start freelancing?
- What are the hindrances on my way?
- Will I survive in the long term?
- What if Fail? What if I regret taking this decision? Is there any going back?
Once you are sure of the answers, it is the call for allowing to jump in the sea – world of freelancing. However, being decisive about the passion is merely for the ownership of talent. You need to know if you are capable enough to start on your own. It’s about the belief in your skillset, you smart strategies and consistent research oriented approach of moving forward. It is meant for you to take charge. Jumping in the sea without knowing how to swim is quite risky. It may drown you but since passion is there, learning becomes easy.
Planning, setting goals and preparing for the interaction with clients are three focus points of starting off with a freelancing career. But where would you start even if you are ready to go with these skills? How would you know about what you have to do? Thus, you need a proper homework to do before you decide to take this step. To have an answer to all these basic questions, I am sharing my very own personal experiences of setting up freelancing business that will assist you in achieving your milestones as well. I don’t want you to wander around the internet without knowing where and how you need to initiate in this business. Hence, the following steps will let you know if you can become a long term freelancer.
Step 1: Find Your Passion and the Aim of Freelancing:
Passion drives inner forces to come into action. It is not merely a statement but a complete understanding of “freelancing”. And until the urge does not prevail in the mind, you can’t, I repeat YOU CAN’T really enjoy working. When it comes to working without any desire, the urge to focus on a skill, becomes difficult to look forward and be taken as a goal. Naturally, without passion there are high chances of ending up being frustrated, depressed and regretful about your decision of becoming a freelancer.
Additionally, keeping this main point into consideration, you should also work on the aim. These two factors really keep you moving, one step at a time. Keeping all the hurdles away. Even if you face any of these, they are taken as challenges, not the war played in the middle of reaching the victory point. No IFS and BUTS can manifest determination of the decision you took. In fact, it signifies the nature of being extra careful of the entire reason.
Step 2: Design an Interesting and Portfolio:
Designing your portfolio is one of the ways how I started to exhibit my services. You can check out my detailed post about how to create your portfolio in a freelance website. I have explained each aspect of what to do to influence your clients that you are the best fit for their job. It should be simple, not too fancy but yes, the theme selected should be different, giving a total impact of your passion. Being a freelancer, you have to take care of following elements while designing a portfolio.
A free portfolio in the beginning can give you an edge to focus on showcasing services. At an infant stage of your Freelancing, you can’t invest a lot on your portfolio. Try using free websites which are the best pick of the amateur freelancers. For example if you are a Freelance Writer and your clients require samples , you can upload the sample in a tertiary platform like Upwork, people per hour or write blog post and send their links to your specific clients. After few months, when you have sufficient revenue, buying a domain and hosting, designing it altogether from scratch or redirecting it to you old site is recommended.
Here, it is worthwhile to mention that the response noticed with the portfolio is way greater than the word of mouth. You might get sales in your region but a portfolio will give you uncountable international clients to interact and work with. Portfolio creation brings a sudden lift to your page on social media and clientele starts to take another shift in the graph to success.
Step Number 3: Learn the Art of Winning Deals:
Communicating with clients and taking them in confidence is an art. Not many are sure of how to interact and bring the work from their businesses. You have to write a Killer proposal to persuade your client that you are the best fit for their task. Best dealings are when you:
- Select words appropriately in accordance to the specified task. Don’t send a general proposal which does not relate to client’s requirement.
- Know the personality traits of the client. You happen to learn psyche in few sessions.
- Observe how the client’s mind works. If you will give a concession, will he get attracted to work with you or not, etc.
- Taking them as a family after building trust, follow up by messaging, showing gratitude by doing a small segment of task for free, and working with them professionally is something every client likes.
- Never let temper take over you. Change mind within 3 seconds otherwise anger will take charge and dealings may get to the bad shape – resulting in “DEAL CANCELED”!!
Moreover, always keep the essence of perseverance in mind: “Today is the day when I will get another client”. I, personally have tried few remedies to not let failure’s fear take a toll in my mind. For which quotes and sayings from many rich, successful freelancers are pinned on my soft-board, at an office. Believe me! This helps. Sometimes you really do need to bring up that motivation within you to work more efficiently and effectively.
Step 4: Time and Project Management:
Management is one of the real, big time factors which either boosts or declines freelancing career. Here in this part, you will read about how to keep projects balanced with a swift flow of progress without much hassle.
- Work smartly:
There is a huge difference between hard and smart work. Be proactive, don’t let laziness overpower you, but also make sure of few factors:
- Services you offer are not too expensive or cheap.
- Selection of right client is mandatory to know.
- Payments should be taken in advance in exchange of invoice.
- Never give room to the dismay and negative vibes.
In short, it is all about how well are you with organizing and processing workflow. Smart work is more focused on reaching goals in the shortest, risk-free methods. On the contrary, hard work is more to do with spending several hours and still not meeting the milestones.
- Fixture of deadlines:
A realistic approach to fixing deadlines is mostly ignored. Leading to the superficial imagination and getting overwhelmed by the situation. This is one big problem which freelancers face. Need to get addressed, though there is always room to learn it according to the urgency. Here are some tips:
- Don’t give a deadline instantly. Take few hours and reply after knowing the details.
- Never haste in taking a project. Give a proper look at it. Always, I repeat, always revise.
- Also, try to go for projects worth working on with more than usual compensations.
- How to determine the time for projects?
Trickiest of all the elements discussed so far is how to actually determine the deadline. What I do is to look at the work details, start it and estimate time which might be required. After which I give a deadline with a proper schedule. Enabling him to trace when exactly work shall be submitted. Also, try keeping up with a excel sheet file which should include categories Start date, tentative end date, deadline, Reasons of Late work, etc.
- Elimination of procrastination:
Never ever delay today’s work on tomorrow. It is again that one factor which reduces the expectancy of successful, on-time delivery of work. Meeting a deadline is mostly ignored because of procrastination.
Step 5: Goals, Victories, and Milestones!!
Milestones, goals, and victories are real inspirations. Keeps you going places and make a name in the freelancing world of fame. If you have set goals or milestones, completed them by the set deadline, worked smartly then bingo!!! You have learned the skill of being a good freelancer.
On the other hand, if you have achieved the milestone but not in the given deadline, you need to learn few tips. Hiring a mentor or career counselor is what I did when the results were not as satisfying as I wanted to see.
One last point which is quite important is to celebrate! Victories and each successful completion of the project must be acknowledged by treating yourself well. It could be as simple as going out for shopping or buying your favorite novel.
Crux – Factors to Keep in Mind:
Freelancing largely and mainly depends on efficiency. If you work without setting a goal and work your a** off, it eventually will start giving you negative energy. However, all in all, the entire notion of a successful freelancing career works if you have enough passion, knowledge, and updates of the skill, keeping track of clientele, time and project management.