This is a rare thing in the industry, but it goes a long way to showing your amazing communication skills. A very brief recap email after each meeting, along with your understanding of next steps, assure the client you are on top of things and allows misunderstandings to be addressed before they cause issues.
7 Tips to Help You Succeed as a Freelance Professional
While freelancing has held appeal for many years, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed it onto the center stage. With the workforce becoming more remote across industries, freelancing has become the answer for many. The independent workforce brought in 800.2 trillion in 2020, with 1 in 3 people in the U.S. workforce engaging in some type of freelance work.
A growing percentage of these independent professionals are also electing to leave their day jobs and freelance full time. Nearly 4 in 10 put their skills to work as exclusively independent professionals, an 8% increase over the rate of freelancers in 2019.
While the draw of becoming an independent professional can certainly be clear, a complete career change can feel intimidating. Many emerging independent professionals find themselves wondering how they can start a successful freelance career so that they can leave behind their full-time job for good.
Regardless of whether someone is interested in supplementing their traditional job or they want to run a freelance business full time, we’ve compiled seven tips to help guide independent professionals to achieve the freelance success they desire.
Employment independence: Advantages and anxieties of freelance work
Independent professionals are drawn to the freelance world for a variety of reasons. The lifestyle offers immense benefits, starting with independence. Those working for themselves and on their own schedule can work at the times that work best for them. Night owls can work into the late-night hours and let themselves sleep in the next day. Similarly, early risers can get major projects done over their first cup of coffee.
As a growing number of professionals face an increase of competing responsibilities during the pandemic—such as supervising distance learning for children attending school from home—this level of flexibility can make it much easier to maintain a critical work-life balance. For many professionals, the ability to work from home or anywhere else they feel comfortable can provide a strong draw.
Other professionals appreciate the potential to build stability for themselves. With many businesses forced to change their workforces in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of stability has never been so clear. With a freelance career, professionals can accept projects for a variety of clients. This can enhance stability for many, as the loss of one client doesn’t equate to the loss of their entire income.
Of course, building a freelance career can present many challenges that make some professionals feel uncertain. After all, they have to find their own clients. They must also compete with other professionals for projects and make themselves stand out from the competition on every project they want to win.
Fortunately, there are strategies that independent professionals can use to find clients and build their workstream so that they can confidently move forward and seize the benefits of this career choice.
Don’t quit your day job (yet)
We’ve all had that recurring fantasy about quitting our job. You know, the one where your boss makes another ridiculous request and you decide it’s the perfect opportunity to tell them how you really feel, before you storm out as your coworkers look on with something between admiration and jealousy.
. and in this fantasy, we always gracefully swan-dive into a lucrative solo career as a freelancer where we have a roster full of adoring clients who all pay on time. But this smooth slide into freelancing is rarely the case. Freelance writer Emma wanted desperately to leave her job working full-time at a non-profit to travel the world and be her own boss. But she learned the hard way that you’ll want to have a minimum of three to six months of living expenses (rent, bills, food) saved to hold you over until you find your roster of regular clients. We suggest first-time freelancers do the same before you dramatically walk out on your boss for the final time.
How are Verbal Contracts Enforced?
Verbal agreements can be proven with actions in the absence of physical documentation. Any oral promise to provide the sale of goods or perform a service that you agreed to counts as a valid contract. So, when facing a court of law, what evidence can you provide to enforce a verbal agreement?
Unfortunately, without solid proof, it may be difficult to convince a court of the legality of an oral contract. Without witnesses to testify to the oral agreement taking place or other forms of evidence, oral contracts won’t stand up in court. Instead, it becomes a matter of "he-said-she-said" – which legal professionals definitely don’t have time for!
If you were to enter into a verbal contract, it’s recommended to follow up with an email or a letter confirming the offer, the terms of the agreement , and payment conditions. The more you can document the elements of a contract, the better your chances of legally enforcing a oral contract.
Another option is to make a recording of the conversation where the agreement is verbalized. This can be used to support your claims in the absence of a written agreement. However, it’s always best to gain the permission of the other involved parties before hitting record.
Written vs Verbal Contracts: What’s the Verdict?
Fundamentally, most verbal agreements are legally valid as long as they meet all the requirements for a contract. However, if you were to go to court over one party not fulfilling the terms of the contract, proving that the interaction took place can be extremely taxing.
Any good lawyer, contract law firm, or legal professional would advise you to make sure you formalize any professional agreement with a written agreement. Written contracts provide a secure testament to the conditions that were agreed and signed by the two parties involved. If it comes to it, a physical contract is much easier to eviden in legal circumstances.
Freelancers, in particular, should be aware of the extra security that digital contracts may provide. Many people choose to stick to executing contracts verbally because they’re not sure how to write a contract, or they think writing out the contract terms is too complicated or requires expensive legal advice. However, this is no longer the case.
You will need a licence to legally operate as a freelancer, to ensure all business transactions are tracked for tax purposes. In Australia you need to apply for an ABN (Australian Business Number.) In America you get an LLC (Limited Liability Company.) In New Zealand you can apply for NZBN (New Zealand Business Number.) As you’ve noticed, this takes on different formats within each country.
Don’t quit your day job! (Not just yet, okay?) You are about to embark on an exciting career path but the shift is radical; there is a considerable set-up process. It makes sense to have an income as you climb the steep learning curve. Work smarter not harder is your new mantra.
Save. Please start syphoning some contingency cash. While you establish yourself as a freelancer you will most likely oscillate between feast and famine. Your backup stash will prevent you from making knee-jerk or compromised decisions in regards to the work you commit to. Take a glance at 99designs 5 personal finance tips every freelancer should know .
Define your niche. First of all, ensure there is a market for your skills then specialise at something within that industry. It sets you apart and makes you the go-to person for that job. Consider web design as an example: a very popular freelance gig, but there is a discernible shift towards accessing the internet via mobile phones, so specialise in mobile design.
How to Start Freelancing – Tips for Launching a Successful Freelance Career
It takes more than a stable internet connection to make a living as a freelancer. In order to make the big bucks, you’ve got to put in your time and know your stuff when it comes to selling your services.
In fact, there are quite a few things that most freelancers don’t even do that could save them a bunch of money. This article covers some of the most efficient ways for you to get started as a freelancer, and how you can hit the ground running right from the beginning.
How to Find Freelance Clients
Many new freelancers underestimate how important marketing is to getting hired as a freelancer. To some degree, you can make yourself look more professional and respectable by taking the time to show potential clients how you do business.
It’s not just about drawing up a few mockups, sending them to a client, and waiting for the cash to roll in. Craft, creativity, and promotion are all equally important when it comes to being a successful freelancer.
Network with other people in your industry
Instead, engage with people in your industry and come up with ways you can help each other out. Maybe your colleague from your first job needs some voiceover work done on their podcast. Recommend yourself for the job. And if they say no, offer to record it for free as a special gift for helping you out.
Even if you don’t know people in your industry in your city, search for them on LinkedIn and start getting in touch with people in that network—even if it isn’t local. Ask them if they know anyone looking for a freelancer or if they have any advice for finding clients. You might even make some new friends!
If they know of any opportunities, or if they have advice for finding clients in your field, you can bet they’ll pass it on to you, and likely with enthusiasm. And who knows—they might even hire you on the spot for a project once they know that you are freelancing.
Cold calling best practices
I know, many people will say that the number of organizations that actually do it are few and far between. But what they fail to recognize is that this is where the opportunities are hidden – the ones not being addressed by your competition.
All you need is someone to practice with. Then ask them to give you mean criticism, without any tact or sugarcoating, for something you’re seeking from them. It can be a critique on a product idea, a pitch, your blog post, your haircut — whatever.
Initially, you can think of a cold call like a job interview, making it easier to stay on track with the prospect and avoid going off on a tangent about your business. By prospect, I mean anyone you communicate with who has not requested information from you or your organization.
Writing effective cold emails
Cold emailing is exactly what it sounds like—contacting people you don’t know without any introduction. You’re putting yourself out there by putting your reputation on the line. Cold emailing gives you the ability to connect with anyone, but it can also put you in uncomfortable situations where your messages are not welcome.
Build a connection before selling to your prospect.
Do your research.
When it comes to your prospect, you should know as much as possible about them. If you understand who they are and what their interests are, you can strike up a conversation that will give off the impression that you know all there is to know about them. Just don’t go overboard.
Introduce yourself as the solution to their problem.
You can also try creating a list of their pains and the ways you can solve them if they choose your product or service. Make sure that your product or service is something that will genuinely benefit the customer and that the customer needs.
Collaborate with other agencies or freelancers
As you begin working on your own, you’ll go through growing pains. No one can deny that. But moving towards becoming a freelancer allows you the chance to have control over your time, your projects, and your future.
If you miss working in a team, you can always collaborate with other freelancers or agencies. You need to create a network of freelancers with different skills. While you have your favorite writers, designers, or social media marketers, think about new people who might provide great value for your business and vice versa.
These ties can help you in furthering your career and in doing your work in the most efficient and productive manner possible. But in order for you to collaborate successfully with other freelancers and agencies, you should take into consideration the following tips:
Learn as much as you can about them.
Working with a collaborator is a great way to get a project done to a high standard, but it’s important that you choose the right person. Asking someone to work with you can be a little daunting, especially if you don’t know them personally at all, so it’s best to have some information about them beforehand.
Use the same collaboration tools.
The technology that we use every day can bridge that distance and make it easier for you to communicate and form the bonds that will define the way you work together. Make sure that you both work with the same tools to maximize efficiency.
Always ask for feedback.
Whether you’re collaborating with an agency or other freelancers, it’s important to continuously give and receive feedback. This should never be seen as criticism or a personal attack. It’s simply feedback on how you worked on the project. The person you worked with may even have ideas on how they would work differently in the future too.
Conclusion: Freelancing Tips For Beginners 2022
In this new dawn of the 4th industrial revolution, freelancing has been one of the most prominent tools to generate revenue for a lot of people who previously had no access to such a golden opportunity.
You can be an individual without any degrees or certificates or away from locations with job opportunities. Still, as long as you have a stable internet connection, you can earn money through freelancing platforms with a skill that you may possess.
With that said, one thing to keep in mind is that every job comes with its fair share of the powerplay. The competition is extreme, especially in the field of freelancing jobs. In the US, freelancers spend over 1 billion hours per week.
Andy Thompson has been a freelance writer for a long while. She is a senior SEO and content marketing analyst at Digiexe, a digital marketing marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO. She has more than seven years of experience in digital marketing & affiliate marketing too. She likes sharing her knowledge in a wide range of domains ranging from ecommerce, startups, social media marketing, make money online, affiliate marketing to human capital management, and much more. She has been writing for several authoritative SEO, Make Money Online & digital marketing blogs like : ImageStation, Newsmartwave, & Experthoot
1 thought on “Top 9 Freelancing Tips For Beginners 2022: (Complete Beginner’s Guide)”
Good read and the tips are all that a freelancer beginner needs to know. Thank you!
As for me, I wish I adopted the TMetric time tracker when I started my freelance career. The app helps me stay focused and keep my time and money under control.
Hope this information would be useful too!
There is also much camaraderie to be found within the freelancing community. “I have found other freelancers really have your back in a way that actually I never really felt like colleagues in an office working environment did,” says Codea Rado. “That has been unexpected but amazing.”
20 Simple and Powerful Tips for Successful Freelancing
Whether you have experience working in the publishing industry or are just breaking in, starting a new freelancing business can be a daunting experience. Worry not, though: we’ve got you covered. So whether you’re an editor, designer, market or ghostwriter, here are our 20 top tips for publishing freelancers.
1. Identify your niche
The answer to that question will be your niche and the starting point for your freelance career. It will help you brand yourself, find clients and work, and, most importantly, focus your time spent perfecting the right skills to maximize return on your investment.
2. Learn the right skills
Identify which skills are required of freelancers in your niche and create a plan to develop them outside your day job. Then, get some practice by taking on projects with your friends and network. These projects can eventually help you build up your portfolio, which you can later showcase to prospective clients.
3. Build an attractive portfolio
Include a bio that outlines your background, not just your work. Many jobs have come down to the client deciding which freelancer they liked more as a person because, when it comes down to it, they need to want to work with you.
Tell, don’t (just) show
Forget the old saying: your work can’t always speak for itself. Include a brief description of each project explaining how you worked with the client at different phases to get the end result. Let the client see what it would be like to work with you.
Show the numbers
What impact did your work have on the client’s goals? Did you help them make tangible savings or profits? It’s okay to brag about the results your work has had. Include email list growth, increase on website visits, or number of purchases — anything that empirically shows what you can deliver.
You’ve already shown why someone should hire you — now let others do the talking for you. Testimonials are the social proof that clients need to get them from ‘interested’ to ‘committed.’ They provide validation and help potential customers have confidence in the services you provide. Don’t be shy about requesting one from your clients.
Create your Reedsy freelancer account
Sales and Marketing Tips for Freelancers
15. Don’t get complacent with existing clients
16. Learn to handle rejection
17. Don’t neglect your real-word network
While the freelance job boards are a source of endless new leads, don’t forget the old adage that it’s sometimes not what you know but who you know. As such, don’t forget that all of your real-world contacts could lead you in the direction of new work.
18. Never rely on just one client
Quite frequently, you can find that a single client sends more and more work in your direction.
It’s great when it first happens, and you begin to see your monthly invoice getting bigger and bigger. However, what often happens next is that you realise you’ve become dependent on that client for almost all of your livelihood.
However lucrative your relationship with that one client may be, working like this places you in a precarious position. It’s like having all the downsides of being a traditional “employee,” but without the benefits and job security.
Most importantly, the risk of losing the client and ending up with nothing exists regardless of any unforeseen disaster. Sometimes a company buy-out or a change to policy can result in your relationship with the client ending swiftly – even if you’ve been producing perfect work. So don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
19. Keep your online profiles up to date
However, it’s not a task you should ignore. When you’re dealing with a new client, you never know which of those things they might check out. As such, they all need to be up to date and putting across the same message about who you are and what you do.
20. Be aware of your competition
It’s easy to get bogged down in day to day work and feel you don’t have time to look at what your competition are doing. However, if you don’t keep a watchful eye, you never know when some new promotion, initiative or trend is going to catch you unawares.
Keeping an eye on the competition needn’t be particularly time consuming. Having a nose at your competitor’s websites and profiles is something you can do on your phone when you have small amounts of downtime. You never know, you could even find some inspiration for new services of your own.
21. Don’t let your sales pipeline run dry
But what can happen next is that you realise you didn’t really plan for what you were going to do after the big contract was finished. Suddenly things go from crazily busy to frighteningly quiet.
The only way to prevent this happening is to make sure you continue marketing and pitching for things, even when you ARE busy. I can’t deny it’s hard to strike with right balance here, but if you want to (at least partly) control the inevitable “feast and famine” nature of freelancing, you have to constantly keep the new work coming in.
22. Keep an eye on the freelance boards
Even if you are fortunate enough to have plenty of work without having to join the masses pitching on the job boards, it still makes sense to log on and have a poke around regularly. It will help you know what the market is like in your area of business, and spot trends in what people are paying for services like yours.
23. Make sure you keep past work
You never know when something you did years ago may be a perfect example of work for a new client. I’ve personally written magazine articles and blog posts that I now have no record of, because I wasn’t organised enough about keeping records at the time.
It may not seem like that much of a priority when you have a hundred other things to do. However, you can take it from me that it’s really annoying when you know you have a really good example of a specific type of work, but you can no longer show it off.
Remember the world is changing…
The pandemic has undeniably changed everything about the way we work, but it has also had a profound effect on freelancers. Not only are there more of us, but perhaps a revised opinion on how we work – at home – which is now no longer radical.
“What’s been really interesting about the pandemic for freelancing is that there is now a globalisation of opportunity, because, whereas before, as a freelancer selling my services, it was absolutely imperative that I would meet somebody, sit down, have a coffee face-to-face in a meeting room – now I can work with people anywhere in the world,” says Grade. “More so than ever, I can be working anywhere in the world as a freelancer; I’ve just got to find clients who value me.”
Codea Rado agrees and adds that, as our numbers swell, so does our voice. “We are now growing as a collective voice,” she says. “There are more and more groups of freelancers saying, ‘I’m not going to work under these kinds of conditions’. There’s been so much campaigning work around the fact that freelancers have been one of the worst hit groups of the pandemic. Now that that conversation has been pushed to the mainstream, it will continue and hopefully spark some change. I think we are slowly heading in the right direction.”
. and that freelancing really is great
Despite its pitfalls, for every stressful tax return (get an accountant) and for every late payment, I wouldn’t trade freelancing in for the world; it remains my best career move to date. Too often we become wedded to a job and, by extension, the perception or value of us as defined by a specific workplace. For many people, this is not always a positive experience, nor one which stretches us to the upper limits of our potential. Freelancing can unlock this potential and allow you to define your self worth on your own terms. This was certainly the case for me, and the work I have done since taking this leap of faith has been fantastic. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. After all these years, it still makes me feel the way it did back in 2017 – terrified but exhilarated.
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