With few millennials having interest in working at an office on a full-time basis, freelancing has never seemed more attractive, and if done right, more financially rewarding. Here’s how to launch a successful freelancing career.
At a glance, freelancing may seem like a daunting career choice, especially when starting out. There are some things you have to deal with, from some people not taking you seriously to late payments it’s one career option that needs a thick skin. Just like starting a business, freelancing is not meant for everyone, since it’s the commission you hustle hard for that pays your bills. And no, there is nothing glamorous about being your own boss or having uncertainties about your next pay cheque but If you are at your work desk, considering starting a freelancing career, there are some factors that you have to bear in mind before you jump ship. Here’s how to build a successful full time freelancing career:
Be mentally prepared: Freelancing needs a lot of discipline and hard work to prove yourself because you are as good as your last job. Understand that, at first, it won’t be easy building a relationship with potential clients but if you show passion and an understanding of what your clients need you are heading in a right direction.
Put a portfolio together: While many people pile up qualifications (which is a great thing for your growth and knowledge) companies care about what you’ve done before and how you will contribute to their growth. Build up a portfolio that you can present when you pitch for work. Remember that you might not be the only person pitching for freelancing opportunities so find ways to stand out through research and effort in your presentations.
Knock on every door that you believe needs your services: But don’t forget to keep in touch with your immediate contacts. Your networks (friends, family or social media contacts) might act as your referral and could assist with the introduction you need. Always follow up and keep in contact with your potential clients.
Use your time wisely: Freelancing needs a lot of discipline, especially since you control the number of hours you put into your work. When you eventually find a work-related opportunity never leave it for the last minute and always present it to the best of your ability because the last thing you need for your career is to have a company that regrets investing their time and money on your work.
Consider yourself as a brand: I always advocate for using social media to find opportunities, make LinkedIn your friend, join shared-interest communities on Facebook, guest blog or contribute articles on your expertise, attend industry events and leave a memorable impression on your contacts. Make yourself and your work known on platforms that your clients use.
Be persistent and believe in yourself: People buy into what you sell them. You have to believe in yourself and in what you can offer on the table. Being a freelancer is not easy at all and you have to create a brand that companies and people want to work with. Not all doors will be open, not every proposal will be accepted and you might even go months without getting a gig but if you persist, the rewards are worth it.
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