So, you are a Newbie and want to be Pro In Freelancing, right?
As a newbie freelancer, you’re living the dream—but are you making as much money as you could? As a self-employed company owner, you have the incredible chance to create a livelihood doing something you genuinely like.
You may determine when and where you work, as well as whatever projects you want to work on, and you can also take steps to increase your profits.
It’s a proven truth that as a freelancer, you earn more money.
According to a poll conducted by Upwork, a famous freelance employment site, 75% of freelancers make the same amount, if not more, than they did when working full-time.
Freelancers supplied 1.2 trillion dollars to the US economy even during the COVID-19 epidemic and a worldwide recession. That’s a 22% rise over the previous year.
At the same time, more people are realizing the benefits of being self-employed, independent contractors in terms of work-life balance.
Freelancing provides a living for 36% of Americans, and that number is continually rising, making it more vital than ever to make sure you’re doing everything you can to grab your fair share of all the profitable freelance work available.
Whether you’ve just been a freelancer for a few years or are a seasoned freelancer looking to expand your small business, there are some practical actions you can take to locate work and maximize your time and effort.
Some may necessitate more work and preparation today, but this investment will pay off in higher future profits for your company.
Make the most of every opportunity.
Even if you’re currently swamped with freelance work, it’s a good idea to keep your eyes out for new opportunities if you want to boost your profits.
Client budgets fluctuate, valued connections may depart, and, as we all know, an unanticipated occurrence such as a global pandemic may have an immediate impact on your small business.
But, most crucially, there may be other ventures that pay better and are more intriguing.
As a result, make it a habit to never pass up a solid employment lead or a reference from a client or coworker.
Always reach out to introduce yourself and learn more about any freelancing opportunities that arise.
You may discover that the job will not begin for another month, which would be ideal for your freelancing schedule.
Even if the scheduling doesn’t work out, it provides the client with the opportunity to learn about your freelancing past and keep you in mind for the next fantastic assignment.
Of course, saying it is easier than doing it. When you’re completely buried in freelance work, it’s difficult to switch gears and follow up on leads.
However, by planning ahead and having an up-to-date portfolio, résumé, and a selection of case studies on hand, you may make a positive first impression on a prospective and well-paying future freelancing customer.
Show off your work as soon as possible.
Putting together a portfolio of your greatest work requires thought and planning, which you probably don’t have time for if you’re juggling many freelancing projects.
Instead of panicking every time you come across a wonderful chance, set aside some time to assemble your finest work and make it available to clients via an internet link or PDF or have a supply of pre-packaged hard copies ready to go out by courier or postal.
Also, make sure your portfolio can be rapidly updated with your most recent projects and personalized to each client’s demands.
Basics of a portfolio:
State your specialty or expertise: Instead of “Freelance Writer,” be more specific so that you can attract the clients and job you want to perform.
Use terms like “speechwriter” or “internal communications specialist” in your job descriptions.
Samples of related work: This is your chance to show off your greatest work, as well as the services you offer and a quick description of how you help your clients achieve successful results.
Testimonials that are only one or two sentences long: Previous employers and clients have stated that you are a reliable collaborator who produces high-quality work.
Contact information: So that clients may quickly locate you for all of their future projects!
Always keep your resume up to date.
However, some firms and clients require a resume as part of their employment procedures. Or they may have advertised the job online and had a flood of responses, and they don’t have the time or resources to review everyone’s portfolio.
A current CV provides a brief overview of your freelancing experience and qualifications, allowing you to get to the top of the pile.
Maintain a database of case studies.
A potential customer may want to know more about you than just what you accomplished.
They’re curious about the strategic thinking, ideas, and skills that went into making your work. When you conclude a project, get into the practice of creating a brief case study.
When new opportunities arise, you’ll be able to pick from a library of excellent case studies to demonstrate to potential clients how you can satisfy their specific requirements.
Your case studies don’t have to take up a lot of time. In fact, it’s better to keep them short and sweet so they can tell straight away that you’re the perfect person for the job.
Describe the problem, for example, creating packaging for a new product aimed at teens.
Describe the services you offered and the solution you created.
Describe the procedure you followed.
- Share the successful outcome, such as a landmark product launch or a satisfied client.
Make yourself more valuable to your current customers.
It’s often simpler to start with what you have, so before you go seeking for new clients to boost your revenue, look at your current ones and see if there are any additional services you can provide.
After all, they already know how wonderful you are and how well you know your industry.
Demonstrate the extra value you can deliver with your fresh new ideas and services based on their business aims and goals.
Tell them you can apply your broad communications expertise to their internal e-newsletter and intranet site, for example, if you’ve been making external business speeches but know they want to ramp up their corporate message to workers.
Discuss how you may add exciting new features and establish microsites for specific events or initiatives if you develop their website.
Inquire about recommendations.
For every freelancer or self-employed professional, referrals are priceless! Just ask any electrician or plumber who has created a thriving small business based on pleasing client recommendations.
However, requesting clients for references is normal freelancing behavior, especially in creative industries like graphic design or writing and editing.
To be honest, many clients are gratified when they are requested to suggest others.
It demonstrates that you appreciate their perspective and feel that their proposal has the potential to influence others.
However, be certain you’re asking the appropriate individual.
Although being referred by the CEO of a company for which you designed a marketing brochure may seem more prestigious, you worked with the company’s Communications Director, and that’s the person who knows how you overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to deliver incredible work on time and on budget. This is also the individual who is most likely to have colleagues in charge of freelancer hiring.
Referrals and cold emailing are the primary sources of business for 61 percent of freelance writers earning more than $3,000 per month.
You should also ask a customer for a referral at the correct time—ideally towards the end of a project where the client is ecstatic with your work.
Also, double-check that the freelance referral makes sense.
Do not request a referral from a customer for services you did not offer. Remember that the quality of referrals they provide affects their reputation.
You can also seek references from your coworkers.
When another freelance writer is overworked and unable to take on new work, they may still earn their client’s confidence and loyalty by referring them to another outstanding freelancer—namely, you! It’s also a good idea to form a partnership with a freelancer in a relevant sector.
Having a web developer as a contact who knows you create great online copy, for example, might help you land some nice business.
Look for high-quality clientele.
Working with clients that appreciate what you do for them and will pay a premium for your talent and knowledge is the greatest method to boost your income potential as a freelancer.
Although the Mad Men era’s three-martini lunches are no longer available, word-of-mouth recommendations and face-to-face networking opportunities remain useful methods to connect with high-quality, higher-paying clients.
Technology saves the day
You may believe that freelancer platforms are a terrific method to obtain work when you first start out on your path to self-employment, but they should not be overlooked even if you are a seasoned freelancer.
Three out of four freelancers feel technology has made it simpler to find freelance work, according to a 2018 Upwork poll.
Some freelancer platforms, such as: catering to a broad range of freelancers from various sectors and backgrounds.
- Demand Media
There are also other freelancer-specific employment boards, like as
- Freelance Writing Gigs
- Demand Media/Leaf Group
- Journalism Jobs
- Freelance Writer’s Den
- freelance writing Morning Coffee Newsletter
Before reaching out to get employment, it’s a good idea to do some research on any firms you find on these freelancing networks.
Check to discover whether a friend or colleague works there full-time or has done freelance work for the firm in the past. It might be as simple as perusing your LinkedIn acquaintances.
They can tell you whether or not it’s a decent firm to work for as a freelancer, and they could even be able to help you get ahead of the competition by introducing you to the proper individuals.
Look for clientele with whom you’d want to work cooperatively.
Is there a firm you respect that values and compensates freelancers well?
Keep an eye out for them on freelancing sites, and don’t be afraid to approach them personally and offer your services.
Any independent contractor may find cold calling difficult, but you never know what you could achieve unless you try.
Research who in the organization is ideal to contact for the sort of work you do, and then write them an email describing why you want to collaborate with them—and, more importantly, what you can do for them.
Keep your email brief and sweet, and attempt to organize a call or meeting by concluding with a nice phrase like, “Let’s plan a call in the next few weeks to discuss how I can assist your firm in accomplishing its objectives.”
Establish yourself as a specialist in your subject.
For their freelancing jobs, higher-value customers frequently seek out the best of the best, so start establishing yourself as an expert in your sector.
If you have a specialized skill set, such as editing medical articles or having professional expertise in developing a unique user experience as a web developer, your unique offering might be your ticket to charging greater fees.
People will pay extra for professional work, just as they will for any specialized small business.
There are several ways for freelancers to promote their skills.
Mentor or teach: Community colleges, business schools, and adult education programs are all looking for teachers who can provide students with hands-on experience.
Mentorship programs are also available at several colleges. While building your image as an expert in your sector, you may share your business skills with an up-and-coming graphic designer or freelance writer.
Establish an online course: Instead of teaching in person, you may create an online course using your considerable experience.
Offer your course for free on your website or for a charge on a website like Udemy or Skillshare.com.
You may make some extra money in addition to establishing yourself as a subject matter expert.
Start a side company as a speaker: Do you have a specialization in technical writing or website development for a certain industry or industrial sector?
You have significant information and insight to offer with certain groups of people. Speaking at industry conferences is a wonderful method for freelancers to establish themselves as experts while also creating networking chances to sell services and locate new assignments.
It might also lead to you being a subject matter expert for the press when they require someone to comment on a certain topic.
Become a blogger: You’re already aware of the issues, trends, and hot subjects in your profession, so start blogging about them! Creating intriguing and distinctive content is a great method for clients to find you.
Use your blog to highlight your skills by blogging about difficult or complex projects you’ve worked on, and to attract new clients by sharing best practices. Increase your search engine optimization (SEO) ranks by blogging on your website.
Do you have a website but don’t know where to start? To house your portfolio, hire a freelance web developer to construct a website for you. The investment will be well worth it.
There are also some simple freelancing tools and resources, like Squarespace or WordPress, that may assist you in creating your own branded website, however, it won’t be as impressive as what you might do with the aid of a professional web developer, graphic designer, or writer.
Use your website to showcase your design, writing, editing, or web programming skills if you chance to be one of those professions.
Dive further into the proper material: A blog is a terrific place to start, but getting your work published in a trade magazine or other industry journal or website is even better.
Remember that if you need assistance with the actual writing, you can always hire a freelance editor to aid you.
Make better use of your time.
It’s normal to believe that you aren’t working hard enough if you aren’t generating as much money as you should be. However, it’s probable that you’re not making the most of your freelancing time.
Streamline your workflows.
Even a simple solution like adding a second monitor to your computer so you can conduct research on one screen while working on the other will save you time.
Imagine being able to move between screens just by moving your mouse from one to the other, without having to minimize or close any of them! Why isn’t everyone already doing this?
Another fantastic strategy to save time is to keep track of the chores you repeat for your freelancing projects and see if there is a quick and easy way to copy them rather than beginning over.
This may involve maintaining a range of design templates that can be tweaked for different tasks, or keeping an open file containing strong quotations and current data that you can return to throughout time rather than conducting fresh searches.
Reduce your administrative workload.
A typical freelance challenge is attempting to reduce the amount of time spent on time-consuming administrative duties.
Use invoicing software like Wave Invoicing instead of wasting time and energy producing a fresh invoice for each client.
It’s a free and simple method to make professional-looking invoices, keep track of your clients, and, most importantly, get paid quickly!
Finally, investing in project management tools such as Trello, Monday, or Asana can help you go all in.
You can manage all aspects of your business, from generating a work calendar to preparing contracts and ensuring you are taking advantage of tax deductions while meeting your tax requirements, by choosing software with a fantastic user experience.
Concentrate on high-paying employment.
Apart from looking at how you manage your time, it’s also a good idea to examine the sorts of clients you have.
You already know which clients you love dealing with and who pay you generously for your services. However, there are those other clients on whom you devote a significant amount of time, money, and mental energy.
At the end of the day, all independent contractors have tales of getting ripped off by specific customers.
If you want to make more money doing freelance work, you should concentrate on clients who pay highly.
However, before you start cutting clients, take some brief notes when you’re working on a project with them.
Take note of how clearly they explain their desires, as well as whether they are indecisive or do not thoroughly consider what they want you to accomplish.
This might assist you in seeing trends that you may not have seen previously.
Maybe you can fix some of these problems, but if not, it’s time to let go of those folks before they take up any more of your time and energy.
Examine how you are compensated.
The way professionals and small business owners are compensated can have a big impact on how much money they make.
Some occupations are better suited to hourly pay, while others are better suited to a set rate. If you create logos, for example, you could come up with the perfect design quickly—a tribute to your expertise and experience—so a fixed cost is more fitting than charging for only a few hours.
A speech, on the other hand, may undergo several unplanned alterations as a result of a changing business plan or new facts.
A set fee would not account for all of the additional labor you have to accomplish.
And who knows, if you charge an hourly cost, those clients who frequently change their minds could be more structured and explicit in their instructions.
Consider raising your commissions.
Electricity costs, auto insurance, and full-time income all rise in tandem as the cost of living rises. So, why are freelancers wary about raising their rates?
You must keep up with escalating costs as an independent contractor, and there are other crucial reasons why you may need to increase your rate.
Investigate what other freelancers in your field charge and see how your pricing stack up.
You might be astonished to learn that you’re charging far less. While being competitive is important, you don’t want to be renowned for your low-paying freelancing tasks.
If you’re often swamped with work, your abilities and knowledge are clearly in high demand, especially if you have a one-of-a-kind product. As a result, your customers are unlikely to object to a well-deserved rate hike.
First, put it to the test.
You may always test the waters by charging a higher charge for a new customer if you’re uncertain about upping your rates. This is also a smart method for increasing your overall rates.
Charge the higher cost to new consumers, then gradually roll it out to the remainder of your customers, giving them plenty of notice before the new prices take effect.
Every year, several of your clients increase their costs. They will understand if your raise is reasonable. Especially if your rates haven’t been raised in a long time.
Another thing to remember is that you will continue to improve at what you do. You’re probably also working more quickly and efficiently.
To be appropriately rewarded, you must improve your hourly or set rate; otherwise, the better you are at what you do, the less you will be paid!
Live the life of your dreams while growing your income.
You’re probably already aware of the numerous advantages of working as a freelancer over having a full-time job, such as a better work-life balance and the chance to make a career doing things you enjoy and are excellent at.
However, you aren’t truly living the freelance dream if you don’t believe you are making enough.
Make sure you’re ready to take advantage of any freelance employment chances that arise.
Attract clients that appreciate what you do, are prepared to pay you well for your skills and expertise, and are eager to provide you with exciting assignments.
Even if you don’t need to look for a job, you may always find ways to better manage your time.
You may join the exclusive group of freelancers who have raised their incomes and made their freelancing dreams a reality by putting in the time today.