Being a freelancer does sound like a lot of fun, independence and freedom, but in reality, it’s a bit more complicated and becoming a successful freelancer requires a lot of preparation, dedication and work.
So when you see or meet someone who is a freelancer, you usually hear the story how their life is perfect – they have a lot of free time, work whenever they feel like it, no boss above their head, no strict rules, their home is their office and the best of all they can work from bed and no fixed schedule is required.
However, in reality, this is not the case. Well, you would have some kind of freedom, but… it’s hard work that precedes all that independence.
You already know the benefits of this type of work, and we will give you a couple of tips on how to become a successful freelancer.
Pick a job you would like to do
Deciding what could you do as a freelancer is a first step and it’s not picking something that sounds interesting to you, it is choosing something you are qualified for and very good at it. So, maybe programming sounds like fun to me, but if I have no idea how to code, it’s better to skip that idea. Unless you are willing to invest time and money in educating yourself, which could be a good move.
If you are tired of your day job and dream of being a successful writer, software developer, composer, teacher, web designer etc, it’s good to undergo a training process, a course or anything you find useful for your future career.
Connect with people
Becoming independent doesn’t mean that you can work alone, because your connections are your way to get some work. Being a great artist or web designer doesn’t help you if no one knows about it or there is no one you know that could provide you with some work.
So, try to become visible on social networks, and especially on business networks like LinkedIn.
Create a profile and fill it out completely, providing as much information as you could. When you meet someone new, on and offline, try chatting about their job, and tell them about your qualifications and willingness to start immediately. So maybe they could know someone who needs an expert in your field. Don’t be shy and always ask for a contact, if they know such person.
Get a reference or a recommendation
Nobody likes to experiment with important projects, relying on someone they have never met, and someone that none of his connections can recommend or confirm that it’s a reliable person.
So, you need to show and present yourself as a worth of trust by getting a recommendation from your previous co-workers, employers or associates.
If still there is nobody that could do it, you need to make your own advertisement. You can do some things free of charge, do some work that can be your unique ID, through which people could see what you are capable of doing, your abilities and skills.
Accept every project that can help you grow
Don’t be very choosy at the beginning. You need clients, you need those who are ready to take a risk and experiment with someone who is (maybe) new in the field.
Appreciate any experience you could earn and learn how to grow. Learn on your mistakes. Constantly improve yourself.
Be patient. Work hard. And one day you will be able to say that you are your own boss, you set the rules and follow them.
Until that, keep working on your future career path and remember “Don’t give up!”. Every beginning is hard, but persistence is the key to success.
Written by Marko Tomcic