With the job market being as competitive as it is, many people are finding that freelancing brings many benefits that regular office workers don’t enjoy. Freelancers can earn as much, or even more, money than other workers without being tied to any one company, and they can have full control of their time.

Why Freelancing is Awesome

Like any type of work, freelancing has advantages and disadvantages, although the former do outweigh the latter.

Here are some of the advantages:

  • You don’t have to work eight hours every weekday. You are your own boss and can decide when and how long to work. As long as you meet your own deadlines, you can shuffle your schedule however you would like.
  • You can have as many clients as you want. Unlike regular employees who serve only one employer, a freelancer can accept projects from different types of clients at any time.
  • Freelancers, especially those who work online, can stay at home to work. They are not required to set up an office, but rather, can work wherever they feel comfortable (coffee shops, on the beach, in the bedroom, etc.).

Tips for New Freelancers

Now that we know some of the benefits, let’s talk about what a budding freelancer needs to do to succeed in their line of work.

1. Know What You Want to Specialize In

Think of freelancing like starting up a business (because it is a business).

You need to determine what you love doing and what you are the most passionate about if you hope to be attractive to clients and if you want to be able to consistently freelance for a long time as a career.

You will have difficulty in succeeding if you do not really know the area you want to work in.

You need to determine where the finish line is, and then set a plan for getting there.

Read this article for ideas and inspiration: How Focusing on Today’s Work is Costing You Tomorrow’s.

2. Build Your Network

With freelancing, you can never be certain how strong your clientele will be at any given time. Sometimes you will have a lot of clients, while other times, you will have very few.

During dry spells, you will need to get other people to refer new clients to you. In order to do this, you should put some time into building good relationships with other people in your industry.

3. Use Contracts!

Before a project starts, you should already have prepared a contract to make sure everything is clear and that a price for the work has been agreed upon. Contracts offer you some legal protection against non-paying clients and disagreements.

4. Give Great Customer Service

You need to make your clients happy. If they’re pleased with the outcome of your work and have enjoyed the experience of working with you, they’ll come back and will recommend you to their contacts.

When clients require certain adjustments or make certain demands, be flexible and accommodate their requests as much as possible.

Learn how to make your clients happy by avoiding the seven sins you can commit when dealing with your clients.

5. Ask for Feedback

You need to know how you are performing in order to know how to improve.

You could give your clients a short online questionnaire to rate your service (you can use Google Forms for this), or invite them to write a short testimonial.

Read some tips on how to get feedback effectively. If you’re afraid of getting your work critiqued, read up on how to deal with design critiques well.

6. Give Freebies and Discounts

Ultimately, as a business, your goal is to earn money. But you still need to let loose a bit and occasionally give your loyal clients some freebies, or at least give a little extra service for free. That way, you’ll keep them satisfied and grateful.

Are You Ready to Become a Freelancer?

Remember that even if you hold a day job, you can still freelance on the side.

The extra income can be a great help.

What Are Your Tips and Advice for New Freelancers?

Can you offer us some tips and advice for becoming a good freelancer? Could you share your story on how you got into freelancing? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

* Source of thumbnail image: “Justin Long Freelance Camp 2012.jpg”

Author:

Irol Trasmonte is a 3D/Motion Graphics Artist from Dubai. He's the founder and editor of mycreativedaddy.com. He's also a huge fan of photography and graphic design. Contact him via email at mycreativedaddy@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @mycreativedaddy.