As any person makes money on the Internet right from home, selling their knowledge and skills for good money. In this article, you will learn the 12 steps required to be successful as a freelancer.
1. Do not quit your job (until you have established a constant flow of orders)
If you are just starting to freelance, do not rush to quit your current job. You need a constant income of funds and your permanent job can be insurance for the period of time while you are establishing a flow of freelance orders.
2. Build your portfolio (an album of your quality work)
The customer must see what you are capable of. Make several projects or works: one project is just for yourself, the second – for friends or just for imaginary customers, but be sure to do everything at the highest level! So in a short period of time you will have a ready-made portfolio. Replenish and update it constantly.
3. Sign up for freelance and portfolio sites
These sites are another good source of orders. Choose a few basic ones, register, tell about yourself, your professional experience and post examples of your work.
Here are some of these sites:
4. Work on your communication skills
Whether you’re a 3D artist, animator, graphic designer, or web developer, your communication should be simple, active, and effective. You will have to write emails, communicate online, write business proposals, and talk to customers.
If, during the discussion of the order, you feel that the task is too difficult, do not rush to refuse and inform that it is beyond your power. Focus on the positive things: say that you will read everything in more detail, learn how it is done, and most likely you will. So you show the customer your initiative and willingness to take on any task.
5. Set working hours and isolate distractions
Freelancing is a free job where no one controls you except yourself. Therefore, it will be much more effective to work if you allocate a certain amount of time for this. It doesn’t have to be work from 8 to 5, but any well-planned time will help keep everything in order and pace.
Organize your day responsibly: make a plan, stick to it, and focus on your goals. Focus on the result as much as possible and isolate any distractions like social media, chatting with friends, a sofa in front of the TV, etc. These are traps that crave your attention and you may not notice how an hour or even half a day will pass without productivity.
Freelancing is, first of all, responsibility for yourself and your work. This is not work for someone, in a team where everything is organized, managers take care of sales and finding clients, the accounting department is responsible for bills and their payment, the director makes sure that the whole team functions efficiently.
As a freelancer, you are your own director, your own accountant and your own sales manager. All responsibility is on you – you find clients, you serve them and you make sure that they pay the bills. It’s not easy, but in exchange you get freedom! One hundred percent freedom, complete control of your time and place of work.
7. Improve yourself and it will help you earn more
If you want to earn more, then expand the range of your capabilities and skills, think about what else is relevant and needed by customers. For example, if you create a character – suggest animation or rigging, create an interior design – offer rendering in a game engine, create a website – offer promotion, etc.
8. Approve the information in writing
All details (deadline, payment, requirements) must be approved by e-mail or SMS (telephone conversation is not suitable), in case there is a misunderstanding and proof is needed.
9. Offer your services actively
Have you met with something that could be improved? Feel free to suggest doing it! For example, if you saw an unattractive menu in a restaurant or an old, poorly-working site, or not very high-quality animation in an advertisement, make your own version that will be of excellent quality and offer it to the company instead of their weak version. In most cases, you will immediately receive a client and payment for the completed order!
10. How to know and how to set prices?
There are many ways to set a price, and here are some tips:
Let the customer announce their price, sometimes this leads to pleasant surprises;
Pay attention to who your customer is. Individuals and small companies are usually looking for low to medium prices and good quality. Large companies and corporations are looking for better quality and are willing to pay more.
If you are just starting out in freelancing, then you may not have experience in determining the price of a project. In this case, consult with your friends or freelancers who have been working in this industry for several years. Also, you can contact other freelancers on behalf of the customer and request their assessment of the current project.
11. Offer guarantees and a safe deal: both to the customer and to yourself
Both you and the customer must be secured, and specifically, a good and safe settlement system must be provided: the customer must not risk upfront, and you must not risk your time and work. The fact is that there are a lot of scammers on the Internet who are ready to place an order, receive it, but not pay. Or vice versa – some scammers posing as freelancers wait for payment and disappear. It is important to minimize risks, both your own and the customer’s.
Here’s how you can do it roughly:
- The customer transfers you an advance payment of 10-25% of the project cost;
- You do part of the work, show or send it to the customer;
- The customer transfers the next part of the payment to you, for example, so that the advance payment is 50% of the project cost;
- You finish all the work and show them to the customer remotely (part of the work can be sent, but do not send everything until the remainder of the payment is received);
- The customer sees the result and pays the rest;
- You send the customer all the work done.
12. Don’t be afraid to say “No”
Sometimes you may feel that the project, customer or his communication style is “not on your wavelength”. In such cases, feel free to say “No”, this will save both your time and your energy, which you can direct to another interesting project.
If this article was useful to you, share it with your friends, they may be looking for this information. Good luck and take care of yourself!