Freelance is fast becoming a new work model that is gaining traction worldwide. As of 2023, freelancers account for 1.57 billion people out of a global workforce of 3.38 billion. While these numbers signal profitability, one must recognise the severe competitiveness in the freelancing space.
Unsurprisingly, the perks of flexible work hours, global work opportunities and higher earning prospects make it worth a try. But how can you be successful at freelancing?
Thankfully, there are proven strategies to make your journey to becoming a successful freelancer much more doable.
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Find your Niche
If you are considering getting into the freelancing game long-term, you must start by settling on your niche. Leveraging your existing skillsets would be a great way to break in if you work full-time. Some popular niches include writing, web design, social media management and data analysis.
After that, research your competition to guide you in understanding the profitability of the niche and help you position yourself. For instance, by searching for “freelance web designer” on Linkedin or Instagram, you could see existing freelancers in that space and take it up from there.
Build your Portfolio
Do you want prospective clients to perceive you as an expert? Your portfolio must reflect this at all times. Ideally, your portfolio should showcase your best work to prospective clients since it determines the basis of their decision to either work with you or not.
While there are many portfolio platforms, you must choose one that works best for your niche. For instance, if you are a web designer, Behance is your best bet, and for content writers, you can consider using Journo, Authority or Contently.
Choose your Platform
Once you’ve chosen your niche and have your portfolio ready, you can focus on finding the right channel to advertise your availability to take on freelance projects. From researching existing freelancers in your desired niche, you would have seen where they hang out.
While some prefer freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, others prefer to build their brand around their niche on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and even Facebook to attract customers.
Freelancing allows you to work on your terms. However, since you would be working at your own pace, it is easier to get trapped in the web of procrastination. Therefore, time management and project management skills are essential for excellent and timely delivery.
Intentionally create a schedule you can stick by and use project management tools like Trello to help you stay organised and track your progress.
Technology is rapidly transforming the way we do things. Freelancers who stand out from the competition are up-to-date and can leverage learning to adapt to trends.
Avoid the temptation of complacency at all costs and be dedicated to consistent learning.
Freelancing is no doubt a rewarding career opportunity. But if you aim to be successful at it, you should be ready to go above and beyond in improving your craft and building your brand around your chosen niche.