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How to Become a Successful Freelancer

Transitioning into freelancing was one the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.  I exchanged my 9-5 for a life of freedom where I can earn and still be there for my family. I’m not limited to space and I work anywhere I want to, whenever I want to.

 

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With a 9-5 job, I was dependent on my boss for how much I take home every month. But freelancing empowered me to determine my income. Thanks to freelancing I am my own boss. Many freelancers get to this point and coast. However, there are greater opportunities freelancing can give you when you push the bar.

Even though I’ve been really successful as a freelancer, I know there’s so much more for me. There is so much more I can achieve and want to achieve. And that should be your mindset if you want to succeed as a freelancer.

 

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Here are 10 tips you can use to raise the bar and very a successful freelancer.

Treat freelancing like a real business

Just because you work from home doesn’t make freelancing less than a business. You need to plan, strategize and track your progress. Your freelance business is a business and you need to treat it as one. Wake up early. Do the work. Make the calls. Send the emails. Do your taxes. Invest and budget for the next month. Until you take your work seriously, no one will take you seriously.

Maintain good relationship work your clients

It’s so much easier to get your current clients to keep coming back than it is for you to get new clients. So whenever a client wants to hire your service, keep it at the back of your mind that it has be on the long term. Be polite and helpful at all times. Keeping in touch with your clients and asking of their welfare is a great way to go about it.

Put your work out there

Don’t slow down your efforts of showcasing your work. Use social media as a means of letting your audience know about your latest projects. That way you are increasing publicity. Word of mouth is a powerful means of marketing. So the more you put your work out there for people to appreciate your talent the more people will know and want to hire you.

Continuously improve your skills

There is a lot of competition and one of the best ways to stand out is to have outstanding skills. Invest in courses or programmes when you can learn about the latest techniques and develop yourself at your craft. You need to always stay on top of your game.

Pitch, pitch, pitch

I am the pitch QUEEN! I am forever sending a pitch. Waiting for clients doesn’t make the clients come knocking on your door. You have to go out there and take your business to them. Search for potential clients and pitch your services to them. Pitch from the angle of adding value or solving a problem and not with a desperate tone of “Please hire me”. Always maintain the upper hand.

 

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Network

You’re not an island of knowledge. Attend meet-ups, masterminds or conferences if you can. Join Facebook groups and Twitter chats. Socialize and meet with people in your industry. Learn from them. Rub minds together. Share your problems. This will give you a fresh perspective in your freelancing business.

Set up systems to simplify your work

Automation is the order of the day. With automation tools you get to do more in less time. Since time is your biggest investment you need to. Find a way to save as much time as you can. Schedule your social media posts, email sequences and batch up content where you have to.

Move towards generating passive income

Raise your income through programs, packages, ebooks and courses. Passive income allows you to make money even in your sleep. It is an avenue to diversify your income and move from only being a service-based entrepreneur to a product-based entrepreneur. Let’s be realistic, you can only handle a certain number of people at a time.

Hire extra hands

If you want to be successful as a freelancer then you need to have the mindset of expansion. As more people get to know you and want to hire you, you’ll have so much work on your plate. Hire people who can join your team. That way you can accept more jobs and still be able to deliver on time with good quality intact.

Give value in your community

There are so many people looking for solution to problems that you can solve. Although it’s great to be paid as a problem-solver, it’s also good to share your expertise with people who desire to learn. Don’t ever think that this will reduce your workload or patronage. This is one of the most effective ways of showing people in your community that you’re an expert and a go to person in your niche.

 

Do you have any freelance tips to share?

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When and How to Sack a Difficult Client

As a freelancer you’ll come across clients of all shapes, sizes, attitudes and temperaments. And if you’re just starting off, more often than not you may come across problem clients. If you are a freelancer, and you have not experienced a difficult client before, then you are still testing the waters. You become a pro, once you have come across these clients and have handled the issues appropriately, so brace yourself for impact.

Many of us are pushed into the world of self-employment or additional income, because we need to run our own business, make our own money, and follow our own path. Well, part and parcel of being your boss is to know when and how to sack a difficult client, learn we must!

I always knew I was going to run my own business. I was not cut out for the regular 9 – 5, and I couldn’t find a job that I really liked. I started seriously toying with idea of going self-employed during my prenatal days. I was pregnant with twins, with no way to afford childcare, I knew I just had to stay at home for some years, because there was no way around it. Well no other way I was comfortable with, I should add. Which led me to this point. And now, I won’t have it any other way.

 

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Although it takes time before you start to get your foot in on the type of clients who are a perfect fit for you, even the best of us have moments when we have to face the problem client. Let me assure you that you don’t have to deal with the wrong clients all your life. You can learn how to identify who’s the right client for you and who you should stay away from.
In this article, I’ll let you in on my best tips on when you should let go of your client and how you can do that in a way that is painless keeping your freelance business intact.
When is the Right Time to Sack a Client?
Before you even start your freelance business, you should have a basic idea of the type of people you’d want to serve. Although your target audience will evolve and be streamlined as time goes by, your major focus must be on attracting such people to your business.
However, when you find yourself entertaining the wrong client, the best time to fire your client is the very minute you notice they were not your ideal client. For this you need to be extra vigilant and sensitive to the warning signs.
Never underestimate your intuition or gut feeling. When you feel that you and your client are not flowing on the same frequency, you need to step back. Likewise, when you notice an inadequate behavior from your client either during the briefing or at the preliminary stages you have to draw the line.

 

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How Should You Sack Your Client?
Sacking your client is a lot more than just giving them the boot. Here are some things you should note:
1. Don’t be evasive. Be direct and honest.
It’s only natural for you to want to avoid a client you don’t like working with or be evasive in your approach. That’s a wrong move.
You have to firmly stand your ground and face your client. Be honest with your reasons for not wanting to continue working for your client.
2. Be polite.
It’s important to make sure that as you’re telling your client your reasons for not working with him or her, you remain polite at all times. Settling your differences amicably will help in keeping your integrity intact. The worst thing you can ask for is someone who will give you a bad name. It pays to be polite.
3. Be helpful as you’re letting your client go.
This is a good way of sacking your client on a good note. After telling your client you don’t want to work for them anymore advise them on the possible steps they can take.
You can even recommend your client to someone who you think will be in a better position to offer their services to your client. This way you do not leave your client hanging. They will appreciate your help and you’ll make a positive impression of your business. This way you keep the doors always open for new prospects and referrals.
Sacking a client can be difficult, but it is something most freelancers have to do every now and again. It’s not healthy to have to deal with someone you don’t enjoy working with. You should focus your time and energy on serving people who resonate with you.
As a freelancer you are your own boss. You have control over who you want to work with. And so long as you are clear on who your audience is, you will continue to have the clients who are a perfect fit for you.

 

Have you ever sacked a client before? How did it go? Do you have to deal with difficult clients regularly?

 

*Collaborative post.

 

Where to Find Freelance Clients

Finding regular clients is an issue for many freelancers. I know I have struggled in the past to find regular clients, and it’s quite understandable as clients are the life wire of any business whether it is offline or online, and sometimes it seems like there are more freelancers than there are available clients.

 

 

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Having a clear strategy on how to find and retain your clients is one way to stay on top of your freelancing career. Having a platform, knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are, and knowing your clients would help you find and retain them. Here are some facts to have in mind –

 

  1. Having a blog or website where you can showcase your previous projects or your works-in-progress is one way to attract your clients. Many clients always ask to see examples of previous work, so having a platform to showcase your portfolio easily is one of the best things you can do for your business.
  2.  Get clear about who you want to serve. Now that you’re a freelancer you need to have a clear picture of your ideal clients. No matter how difficult or easy it is to find clients, the worst thing to experience is to work with clients who do not go down well with you.
  3.  Know your selling points. What is it about you that makes you standout from your competition? When you leverage on this you will put yourself in a better position to find and retain your clients.

 

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With all this said and done, here are a few places (out of several others) where you can find your ideal freelance clients:

 

  1. Social media

Millions of people log in to at least 2-3 social media platforms daily. This makes social media platforms a boiling pot full of job opportunities. The trick is to consistently show your skills and let people know that you are up for hire. For example, if you’re a photographer you can upload your photographs using the relevant tags.

  1. Job boards

This is a great place you can find clients. Potential clients list the services that they need on job boards and all you have to do is go through the list and find the suitable job just for you and contact the client. It’s as simple as that. Make sure that you put your best foot forward by letting your potential client know about your experience and what makes you better than your competition.

3. Referrals

The best marketing tool is word of mouth. Word of mouth is gold, it goes around faster than anything else, and the fact that someone refers you adds extra validation to your skills. But first things first, you need to do a good job to be worthy of a referral. Once you are good at what we do, you are bound to get a referral.

4. Offline engagements

Meet-ups, conferences or gatherings create the perfect avenue to tell people about what you do and get clients. The informal setting creates a relaxed atmosphere which could help in developing a strong relationship with those you meet. Most times, your ability to easily get along with people can positively influence the rate at which people will want to hire you or refer you to those who need your services.

 

Are you a freelancer? Where do you find your clients?