Going freelance and starting to make money by being your own boss is an inspiring and exiting. The ability to work on your own terms and choose your work hours and the projects you want to work on is also a wish come true for many professional. This way professionals can monetize their knowledge and skills without having to travel every day to work and having someone else always watching over them.
However although freelancing may be great it’s not to say that is easy. Becoming successful freelancer demands learning new skills and finding clients to grow your business. As in every other business, the beginning is the most difficult when new freelancers are just starting. The new freelancers are the ones that make the most mistakes. If you too are planning to go freelance here are some tips to get you started:
Tip 1: Choose a niche. First step before going freelance is choose your niche, something you will specialize in and become expert or a go to man for that kind of work. If you are a writer you should decide on the subject you wish to write about. Choose a subject you are passionate about. This does not mean that you will be stick with your chosen niche through your entire freelancing career, but you could move to more niches once you become experienced in one niche.
Tip 2: Create a comfortable working environment. As a freelancer you will very likely from home where there are lot of distractions. First you will need to deal with working distractions like family members and TV. Take out the TV and set a set of rules that will give you necessary peace and quiet while you are working.
Tip 3: Be prepared for initial investment in your business. Every business requires some kind of initial investment. Freelancing is not excluded. Although since you will be working at home and not need an office there is still some initial investment needed. You will need at least a computer connected to internet. You will maybe also need a printer, phone fax and probably professional software. For instance if you are a graphic designer you will need a necessary software. Before you start shopping don’t go for the most expensive necessities immediately but settle for second hand computr or older versions of software before you start making money.
Tip 4: Use social media to promote your business. Social media like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and others are great way to promote your business and find clients. You can join groups and make contacts with potential clients. Social media are the fastest way to grow
Tip 5: Stay in contact with your clients. One of the greatest mistakes inexperienced freelancers make is not following up on their projects. By not following up on their work they may be losing returning clients. A few days after you finish a project for a client contact your client and aski him if he is satisfied with your work.
Tip 6: Build a portfolio. Building a portfolio is very important for new freelancers. Your portfolio will be your best opportunity to showcase your skills to potential clients and increase your probability of being hired.
Tip 7: Collect positive testimonials from your clients. Another thing that can help you with constant supply of work are positive testimonials from former clients. Potential clients are more likely to hire freelancers with positive feedback.
Tip 8: Be prepared to work for less money than you deserve. In the beginning it is advisable to charge your clients less than the competition. By costing your clients less than competition will increase your chances of being hired and build your reputation. Once your reputation is established you can start charging as much as you think you are worth because potential clients will be ready to spend extra money if you are considered a go to man in your area of expertise.
Tip 9: Over delivering is the way to make your clients happy. The best thing to do to get positive feedback from your clients is to deliver more that you promise. Things such as finishing ahead of schedule or deliver higher quality service than expected will make your clients very happy and that way you will build your reputation.
Tip 10: Join more than one freelance websites and job boards. There are many websites online where freelancers can connect with potential clients. Join as many of them to increase your chances in landing your first project. Freelancers can join following websites: Odesk, Elance, Freelancer.com, Peopleperhour, ProbloggerJobboards, etc.