5 tips for a better freelancing career in 2021
A new year is upon us, and with it comes the stress of not knowing whether this one will be better than the last and whether our career will see new heights.
I don’t know about you, but I like having a roof over my head, money to eat, and some left to treat myself, and as such, I try to always reach new heights in my work, because if we’re not moving forward, then we’re sinking my friend, and I don’t know how to swim.
Every single human out there, wants to have a much better year than the one before, especially when the year before was 2020, but the only question is, are you willing to put in the work? Are you willing to sacrifice the time you spend sleeping in and touching yourself, with work that can improve your life, and the lives of those you love? If the answer is yes, then this list is for you.
In a world governed by speed, and everyone around you running toward something, being patient, seems like a virtue only good parents and chivalrous knights have. Who wants to wait around while a client is trying to explain their ideas and second-guessing their every choice? I’ll tell you who, people who want to have long term clients, not a one-time payment.
Most clients are putting in their life savings into their ideas and startups, so having them doubt themselves and doubt you at times, is more than understandable, a good freelancer will know that they need to work with their clients to get over those doubts, and to be patient with them as they navigate the ruthless and wildlands called entrepreneurship.
Be patient, respect them and they will respect you in return, and would never consider finding someone else for their future work, but lose your patience and they’re gone forever.
“Trees that are slow to grow, bear the best fruit.”
Go the extra mile
Most consultants or freelancers out there, work like robots. They get a list of needed items, and accomplish everything on that list, send in an invoice, and get paid. Just to make myself clear, there is nothing wrong with that, after all, you’re being paid to develop what’s on that list, and chances are, if you go out of your way to fix or add something, you will not be paid for it. However, once in a while if you see something else that needs fixing, and you have the time to take care of it, your clients will remember and appreciate that, and they will be your biggest marketers.
You have no idea how many contracts I got thanks to clients I took 30 minutes out of my day to help, after all, a good developer will give you what you want, whereas a great developer will give you what you need.
Think about it, how many freelancers in your field are out there? Millions? Probably more. How many of them do you think are going out of their way to help? Not many I assure you. So if for nothing else than to stand out from the crowd, and secure a client that will keep on bringing you new work, you should do it.
“It’s never crowded along the extra mile.”
— Wayne Dyer
Organize your day
The biggest problem with being a freelancer or consultant, is that you lose the structure an office job would have provided, and as such, you will start to sleep in more and more, drink out longer and longer, and within a few years time, you’ll be working the bare minimum to support yourself and family because you just can’t be bothered to do more.
Creating a structure for your life, where you know when you will work, rest, eat, and indulge in your hobbies, will make all the difference in the long run.
Start with something as simple as scheduling when you will work and for how long, when to have meetings with clients, and when will you look for work or send proposals. It might not seem like much, but it’s what will drive you to do your work more efficiently since you know that in a few hours or wherever you’re going to be able to walk away from your computer and do wherever you want.
One more thing, if you’re thinking that you went into freelancing for freedom and not having anyone tell you what to do, then think again numb-nuts, the structure is what will keep you in business.
“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.”
— Benjamin Franklin
Learn how to set your goals
Most people when asked to set goals, think of the most outlandish things, because in their mind if you don’t aim for the moon, you’ll never reach the stars or some made-up crap like that. The problem with aiming for the moon is that you’ll break your neck staring at it from all the way down here without ever finding the ladder or first step that will get you there.
Instead of wanting to make a million bucks a year, how about setting a goal to increase your earnings by 10% every month. Now that’s a more realistic and achievable goal, that will get you to that million dollars eventually.
A trip of a thousand steps starts with one, so don’t try to rush things and run your ass off for the first 500 steps than struggle to finish the rest, this is not a race, it’s a marathon, you’re in it for the long haul, and for those people who wants to get rich fast, it ain’t happening, there is nothing that’s free or easy about money, sure you hear about some lucky bastards out there who won the lottery now and then, but why don’t you google what’s the percentage of people who won the lottery that actually had better lives after five years of winning it, spoiler alert: Not many. Simply because easy come, easy go.
So one step at a time, and you’ll get everything you’ve ever desired.
“If you have a dream, keep it. But write it down and take appropriate actions to see it manifest.”
― T.F. Hodge
Improve your online presence
I can’t stress this one enough! Why would a client trust you with their money, if they know nothing about you after a quick google search? For all, they know you could be a conman, a scammer, or even a Nigerian prince.
Always work on making yourself known, on shaping an image that inspires trust, because only then will you start getting the good contracts, not just scraps to get by with, after all, in our day and age, image is everything, and yours need to be cleaner than a coward’s armor.
“Getting smart about having an online presence is one of the strongest sales tactics you could consider.”
— Toni Clayton-Hine
There is more than one road to take to improve your business, and now that you know my top 5 tips for a better freelancing career, go forth and conquer, unless of course, you’re still straggling to land your first client.
If that’s the case, subscribe to my 7 days free course on how to land your first client and you’ll be beating off clients with a stick.