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August 20, 2017
 

5 Great Tips to Help New Freelancers Grow

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Are you a freelancer now? Congratulations! You have already made one of the bravest decisions that any man (or woman) can to take charge of your life. You have decided not to tolerate any more interference from a boss and you want to enjoy the freedom of earning from doing what you really love. Great. But the good part ends right there. The hard part is yet to come. Especially when it finally dawns on you that you do not have a guaranteed paycheck at the end of the month. Therefore, your business plan should include not just establishing yourself as a new freelancer but also how to grow as a freelancer. Listed down are five things that will help you grow and survive when the going gets tough, as it will sometimes.

1. Find Your Niche

Yes, a lot of you out there might think that it will limit access to well-paid jobs, but it is important to realize that there are thousand of others who think the same way and offer not so great knowledge and expertise when applying. Niche jobs like health writers, finance writers, wordpress developers, social networking experts demand an expertise that goes beyond working on similar projects or browsing the net for details. They looks for solid experience, background and passion for that field and if you find that niche and nurture it, you have just differentiated yourself from the crowd. Your resume is focused and targeted at the kind of employers you want to work with. That dramatically raises your chances of landing work that you would enjoy too. If this is not enough to motivate you, then you will find that niche jobs are usually better-paid than general ones. So, find out your niche.

2. Build Profile Accordingly

No one can argue anymore how important an active profile is for getting good work. There are multiple, easy-to-access and free ways of building attractive profiles online, yet there are so few who make full use of these opportunities. Either you find no online (and offline) profiles for lots of freelancers or they look so disorganized and uninteresting, potential employers actually look away. I cannot stress enough on the need to have a online presence with a well-defined profile to get interesting and well-paying jobs. Have a clean, clutter-free website/blog and the only purpose of it should be to highlight your expertise as a freelancer in your chosen niche. Employers have better opinions about freelancers who make an effort to look good, and your self confidence increases considerably as well.

3. Customer Delight, Not Customer Satisfaction

Once you have landed a job, it is easy to lay back and relax. After all, you have a job for a while now and you are earning too! That's human nature, and you need to fight it. Success in a freelancing career comes through repeat customers who just cannot adjust to another freelancer after working with you. And that comprises high quality work, quick turnover, listening skills and most of all, empathy for your customer. If you do this, your customer will not be satisfied. They will be absolutely delighted, and that is the key to retaining them and getting repeat orders. That also often translates to new work through them. There is no better marketing for your business than a customer spreading the word about you. And it is not rocket science as well. All it needs is dedication and a will to deliver the best. The sooner you ingrain this in your business and in yourself, the faster you will grow.

4. Newsletters, Great Way to Keep in Touch

Not every client can be a repeat client. They might have a great experience with you, but their situation can make it impossible for them to give you more work. They might not have any! In such cases, there isn't much that you can do. Yet there is no harm in still following up. Months after, or in those lean periods when you know work could turn scanty, it is a good thing to just follow up with them to enquire about any possible work. This may run the risk of sounding too desperate to some freelancers. Instead, keeping in touch with all your clients through periodic newsletters is a great way to let them know that you are open for work. A Newsletter is extra work, but it is an investment that can pay off handsomely, especially when you might have trouble getting more work. After this, if you drop a line enquiring for more work, it doesn't sound so desperate. Also, Newsletters are also a great way to highlight your professional growth and generate interest amongst the recipients in your services. You have no idea what innovative opportunties might crop up.

5. Passive Income

Last, but not the least. You have that need for some extra cash to buy that irresistible scarf teasing you or for a guilt-free splurging on your birthday. Earning income passively is not easy but not rocket science either in this age of internet. In fact, there are lot of avenues in which you can do just that. Earning through Google AdSense with ads on your blog (which you need to update pretty frequently with interesting content, btw), ready-made product packages like web templates, unpublished niche articles, How-to eBooks, are a few ways to generate passive income. List down what you can do to generate such income and work on it. It might be hard work initially but not for long. And do not forget to mention these in your newsletter. It is an excellent way to let your customers know you offer these as well.

All in all, it boils down to how you present yourself to your customers. It is like a face-to-face job interview and then your performance appraisal year on year. You dress up smartly and go into an interview with a wonderful CV. That creates the first impression and perhaps goes a long way towards getting hired. Your niche market approach and online (and offline) profile will that virtually for you. In a permentant job, once hired, they track your progress on various parameters. That's where your customer delight, newsletters and innovative ways of passive income comes in. Do them well and your chances of steady income increase.

Freelancing was never easy. You do not have a giant company to pay you every month whether you work or not. But freelancing is the sweet freedom that makes you more responsible and a better human being. Do your absolute best, and you will grow both as a business and as a human being.

 


 

Shilpa is a freelance writer and founder of www.writeasy.net, which delivers high-quality content on the web. Please visit her site for more details.

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Comments
 
Mira Maducdoc
October 29, 2011 - 6:08 pm
You are right that freelancing is never that easy.These tips can hepl me grow as freelancer.Nice one you got here..keep it up.
 
Nettie
June 28, 2011 - 10:31 am
Thanks Coltin for your kind comments. Glad it was helpful to you. Nettie - thank you for your feedback. Much appreciated. You can email me if you happen to know any good copy editor. You can find my email id on my website.
 
Nettie
June 24, 2011 - 1:06 am
Good content, but you need a good copy editor. Your writing is overly wordy and sometimes stilted, and your grammar isn't great.
 
Coltin
June 22, 2011 - 12:40 pm
I thank you hmubly for sharing your wisdom JJWY
 
John Williams
June 17, 2011 - 2:16 pm
Couldn't agree with your more regarding finding your niche. That's where it's all at, and I'm still amazed at how many freelancers don't get it. Nice piece!
 
 
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