How to Become a Good Freelancer in 2023?
Table of Contents
It’s 2023 (3 years of a pandemic) and No company, irrespective of the size has been spared. This in turn has further adversely impacted the job market.
Freelancing has become a career choice for many professionals.
Everyone on the internet is looking for an answer to ‘How to become a good freelancer?’.
I have freelanced in past through websites like upwork, guru.com and freelancer.com.
Also, i have trained working professionals to become successful freelancers.
All of them have done quite well for themselves. As a matter of fact, some of them have successfully transformed freelancing work into full-time businesses.
This article is an effort to get all my experience into a single article and teach you the key to succeeding as a Freelancer.
Steps To Become A Good Freelancer!
Get an Account on a freelancing platform
You can also try freelancer. com, guru .com to get work. They are equally good and can provide you with a lot of opportunities.
Aha! Here is your chance to look dapper. Time to get dressed in a three-piece suit as if you are heading for a business meeting.
I was joking. Leave the dapper look to the corporate. What is the point of being a freelancer if you cannot work wearing a vest and shorts 😉? Where is the freedom of wearing a suit?
By asking you to become presentable, I meant presenting your credentials in a well-formatted, presentable format.
On freelancing websites, you get to create your profile. Work towards making it presentable. The profile is your brand identity. Spend some time on it.
Likewise, you must have a website to showcase your work. Use a website theme that goes with your work. If you are a photographer, have a website that relies a lot on images and so on….
Remember, you do not work for a company now. You are yourself a product that you are trying to sell. The more presentable you are, the better the chances of you landing a gig.
Learn to market yourself
What’s marketing, mate? I know geeky guys are scared to shit when you ask them to market themselves.
Dude! If you cannot market yourself, you cannot freelance.
Marketing here does not mean creating ads about you. It very simple means making yourself presentable (something I mentioned earlier) and making good proposals.
And for god’s sake, do not hire marketing people to promote yourself.
There is no one on earth who can market you better than yourself. For some reason, if you cannot make good proposals or do not know what to do with your skillset – go back to “mother internet” and learn the tricks of the trade.
As they say “No Pain. No Gain”.
Get some discipline in your life
You might be thinking in your mind “Hey! You sound like someone who is giving a piece of generic life advice to everyone. Why is it so specific to becoming a freelancer?”.
I know, everything I have written is so generic that it applies to everyone in life.
Here is the catch. What I have written holds more meaning to freelancers as their inability to bring discipline to their newfound freedom ruins their freelancing careers.
You have no idea, how many freelancers I have ended a contract with because of their lack of commitment to stick to deadlines and go incommunicado without any prior intimation.
I perfectly understand that you are a freelancer who wants to work at your convenience but what does your client tell his client about your unprofessional behavior?
I have had projects tank because of outsourcing mistakes I have done in the past.
From what I have observed, indiscipline is a major issue with freelancers. They earn some bucks and spend it recklessly 😊. (millennial, are you listening?)
Screw the project and forget the client. Since the client is sitting 1000 miles away from you and you are not a company he can sue, you make him work as per your whims and fancies.
Trust me, this is the biggest reason for the failures of freelancers. That’s why I emphasize a lot getting discipline in the work regime of freelancers to build trust with their clients.
You get disciplined by pro-actively working with clients. Simple things like:
- Communicating properly via chat or calls.
- Sending weekly reports.
- Sticking to schedules
- Maintain a proper project plan and stick to it.
- Letting clients know beforehand about any urgent issues.
- Prioritizing work as per deliverable agreed
Will help you succeed.
It’s not easy being a freelancer. You are working from home (most of the time) and family starts taking you for granted. They will expect you to do things, you wouldn’t do if you were working in a job.
Talk to them and explain to them, why your presence at home cannot be confused with you having little or no work to do.
A little discipline and planning are all you need to succeed.
Once the trust develops, there is no dearth of work in the market for freelancers.
Learn the language of Masses: English
Before you start spitting your patriotic B.S on me, here is a food for thought “Where do think does the majority of freelancing work on the web come from?”
It’s from all the first world countries where the language of communication is English.
How do you expect to interact with clients if you do not know their language?
Please don’t tell me, you plan to use google Translate because it is a horrible tool. A tool where the meaning of language gets lost in translation.
Learn English to succeed as a freelancer.
Make use of web-based tools to help you with freelancing
Time is money. You as a freelancer will have to make good use of time to earn some good money.
How can you do that?
I recommend you to use tools like skype for calls, task management software like Trello, asana, or teamwork for better project interaction with clients, and a scheduler like a google calendar to take care of your work reminders.
Do not forget to have an account on PayPal, stripe for receiving online payments.
Plainly speaking, since you are on your own. You will need all the help possible to succeed as a freelancer.
Let automation handle some of your workloads.
What is the fun in Freelancing? Well! Let’s learn that in the next section.
What are the most in-demand skills in Freelancing?
I will get to statistics later. Let me address this question from my personal experience.
Since most of the work happens online, the most in-demand skillset in freelancing has to be programming or coding in open-source languages and platforms like LAMP, WordPress, Magento, etc.
The second most in-demand career has to be Digital marketing, Content writing and other in-demand skills like virtual assistance, Tele-calling, etc.
As per GetSmarter, website designing, graphic designing, photography, content writing, and digital marketing were the topmost in-demand skills in 2017.
With demand, comes a huge supply of freelancers and we have a lot of them. All the countries contributing to the major chunk of freelancers are south Asian countries.
The marketplaces are flooded with freelancers looking to make easy bucks. Thereby, making it very difficult for good freelancers to stand out from others.
This brings me to the inevitable question: “How can one become a Successful freelancer?”
I mean, how do you stand out from the crowd?
There is absolutely no secret formula to succeed.
If there was one, I would be the first one to consume it as I have tried to find a shortcut to become rich for years 😉 (with little or no success).
However, there is a structure or steps that i have listed at the start of the article to help you succeed as a Freelancer.