Every human endeavor requires the right mix of hardwork and patience, and freelancing is no exception.
While it’s a cliché to say freelancing isn’t easy, the obscure truth is: it’s extraordinarily difficult only for people who refuse to give it the attention it deserves.
A lot of people consider freelancing as something that’s not to be taken seriously and only for making quick money on the side. It’s therefore unsurprising that many freelancers get frustrated even before actually starting out.
To be highly successful, you need to strangle every iota of mediocrity and give freelancing your best shot. Here are some of the right leaps to take.
1. Network with People:
This must be noted at the outset. You should be ever willing to network with fellow freelancers as well as experts in your industry. Interactions coupled with skill and dedication can shoot you up the ladder, more than you could ever imagine.
Creating strategic partnerships is a way to make a go of your freelance business. Say you’re a designer, being in partnership with a copywriter might be beneficial – you’d probably get gigs whenever she thinks her clients could use your skills in designing landing pages for which she was hired to write copies. In other words, chances are high that you’d get tons of referrals from freelancers with whom you partner and have a good rapport.
2. Leave your comfort zone.
The importance of stepping outside your comfort zone can’t be overemphasized. You can’t possibly hit it big if you’re well-known only within a small circle of people.
While many freelance job sites are disregarded for their supposed exploitation of freelancers, it’s important to note that such exploitation is never the management’s intention but as a result of the sites’ supply of extremely cheap labor. To grow above low-paying gigs obtainable on these sites, you need to spread the word about your work to a larger audience.
There are tons of ways to go about this.
To put your name into circulation as a graphic designer, a useful tactic may involve creating infographics for great content on popular sites. For freelance writers, aggressive guest posting campaigns is always useful to reach a larger audience. In fact, regardless of one’s specialty, there’s always more than a way to get one’s work in the faces of those who really matter. But these will never happen by themselves – you’ve got to prepare to leave your comfort zone and strive for them.
3. Invest in yourself.
Going all out to acquire knowledge about your job is one of best things you could do for your career. The rate at which everything changes requires your readiness to be always up-to-date.
Sometimes potential prospects would need proofs of your qualification. But fortunately, you don’t need to bag tons of certifications to be taken seriously. Some form of formal training and substantial hands-on experience could save you, however.
Self-taught programmers (freelancers), for instance, would be at an advantage by participating in bootcamps. Self-taught photographers could expand their knowledge by taking professional online courses. Same with digital marketers, freelance writers, and so on.
Also, while self-studying isn’t a bad idea, formal education may prove more useful, especially in areas, such as graphic design and computer science, where there exist a number of specialized tasks that require a degree. Bagging a degree in graphics design from a prestigious school, for instance, could open doors to a career in animation, illustration, print making, production designing, interior and spatial designing, UX designing, photography, landscape architecture, among others, which are opportunities a self-taught designer might not be spoiled with.
To conclude, no investment in knowledge is a waste. There’s always something new to learn to make you better at what you do.
Build an Agency:
Truth be told: there really is no sense in turning down potentially gainful gigs because of tight schedules, when you have the option to outsource and thus increase your income. Even better, by building an agency you’d probably make the most of your patronage and be respected enough to charge higher rates.
While you have various options as to how you can structure your company to gain traction, you should realize that building an agency is a pretty big deal and shouldn’t be delved into without caution. There are a number ways to decide whether building one should be the next step in your career.
No one becomes a superstar overnight. Success requires patience and practice. To make the best of your freelance career, you should be ready to put in your best and make the right decisions. This article has highlighted some four points you need to make a go of your freelance business. The ball is in your court.
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