So you’re thinking of freelancing tips to help you become a freelancer?
Or are you a freelancer who is looking for ways to make a better living while retaining your personal freedom?
No matter your personal situation, this column will attempt to help you learn how to thrive in the modern freelancing landscape.
While you may be skeptical that this is just another freelancing tips piece that will speak down to you, don’t fret.
I have been a freelancer since I graduated from college, and have seen quite a few things the industry has to offer.
I also won’t sugar coat some of the negatives within the industry. There are few more positive aspects of freelancing, but those new to the lifestyle have to be aware and prepare for some of the minor (sometimes) major annoyances.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the point.
Get Set Up On Upwork
There are numerous freelancing platforms available to those working as a digital nomad or freelancer.
Upwork is by far the best when it comes to finding paying jobs, the variety of work available for freelancers, ease of use, building a stable income, and building a profile which highlights your strengths to potential clients.
Luckily, Upwork was the first freelance platform I joined. The others I have attempted to set up profiles have numerous problems which seem to go unmonitored by staff, including individuals setting up scams in an attempt to steal freelancers personal information.
However, if you are new to Upwork don’t expect a perfect experience. They use a strange algorithm dubbed “Job Success Score” to determine how effective you are as a freelancer.
The platform has a policy where they do not disclose to freelancers how the algorithm operates, but it does not always relate to the quality or frequency of work you take on.
Recent changes which charge freelancers to apply for every opportunity they were not directly invited to be a client is also a frustrating change.
Even with those issues, Upwork is a valuable asset for freelancers of all experience; no matter their field.
Artists, journalists, programmers, technical writers, and a variety of other verticals will be able to find jobs and compete for work on the highly active platform.
The next step in freelancing tips should be joining Upwork and building their profile. For those who are new to the world of freelance, be sure set up your profile before you do anything else.
Become Familiar With Digital Technologies
If you are a novice when it comes to technology, or you just hate spending time on the computer — you will have to overcome both in order to thrive in the digital world of freelancing.
Depending on your specific vertical learning how to utilize various project managing tools, scheduling software, and whatever else you may need in order to complete your job in the most efficient manner.
As a freelance journalist, my work isn’t extremely software intensive. I can perform my job with recording software, note-taking tools, encrypted chat services, encrypted email, and an internet connection. That may seem like quite a bit, but after several weeks it all blends naturally into the work.
Writers of all sorts will find the transition into freelance an easier transition than most other verticals; there seems to be an endless supply of writing to do on the internet.
It’s not necessary that you become an expert on all matters of emerging technologies nor spend all your time in front of a computer screen. However, you will need to learn how to use technology to help you complete tasks.
Seek To Get Paid Per Project
When you have the opportunity, always negotiate to be paid per project and not by hourly labor. If you’re transitioning away from the traditional brick and mortar workforce, try to capture all of your freedom.
Several clients (even on Upwork) will attempt to pay you through hourly wages, meaning they reap the benefits of your labor without compensating you in a fair manner.
This isn’t always the case, but with the added screen recording software freelance websites use for hourly pay contracts, it’s not worth risking your privacy.
Freelancers can receive payment for the quality of their work, which eliminates the need to waste hours on end at the office after your work is complete.
Negotiating your rates well will determine how quickly you will be able to make a stable income.
Blog, Social Media, Website
Blogging, being active on social media, and building a website are keys to expanding your client base. While hosting a website will take a financial commitment, it can be worth it in the long run.
Using social media to market your work and blogs to draw an audience to your personality allow you to stand out in a crowded field of freelancers.
My ‘Smooth Gentleman’ marketing allowed me to gain traction immediately as a journalist, along with my work on attempting to change the conversation on what it means to be a man.
Putting yourself out there helps you receive more offers and ultimately build the life you wanted when you turned to freelance.
Stay True To Your Schedule
One of the most important aspects of being a freelancer is learning how to be disciplined when creating your schedule.
Once you made your weekly schedule, it’s vital that you stick to it. By doing so, you avoid the risk of rushing your work which could lead to a lower quality standard.
Freelancers essentially work for themselves. There is a slight learning curve involved with balancing the freedom/work scale, yet it’s far easier to do if you always remain disciplined and don’t procrastinate.
If you deal with a lot of remote interviews or calls during your freelancing, there’s a way to make the call more productive. You can get a noise cancelling app called Krisp, and it will remove all the noise around you. It works in both ways, so you will be able to mute the noise coming from others as well.
Good luck with building your freelancing career and making the most of it!