Being a freelancer is an option that many people take to supplement their income. It is also one of those paths you consider while looking for employment. Freelancing comes with independence as you get to work on your terms, such as the jobs you take, your rates, and working hours. You also enjoy better work-life balance due to the flexibility it offers.
If you are wondering whether you can take freelancing as a full-time job, you will be pleased to know that can build a successful career as a full-time freelancer. Whether you are a marketer, a construction worker, or even an accountant, freelancing is for anyone. In the current digital environment, you can even work online on job platforms like Upwork. Read on for information on how to build a successful freelancing career so you can pursue your passion towards a paycheck.
How to Become a Successful Freelancer
There are two sides to freelancing; the wealthy and happy professional traveling the world and earning six figures, and the struggling freelancer who can barely sustain themselves. The difference lies in how you approach freelancing. With the right guidance and knowledge, you can steer your freelancing career to new heights and meet all your goals. Here are a few tips to help you establish a successful full-time freelancing career.
1. Find the Right Niche
Establishing your niche is among the first decisions you should make when venturing into freelancing. Also, it can be difficult for potential clients to take you seriously if you have no specialty. With this in mind, establish your area of interest and narrow it down to what you can do best to maximize your chances of success.
While you can be a jack of all trades and offer several services and skills, having a specialization can help you provide more value. It also sets you apart as an authority in the field and cuts down on competition. When you specialize, you work much faster with less research as you handle jobs you are the best conversant. In turn, you become an expert in your craft, which boosts your bargaining power and gives you more value for your skills.
2. Start Slowly
Research extensively before entering the freelancing world. Familiarize yourself with the requirements to start working, including licenses and tools for your job. You should also set a rate for your services after factoring in aspects like tax obligation to ensure profitability and return on investment. While you can charge whatever you want, keep your rates at par with industry standards while considering the value you offer your clients.
Lastly, build a portfolio to showcase your skills and abilities. A portfolio speaks for you, so ensure you pick your best projects to boost our prospects. By taking your time, you avoid making common mistakes that freelancers make and avoid ruining your career before it even begins.
3. Strive to Exceed Your Client’s Expectations
As a rule of thumb, never promise what you can’t deliver. It may be tempting to take on jobs you are unsure about just because they pay higher. However, misrepresenting your abilities to your clients will cost you time and money and ruin your clients’ trust. Be honest about your skills and abilities and only take up jobs you can adequately deliver.
It is better to exceed your client’s expectations than to disappoint them. When you deliver quality services, you earn positive reviews and recommendations. Go the extra mile whenever you can to impress your client, but never set the bar too low as it can hurt your career in the long term.
4. Market Your Skills
Building your brand and advertising your skills is one sure way to get noticed by potential clients, which in turn grows your revenue in the long term. As a beginner, start by marketing your services to friends and family who will help you put the word out. You can also leverage your social media presence for a wider reach to advertise your skills.
Remember to network with and create valuable connections that add value to your freelancing career. Regardless of where you are in your freelancing career, never stop marketing your skills and services. It helps you create a constant stream of work and minimize lean seasons.
5. Continuous Learning is Crucial
Clients hire you for your skills. You want to ensure that you are always ready to meet your client’s needs and execute any project you successfully. Keep in mind that there will always be competition. Therefore, set yourself apart from the rest by improving your skills and staying current on trends in your area of interest. This calls for continuous learning and staying updated on industry news.
You don’t have to know everything. However, focus on trends that affect you directly, so you can figure out how to use them to your advantage. Attend seminars and webinars, read books, and complete courses to continuously sharpen your skills and stay relevant. This way, you are guaranteed that clients will always seek your services, which allows you to grow your freelancing career and be around for longer.
6. Be Disciplined
While the most appealing aspects of freelancing are freedom and flexibility, they can also be the reasons for your downfall. You need discipline and structure to build a successful full-time career and become more productive. Treat your freelancing career as a business.
Set up a working schedule to avoid using all your time for work and neglecting other aspects of your life, which may negatively affect your productivity in the long run. It also prevents you from being overwhelmed. Once you have a structure and routine, stick to it and maintain consistency to achieve your goals.
Is it Possible to Turn Your Freelance Gig into a Full-time Job?
It is no doubt that freelancing can be a full-time career if you do it right and go about it the right way. Before you decide to be self-employed, keep in mind that it is not all rainbows and butterflies. You will have to deal with clients, work extra hours sometimes, and struggle with finances at some point. However, with consistency, hard work, and discipline, you can build a successful and fulfilling career out of your skills while maintaining your independence.