September 29th, 2015
If you’re just starting out your career as a freelancer, first of all, congratulations! Starting is always the hardest part, so making the jump takes guts. Becoming an seasoned freelancer is quite a rewarding journey and our team has had experience working with many freelancers over the years. So here are some points we think you should keep in mind along the way!
Write a Contract
This is the best thing you can do for your brand. Before you even start on your first project as a freelancer, create a contract with your client. You should be detailed, but there is no need for a law degree to write up a solid contract. This contract should include the scope of the client’s project, a payment plan for your services, and section about what intellectual property rights will apply to your work. Stick to this contract and keep a written record of all communication between you and your client in case of any misunderstandings.
Get out there and let people know who you are! Creating social media profiles, advertising your services online, and going to networking events in your community are just a few ways to get your name out there. This may not always be enjoyable, but no one can request your services if they don’t know who you are or what you’re capable of.
Find Ways to Build Your Portfolio
When you first start out, you might not have much to show. Build your portfolio by working on personal projects and creating your own samples. You can also volunteer your services to non-profit organizations or family members. This is a great way to give back while building a reputation that may lead to future referrals.
Nurture Your Client Relationships
The best way to long-term relationships with your clients is to be accessible. Keep in touch with your clients and try your best to respond to their requests in a timely manner. And be sure never to undersell yourself to a client. There is no worse way to start off any relationship than by cheating yourself of your own worth.
When you are discussing their project, explain everything in simple enough terms for anyone to understand. Also, don’t be afraid to voice your opinion about their suggestions; you owe it to the client to tell them when something won’t work. Just be professional and respectful in your response.
Manage Your Time Wisely
You may eventually come to a point where you have multiple projects at once. This is great, but it’s crucial that you learn how to properly manage your time. Get all of the big stuff out of the way to avoid any future headaches and leave yourself some wiggle-room. Explore some of the time management tools out there to help you keep track of your busy schedule and meet deadlines. It may even be helpful to connect with other freelancers who you can share some work with when you’re overwhelmed.
Regardless of your experience level, don’t get comfortable with what you know. Technology is always evolving and you should not only want to keep up, but thrive. See what people and businesses you can connect with to bring some work your way and really give it your all.
If you have any other tips you would like to share, leave a comment!