Wondering if the technology is right for you?
Based on your strengths, should you be a designer? Web developer? Or even a digital marketer?
If you’re ready to take freelance seriously and multiply your income as a freelancer, here are our 10 top tips for earning more in your first year.
10 tips for a successful freelance career
1. Choose a niche
If you are new to freelancing, you might feel ready to take ANY paid job you can get your hands on. But as you deepen your freelance career, you’ll need to start to be more strategic about the types of work you do and the clients you take.
You might be wondering: How can becoming picky about my freelance job help me earn MORE money?
Because when you specialize, you become an expert in a specific field and experts can charge more for their specialized services.
In my opinion, the age-old debate about whether you should be a specialist or a generalist when you start your freelance career isn’t even worth thinking twice.
If you were a client and needed an IT freelancer to develop your website, fix your email marketing so people actually sign up, write ads that convince people to buy, or just put update your outdated website, would you rather hire someone who is a handyman, or someone who is a pro to get the job done and do it well? You choose the specialist every time well.
And when it comes to my own experience, choosing to specialize as an IT and content marketing consultant has been the best decision I’ve made with my freelance business.
Aside from my blog and referrals from existing clients, the second most consistent source for attracting new clients has been business owners seeking help from specific experts through Google and especially through digital platforms. Several forms of freelance are available to you.
Wage portage allows a freelancer to offer its services to clients by using the services of another company to manage all its administrative, financial and legal. The freelancer does not need to start his own business. Which is a huge gain for freelancers.
So, to extend this example to other areas, imagine that you are just starting out as a web developer, you can enter a niche like migrating blogs to WordPress. This means that when someone searches for “Blog Migration Help to WordPress,” they can find you.
If you choose the right niche, deciding to specialize yourself and making an effort to market yourself as an expert within your niche can really pay off for years to come.
2. Be clear about your service offerings
An important decision you need to make at the start of your freelance career is what you want to do and what you don’t want to do.
The more specific you are about the services you offer, the better. Not only will this help you stand out from the crowd, it will give you control over how potential clients perceive you and give you the opportunity to continue to grow your portfolio in the direction you want to move.
If you want to focus on becoming a sought after, highly paid Ruby on Rails developer, you shouldn’t even consider contract offers to customize WordPress themes or design the user experience for an upcoming app. While the short-term benefits of a regular job are tempting (and sometimes necessary), taking on projects that don’t get you closer to your ultimate goal of becoming the best in your field will only distract you and delay your making. significant progress.
3. Define what your ideal customer looks like
Before you can go out and start looking for clients, you will need to develop a clear picture of your ideal client that you want to work with.
Do you want to build websites for small business owners, participate in the development of new features for high growth tech startups, or secure longer-term contracts with large companies? Making these clear distinctions between who and what type of business you are targeting will be essential in effectively presenting your services.
4. Create a high-quality portfolio site
It goes without saying that one of the best ways to demonstrate your technical skills is to have your own well-groomed portfolio site. If you want to be taken seriously as a new freelancer, you’ll need a website that:
- Showcase your expertise.
- Highlights relevant past experiences.
- Show who you are.
- Include your contact information so potential customers can easily find you.
Plus, an exceptional portfolio can really help you if you don’t have a lot of work experience to prove you know your stuff.
The purpose of your portfolio is to educate, generate interest, and convince potential customers that they will want to choose you for their technical needs. This is why it is worth investing time to decide what to include in your portfolio and how it will be displayed, before you start looking for new projects.
5. Start working as a freelancer before quitting your regular job
Starting a freelance business while keeping your regular job is a huge challenge.
Aside from the fact that building a high-quality portfolio website, building your personal brand and adding to your portfolio naturally takes a lot of time, it’s a good idea to have a few regular freelance clients. on your list before you quit your job.
We recommend increasing your side income to at least 50-75% of your total current income before you quit your full-time job, depending on your tolerance for risk.
The other benefit of choosing freelance clients while you are still working full time is that you can be selective. You probably don’t need this money. This puts you in a position to turn down a job that doesn’t pay enough to justify your time investment or that doesn’t really interest you.
These are two things that you will need to be vigilant about if you want to be happy once you become independent full time.
6. Improve your skills
The best way to justify higher prices? Make sure you have awesome and in-demand skills.
Practice using your newfound skills by building the types of projects you eventually want to get paid to work on. Whether it’s WordPress websites, mobile apps, or any other IT or tech department, the more you can differentiate yourself in a sea of competition with cool side projects and examples that will attract potential customers, the better. will be.
7. Develop your credibility
There are many ways to build your credibility within your industry. In addition to creating high quality blog content and collaborating with notable influencers in your industry, you can write an eBook, create an online course, and host conferences to start increasing your visibility within your niche.
These credibility boosters can help you add to your list of accomplishments that you can highlight on your portfolio and simultaneously demonstrate your knowledge so that more potential clients can see them. The more you spread your message, the more influence you will have within your niche.
8. Determine your rates
While deciding how much to charge for your freelance services is a major step in determining perceived value, you need to make sure that you are charging enough to earn a sustainable and comfortable living. Most clients won’t hesitate to pay higher rates for a freelancer who gives them a good first impression and demonstrates the ability to deliver high quality results.
Before setting your rates to the bare minimum, you need to charge in order to meet your financial needs, consider the real value you would create for your potential customers, and make sure you don’t leave any money on the table. You can always increase your rates in the future and hope your customer stays on board, but if you start at a rate level that you’re already passionate about, you’ll be that much more likely to over-deliver and keep increasing your value forward.
9. Leverage your network for presentations
One of the most effective ways to get better, higher paying freelance work is to leverage your existing networks. Whether it’s offering independent help to your friends and former colleagues or using their connections to make warm introductions to companies you want to work with, it’s a great alternative to cold contact with potential clients.
10. Blog frequently
The goal of a website that showcases your skills is to attract new customers. The best way to increase the number of new potential customers to your website is to create high quality blog content that positions you as a peerless expert in your field?
In the beginning, try to create one or two in-depth blog posts per month, aimed at providing some really useful solutions that your potential customers might be looking for.
Note: this means that you will be writing for an audience of your clients, not for others in your field.
Once they find out about your content and get free value from you, you’ll naturally be in the lead if they’re willing to hire a professional like you.