Freelancing can be a very tough gig to find success in. It can take years to build a brand name for yourself in the industry or in generating enough recurring revenue to make a living. While competition for freelancing projects can be fierce, there are ways to set yourself apart from the competition. I want to share with you some areas in freelancing that often get overlooked but will win you more work.
Four Tips for Getting More Freelancing Work
1. Get the work done on time.
If you are provided with the opportunity to do work for a client or as a contractor for another firm, then you should do everything in your ability to ensure you get your work done and do it on time! One big mistake I see freelancers make is not hitting their deadlines. While there are real situations that can delay our progress such as sickness or emergencies, often the reason for missing deadlines relates to poor planning or needless distractions. Clients can be very forgiving if a crisis arises, but you should always do everything in your power to fulfill your obligations on time.
2. Be great at communication.
Poor communication is the second biggest mistake I see in the freelancing world. It’s absolutely essential that you communicate clearly and often with your clients. Keeping your clients informed on your progress is critical. Let them know if you run into any unforeseen issues and be sure to ask as many questions as needed to help you do your work. It’s also prudent to provide them with project milestones and accountability checkpoints for what they need to do.
BONUS! One way to ensure great communication is telling clients they can call you instead of
hiding behind relying on email. Sometimes email fails and takes a cryptologist to decipher. Streamline the process with a phone call instead.
3. Do your best work.
It goes without saying that you should always strive to do your best work. This certainly doesn’t mean you need to be a perfectionist, but it also means you shouldn’t go through the motion to get your paycheck. I’ve reviewed many freelance designers portfolios with subpar work. If your portfolio is lackluster, then it will be more difficult to get the best paying gigs or the perfect clients. It really pays off to showcase work you and your client are proud of.
4. Be honest. Always!
Honesty is always the best policy and clients really do appreciate it when you shoot straight with them. Never tell a client just what they want to hear. If you know there’s a better way to do the job or if their request will hurt their outcome, let them know in a professional manner. If you drop the ball or make a mistake, own up to it by telling your client the truth. If you don’t have the skills or knowledge to do the project properly, be upfront about it. Being honest isn’t only the right thing to do, it will make you a better business person and freelancer.
Focus on the small stuff.
As I’ve said many times before, talent is not enough to ensure your success as a freelancer. You will need a combination of talent, hard work, luck, and good business skills to make it. And success can have a lot to do with focusing on the “small stuff” such as paying attention to details or actually responding to emails.
There are many ways to improve your odds at winning more freelance work. You just have to be willing to implement the strategies and do it.