Editor’s note: This is a guest post by James Daily, Content Manager at Flash Essay
Working as a freelancer is a quick and reasonable approach to begin earning a decent salary from home. Web development, design, translation, writing, marketing, research, or customer service – regardless of your expertise, freelance job boards will have many projects to offer you.
Many people are already taking advantage of the fantastic benefits of being a freelancer such as a flexible schedule and freedom to select exciting projects. In fact, according to Freelancing in America study, independent workers – freelancers, that is – will be a majority of the U.S. workforce within a decade.
If you’re looking to be a part of this incredible workforce revolution, enjoy all the perks of freelancing and increase your income, check out the following tips.
Before taking on a New Freelancing Project
When you register on a freelance job board, you’ll be amazed by the number of projects that employers post there. You’ll discover hundreds of new projects created each day, so the temptation to send a proposal to many of them will be quite high.
However, this is a risky strategy. First and foremost, chances are that many of the projects you’ve applied to are not a great fit for your skills. The customers tend to be very demanding, so reading the title of the project and applying, without carefully analyzing the listing is a bad idea.
Also, most freelance platforms limit the number of times freelancers can apply, so sending proposals to every listing might result in not being able to apply when the perfect project comes along.
Here’s what you should do to maximize the chance of getting hired on projects you can complete:
1. Comprehend the Essence of the Project
Answer the following questions:
- What skills are required to complete this project?
- Do I have these skills to finish the job successfully?
- Is there anything that can prevent me from achieving this job like a tight deadline?
2. Check your Accessibility
Comprehend the due dates and guarantee you have sufficient time to finish the project effectively. Think about your different duties and due dates, and plan accordingly.
3. Clarify Why You’re the Right Fit
It’s insufficient to know you can take the necessary steps to complete the project. You need to explain to the customer the reason why you’re a great fit.
Use your profile and portfolio to demonstrate your experience. For example, if you’ve completed a similar project in the past, it’s a perfect time to show it to the potential employer.
4. Be Friendly and Answer Everything
If the customer messaged or otherwise contacted you, this doesn’t mean that they’re ready to hire. Chances are they want to see how responsive you are and find out what kind of person they’re dealing with. Often, customers use services like online review sites to find out what they should expect from freelancers, so to make a great first impression. Be sure to answer all questions clearly, be polite, professional and don’t forget that this is your job!
5. Ensure that the Deadline is Reasonable
It’s very tempting to promise the customer that you’ll complete everything lightning-fast because you’re such a great worker, but doing so could be very risky, especially if you’re a beginner. Don’t apply to projects if you’re unsure if you can complete them within specified deadlines and make sure the ones that you’re working on have reasonable timeframes set by clients.
Beginning a New Project
Before you start working, it’s essential to plan your work and time to achieve the best outcome. Here are the best practices to ensure that:
1. Agree to a Kickoff Meeting with the Client
Some clients require you to speak with them to make sure that you understanding what the project entails. Regardless of whether you meet via Skype, telephone, or a Google Hangout, make sure to align on the expectations that are required and the due dates.
2. Decide How You’ll Communicate
Amid your kickoff meeting, consider telling your customer how you’ll speak with them going ahead. Clients love when contractors keep them updated, so this is something you must do.
3. Ensure You Have All the Data
Are there any passwords, authorizations, and contact data you’ll require to do the job? Assemble everything needed to begin, and get some information about every last bit.
During the Project
Here are the best practices that you can follow during the project to ensure successful completion:
1. Be Proactive
You might need to speak with your customer and let them know you’re on track to finish their project—regardless of whether your customer doesn’t ask you. Freelance platforms like Upwork recommend this to all their users, too.
2. Possible Change in Deadlines
Align with your customer on due dates and ensure you make them. On the off chance that for reasons unknown you won’t have the capacity to meet a due date, speak with your customer promptly.
3. When in Doubt, Ask
If you don’t understand something about the project you’re working on, ask the client immediately. Doing so is a much better strategy than re-doing the whole project.
4. Be Responsive
Always answer your customer’s inquiries. A failure to do so may even prompt them to end the contract with you.
5. Ask for Feedback
Requesting feedback about your work expectations will show to the customer that you’re looking to deliver amazing work.
Towards the End of the Project
Your work may almost be complete, but a keep this practices in mind while you are wrapping things up:
1. Make Sure the Customer is Satisfied
Freelance platforms allow customers to leave feedback, so if you feel like your customer isn’t completely satisfied, chances are the review won’t be glowing. Aim to avoid this as your rating may suffer, big-time. To avoid this scenario, ask the customer if you did everything the way they wanted and offer reworks if some parts of the projects failed the quality expectations because of you. Also, ask them to leave a good review if they liked working with you.
2. Give the Customer a Chance to End the Agreement
It’s always great if a customer ends the contract and gives excellent feedback. If you completed the work, send it over to the customer (this works for online freelancing platforms!) and request your payment. Don’t end the contract just yet because they may require some additional revisions or reworks.
Freelancing can be a great source of income if you follow the practices described above. Make sure to stay updated with the latest technologies and to use the best management tools and software to ensure maximum efficiency of your work.
So, these were the freelancing essentials and a pocket guide to a rocketing freelance career.
James Daily is a professional writer and content manager at Flash Essay. When he is not involved in career-related tasks, he follows his other many interests, including astronomy, psychology, and cinema. Feel free to contact him via his personal blog Brainished.