34% of freelancers i.e. writers, consultants, photographers, designers, and more—say securing work is their biggest challenge, according to a study by Contently.
As the working economy shifts under our feet and businesses hire more freelancers, it’s now more important than ever to understand how to effectively navigate the freelance job market, especially if you’re new to the game. If you’re determined to be successful in this competitive landscape, you need to know what makes a good freelancer and how to stand out from the crowd.
Here are some important traits you would need to imbibe if you want to find work, maintain jobs, and grow your freelance business.
- CHARGE A LOWER PRICE
So how do you get jobs as a newbie freelancer? You might feel this as a harsh reality, but taking less money at the onset to build your freelance portfolio is one of the best ways to get higher-paying jobs as you advance in your freelance career.
Beginning freelancers are often able to compete with more experienced professionals on price, offering their services to companies that want to minimize cost, and as your portfolio grows, you’ll be able to compete for higher-paying jobs that require a robust portfolio of work to prove your value.
Research what other freelancers are charging in your field and cut down the price accordingly. Remember, less now means more later on.
- CHOOSE PROJECTS THAT’LL GROW YOUR PORTFOLIO
Only by doing your best work from the start will you be able to leverage your portfolio to add more clients. However, you need to make sure these jobs are a good investment of your time and effort.
Start by seeking out long-term freelance jobs that will give you a steady source of income while you branch out and grow your client list. According to Contently, 83% of freelancers pursue new clients every quarter.
In addition to networking within your social sphere, career services, friends, and family, be sure you showcase your freelance portfolio online with a personal website so potential employers can search for your work and contact you directly.
- LET OTHERS SPEAK ON BEHALF OF YOU
If you had to choose between a personal pitch and a bunch of people singing your praises, I bet that without a doubt, you’ll choose the latter. There’s nothing more powerful than others helping you market your freelance business.
Whenever you’re searching for freelance opportunities, ask others you know who may already be working in your target market—ensure they’re people you know and trust—to write testimonials and display these prominently on your portfolio and social networks.
It’s what others say about you and your work that matters and if people can’t find great reviews and comments about your work, they’ll choose the provider that comes highly recommended.
- FOCUS ON DELIVERING HIGH QUALITY SERVICES
As an inexperienced freelancer, you may not have a large client list to fall back on for work, but you can make up for this and set yourself apart by delivering high quality services to your clients.
Delivering your best work, and on time especially, is what will keep clients coming because being highly reliable is how you become your client’s go-to.
- GET EQUIPED WITH ON DEMAND/RIGHT SKILLS
Skills vary depending on the type of freelance jobs you do. Effective communication, time management, and negotiation and organization skills are must-haves, but companies also have their eyes on particular skills, including sales and marketing, IT and programming, design and multimedia, engineering and manufacturing, and writing and translation, according to a study by Tower Lane.
Never forget, do the best work you can do with the work you have, and let those opportunities transform into newer ones. Do not be afraid to ask other freelancers how they landed a job, and do not hesitate to ask employers for more work. A question unposed is a job offer lost.