As awesome as it may sound to work as a freelancer, it’s not that easy. Sure, you get to plan the working day as you see fit, and you are your own boss which is awesome, but without discipline, you will never be successful. We would actually like to exclude discipline from the list, as it is so fundamental to a career in freelancing that it can’t really be considered a trick. It’s as important as stamina is for athletes. Having worked with freelancers for several years now, I have acquired some knowledge about how things work. Here are the 5 most important tricks that will guarantee you success as a freelance worker.
Recommended Read: Why It’s a Good Idea to Become Self-Employed in 2014
1. Treat Every Client as if He is The Only One
The best thing about freelancers is that they put a lot of passion into their work. Feedback and reviews are extremely important for them, and will affect their performance in the future. This is the main reason why you should also make the customer feel as if he were the only one, if you want to become a successful freelancer. Happy clients are the best advertising you will ever get. Nevertheless, remember to be service minded. Use positive language when talking to a prospective client, and reassure him that you will go out of your way to satisfy him.
2. Stick to a Schedule
The funny thing is that most freelancers work according to a schedule. Let’s say you have also decided to work from 8am to 5pm everyday. Make a promise to yourself, and keep it. If you have errands to run during that time, they can wait. If you have a TV series you want to check out, leave it for later. So many freelancers mess up their schedules because they think they have enough time to get the job done, when they actually don’t. Equally important to managing a schedule, is knowing when to stop working. Studies actually show that freelancers work more than regular employees, because they always feel like there is something they could improve about their work. If you don’t learn when to stop you will only get burned out, and ruin your days.
3. Remind Yourself Why You are Working so Hard
The life of a freelancer is tough and unpredictable. Some months work out perfectly, and manage to exceed our financial or professional expectations, while others seem utter disasters. Rough days come and go, and you must be prepared for them. Having something around to remind you why you are working so hard is therefore vital. The idea is to make an inspirational string which can consist of a photo with the family, or some relaxing music. You could even try to meditate if that helps you get rid of stress.
4. Separate Work Life from Personal Life
When we say separate, we literally mean separate. Even if you are working from home, you should definitely have a designated space that you only use during working hours. This means no working from the couch or bed with the TV turned on. Create a small space in your house that you will never use for anything else. Additionally, ask other house members not to disturb you whilst working. Remember that order in your work-space will lead to order in your head. What sets excellent freelancers apart from good ones is their ability to separate work life from personal one, and strike the perfect balance between them.
5. Look Professional, and Deliver Results
First impressions are extremely important, especially when it comes to freelancing. In order to attract as many clients as possible you will need a logo, a website, a well-put-together Elance/oDesk/Fiverr profile etc. In addition to this, you should always meet clients with respect, be presentable, polite and humble. We strongly recommend that you create a website of your own where prospective clients can view your work. If you decide to do this, you should make sure to update it as often as possible. Last but not least, you should not only look professional, but also deliver the best results. Take the time to handle every project, because the quality of your work will be reflected in the feedback you receive.
We hope these tricks will help you become a better freelancer in the future. Remember to never stop learning, or believing in yourself. Take all the time you need to complete projects, so that clients keep coming back for more. Good luck!