The world of freelancing is not as scary as it used to be. There are more opportunities now, more industries and businesses opening up to connecting with freelancers. Gone are the days when freelancing heavily depended on your own business network — now, you can easily sign up on several websites and get your name out there. Easy as pie. But while times may have changed for the better, the skills that freelancers need are still more or less the same, maybe with just a few additions to adapt to this internet-savvy world, but at the end of the day, it really just boils down to having the right discipline for yourself and your work.
Here are 5 skills we recommend you hammer down before you venture into the world of freelancing:
When you’re a freelancer, you’re pretty much on your own. It’s up to you to manage client expectations and voice out any concerns and questions you have, so knowing the right way to communicate is a really important skill. Being effective at communicating means understanding the importance of proper email etiquette, or how to reply to a client who’s been hounding you for submissions, or how you should properly follow up for late payments.
Time is gold. This is especially true in fast-paced industries, which are mostly the ones who source out freelance work. As a freelancer, you have to be able to properly organize your workload, making sure that you’re prioritizing your tasks in such a way that will make your client happy, but will also not burn you out.
Putting your name out there is one thing, but actually reaching out to potential clients is a whole new world altogether. In order for you to be successful in gaining the clients that you want, you have to be the one to start the conversation — recommend things that they didn’t know they needed, and let them know that you’re the best person to do the job.
Ah yes, money talks. This may be the trickiest part of freelancing, especially if you’re just starting out, but the best way to do this is to know your worth. Do your research on industry standards and be competitive about your prices. If your client tries to haggle too much, try to communicate why you’re pricing high and why it’s better for them in the long run. Don’t get emotional about it. Be clear and straightforward, and know if it’s time to just walk away.
Freelancing is a lot of shooting your shot. It’s about being confident that you can do the job, communicating that confidence to your potential clients, and actually getting the job done. Don’t be scared of dipping your toes into this new world — believe in yourself and your work, and everything will turn out okay.