When you reach a certain point in your life, you slowly start to realize that it’s hard to find fulfillment in a typical 9-5 setting. Once you’re there, it’s clearly time to start exploring the alternatives, one of which is freelancing.
However, is it really as simple as taking your laptop to the beach and watching new clients line up? Not quite, but if you follow the right strategies (some of which we’re about to show you today), you should be able to get there eventually.
A balanced overview of what it means to be a freelancer
First, let’s start with the pros. As a freelancer, you’re going to have the freedom of picking your own hours and working on the projects that you like. However, being your own boss can also be a double-edged sword. Will you muster the strength of waking up early every day to get some work done or succumb to the temptation of sleeping in just because you can? As you’ll soon find, discipline is a fundamental part of this lifestyle.
Then comes the freedom to say no to a project if you don’t like it for any reason. However, to get to that point, you need an established network of clients that can supply steady work. As someone who’s just starting out, it may take a while before you get there. Beginning freelancers should therefore focus on developing a portfolio that will make them a more attractive proposition to hire.
Getting yourself out there
There are two ways to secure new clients as a freelancer. You could either take the proactive approach and start networking to market your services to potential clients directly, or you could set up an account at one of the most trafficked freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr as well as its several alternatives and let potential clients find you on their own.
If you’re going to go down the passive route, a professional-looking website is a must for any freelancer, so make sure you get the best hosting and hire a graphics designer who can make it look on point. If you want to give yourself the best chances to succeed, you should probably employ most if not all of these tactics. At the end of the day, how are people going to hire you if they don’t know you exist?
Showcasing your portfolio
In the world of freelancing, showcasing your portfolio is the equivalent of a traditional CV that you showcase in front of a potential employer. Remember that business owners are looking for someone who can help solve their problems, so it’s vital for you to showcase that you’re more than capable of doing that.
The exact steps that follow depend on your area of expertise. Graphic designers have a rather straightforward job; since their work is visual, it takes little to no explaining what it’s all about. Video editors have plenty of ways to host videos they’ve worked on by uploading them to Youtube or its alternatives. Programmers, on the other hand, may need to get crafty and link to the corresponding documentation of the application they’ve developed that lists its usage examples and similar.
The bottom line is, as a freelancer, others will hire you based on your skillset. Your objective is to prove what you’re capable of beyond any doubt.
Everything considered, freelancing can be a fresh new way to give your career a makeover and start working on your own terms. However, it certainly isn’t for everyone, since it often requires you staying up and working long hours when the deadlines are drawing near. Since you technically aren’t required to accept a single project, you could fall into the trap of complacency, so freelancing isn’t for you if you’re not disciplined enough to put in the hours necessary day after day.
On the other hand, once you do make it (and there’s no reason to think otherwise if your skills are in demand), freelancing is a way to experience freedom to its fullest. You could even take your laptop with you as you travel the world, experience new cultures, and live the lifestyle you want. So go out there and win your first client.