Building freelance success takes investment. You have to take purposeful action. You have to make choices. You have to do what needs to be done. And you have to be willing to find your way.
There is no magic bean or an easy button. You get to your freelance success one little bit a time.
20 Tips for Freelance Success
1. Be on time. Being punctual is essential for building your freelance success. You will get jobs by creating a reputation for doing your work on time (or even before time).
2. Learn how to listen. There are going to be people that explain the job that is needed but may not really understand what they are explaining. Listen to everything that the editor or client has to say – it is not your article but their article in the end.
3. Be willing to ask questions. It is better to clarify in the beginning exactly what is expected. Take notes during all conversations so you have something to look at and to ask questions about in order to be sure that the job you do is the job that is requested.
4. Follow directions. Do what the client asks or just do not accept the job in the first place. Meet the deadline, the word count and the subject matter.
5. Accept criticism. Be willing to accept edits, listen to input and have an attitude of change. Take the information and use it to grow instead of letting it turn your creative juices into the mud.
6. Watch your words. What you say (and post) matters. You are your brand and how you represent your brand over social media, at meetings or conferences, and through emails will determine how your brand moves forward.
7. Only offer what you can do. It is better to under-promise and over-deliver than to over-promise and disappoints (and potentially hurt) the person that hired you to do the job.
8. Get organized. The method to your madness is not as important as having a method to start with to keep your jobs on time. Find your way to be organized and stay organized.
9. Continue to learn. Taking online courses, attending conferences or finding classes that you can attend are all ways to continue to hone your skills.
10. Master the technology. Having an understanding of the internet, computers, and software are all ways to increase your value in the freelance industry. You don’t have to master all of the different platforms or software options, but do be alert to trends and familiar with the norms.
11. Make a few friends. It is ALL about relationships. Be invested in making connections, investing in the connections, and being a support or help to others.
12. Be willing to share. Sharing is just a nice habit to form for life in general. Online this can mean creating an eBook to donate to a cause, offering to be a guest blogger on a friend’s website, posting comments on blogs and forums that do NOT relate to your own work or linking to other websites just to share those websites.
13. Work with consistency. Do your best work each time you present your work.
14. Step outside your comfort zone. If you only do what you know and are comfortable doing then you will never grow beyond that point. Be willing to try new things or a different way will stretch you into more.
15. Develop the skill of research. Having the ability to research any topic opens up more opportunities – ways to expand your platform, create new connections, or ignite possibility thinking.
16. Help others get to where they want to be. Be invested in being a support to those you encounter – the more you invest in others the more you set your own foundation for success.
17. Learn how to say no. It may seem counterproductive to turn down a job, particularly when you are first launching your freelance career, but saying no may just be just as important as saying yes. Turn down jobs when the topic makes you feel uncomfortable or when the payment is not what you need to make your desired wage. It is better to say no than to do something that you will regret.
18. Do a little more for a little less. Sometimes it may pay in the long run to take a lower-paying job for now. Websites, publications or companies that are starting out may pay you less in the beginning and increase the pay as they become more established. Be willing to get your foot in the door – but be sure to weigh the cost.
19. Speak out. Talk to groups about your niche, experiences or opportunities. Public speaking is a great way to promote your purpose journey and expand your freelance career.
20. Be professional. Walk, talk, dress and speak the part of a professional if you want to be taken as a professional.
Developing a purposeful freelance career will not happen overnight. These 20 steps are only the beginning. Add to the list as you grow your own skills and find your focus. Becoming a successful freelancer requires finding your unique way above all other things.
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