There are many successful freelancers who would tell you that freelancing is the best thing that happened to them. But will it be the same for you?
Before you jump in the business of freelancing, you should evaluate how you feel about yourself first by honestly answering the questions that we have prepared for you below. This will allow you to discover if you have what it takes to become a freelancer. Remember that you will be offering your services to potential clients. Are you ready to talk to them? Do you have the necessary skills to make it on your own offering your skills and services?
As a freelancer you don’t necessarily need to be a business owner to offer your services to clients. But you need the confidence to face, talk, and negotiate with them. Go through these questions and answer them as honestly as you can:
What are your skills?
Determine your skills, talents, and abilities before diving into the world of freelancing. Write your skills down on a piece of paper (like your resume) or better yet on a notebook. Organize your thoughts for you to be able to go back to whatever you have written in the future and make adjustments if necessary.
Keep tabs of what you can do is the first step to becoming a good freelancer. Remember that you are going to be working for yourself so you have to be organized. Start by jotting your thoughts, plans and actions by systematically documenting them in a notebook, on your computer or mobile device.
Are you doing something about your skills and knowledge?
Upgrade your skills. In most cases people who decide to become an individual contractor do not have all the necessary skills to be successful at the beginning. But they upgraded their skills to improve their current skillset to be able to provide services that are now in demand by clients.
Identify the skills that you need to improve on. Look for ways to improve them, either by learning for free online, finding a mentor, or enrolling in paid courses.
What do you like doing to earn?
You can invest time to learn coding, writing or other in demand services. This will help you get paying clients but do you enjoy what you are doing? In order to be a successful freelancer, you need to be happy with what you are doing everyday. Determine if you are happy with the job, the service and the time that you will be spending with your client. Remember, it’s not always about the money.
What do you specialize on?
When you know what you like to do and offer as a freelancer, the next logical step is to specialize on it. When you specialize, you focus on a certain type of work and learn all the necessary skillls for it. For example, if you would like specialize on mobile app development, you need to work more efficiently in it, update yourself with the practices and tools in the field, and deliver an end product that others cannot. Always demonstrate above average knowledge in the field and provide one the best services in the freelance market.
Who is your client?
Based on your skill set you can determine who your clients will be. If you are a skilled web developer and you can create websites for your potential clients. Your immediate market would be companies who do not have a proper website yet. So if you have not figured out what your skills are, go back and answer the question “What are your skills?”
What credentials can you show?
Clients want to deal with service providers who have already achieved something. Provide a solid personal background and portfolio (if possible). Usually this comes with a high level of learning and understanding of the product or service that they are offering. In most cases, your credentials would involve academic achievement and past work samples and references.
Where is your portfolio?
Since we are talking about past works, it’s essential for you to compile your previous works because even if you have finished a programming course with high honors, if you cannot show and prove that you can do the job- you cannot get hired as an independent contractor. Create an attractive portfolio, something that can give a clear picture of what you do, who you are and what you are capable of doing for your client.
There are plenty of good references online that you can use. Just make sure that the references or templates that you’ll be using are relevant to the industry that you plan to cater to.
Once you can confidently answer these questions, then you are ready to jumpstart your journey in the lucrative world of freelancing. Build your confidence, this is an integral part of being a freelancer since you will be selling your skills directly to clients.
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