6 Quick Tips to Be More Successful as a Freelancer
Most successful entrepreneurs start out as independent freelance service providers, which is appealing because you get to work without a boss. There are many benefits to this lifestyle, at first, but over time the reality sets in…
You are an independent professional, and it’s just you. This means you have to fill the role of—many different positions. Not only do you get to be your own boss, but you also have to be your own boss. And your own accountant. And your own marketing department.
Well, you’ll learn to delegate certain tasks out… especially if your business is profitable enough. The thing is, you won’t really find that kind of profit until you have cleared up a mess that many unsuccessful freelancers never get out of.
Whatever industry you serve, not all of your competition are independent freelancers like you. In fact, a large percentage of the competitors who are making more money than you do so because they are a bigger company or agency.
This means they have bigger resources to pull from and—let’s face it, they are probably more organized than you are. At the end of the day, freelancers are really good at what they do… but not so good at the other stuff.
That’s why you can take some steps to ensure your head is where it needs to be.
- Don’t work in your pajamas. Knock it off. If you don’t take the initiative to maintain good hygiene and dress up for success… it doesn’t matter where you work from, you won’t ever get past that hump you’re stuck in. Trust me.
- Get organized. If you don’t want to study Martha Stewart, that’s okay. The only organization that matters is one that works for you… but it should involve an extra 5 to 10 minutes every day of just that… getting organized.
- Stick to a strict schedule. It’s just like working in pajamas. The benefit of working from home and making your own hours can also be your biggest downfall. It’s okay to offer your services after hours—at an additional fee—but don’t get sucked into a point where you are either working too long, or not working enough.
- Delegate. As mentioned before, let the experts do their thing so you can do your thing. It’s worth the investment to hire an accountant to run your books so you can focus on gaining and retaining more clients. When necessary, invest in a personal assistant who can take on tedious tasks and keep you working as productively as possible.
- Always have a project agreement with clients that covers roles, tasks & responsibilities, deadlines, and (of course) payment terms. Not only will this help keep you on track, but it will also prove to clients that you are more than just a freelancer. You are a professional.
- Make the most of tools available that will also help you work more productively and efficiently with clients, especially in situations where you work from a long distance. If email and Skype are your primary method of communication, then you need to use an online collaboration tool or workspace for project management. Don’t wait for a client to suggest their system. Be flexible enough to adapt to a customers’ preferred process but always be ready to introduce clients to your own process for project management. Like a professional, it is your responsibility to keep communication on track and avoid having to dig through your inbox to find that one file. It’s never too early to start either! When you get in a position where you are working for multiple clients and juggling multiple projects at a time, it will be much easier to do when you have an organized project management system already in place.