The most important thing you need to do is develop a portfolio website with an online shop. You’ll also need to set up your social media platforms, connect them through the networks so that images and posts from one show up on another
And create profiles for each. In addition, you’ll want to establish accounts with pay-to-play services like Upwork or freelancer.com to generate leads and secure work. Finally, maintaining connections with previous employers is critical because they can refer work your way at any moment when their team is overloaded without warning; those types of referrals account for much of my ongoing freelance work today as I maintain contact with previous managers on LinkedIn (professional network) or via email updates they receive by subscribing in a Feedblitz RSS feed (personal network).
To work for yourself, you need to be able to do these things without any assistance. The end goal is that you’re not just your boss but also your one and only employee/worker. There’s no middleman because everything is done by yourself from the comfort of your home with the support of technology; this will help control costs as much as possible so you can make money, even on concise projects where it would otherwise be impossible to profit. All that remains then is finding clients and scheduling projects or having everything run itself based on a predetermined client list by setting up automated invoicing and payment reminders through services like Freshbooks. You can even use the same system to book yourself hour-long appointments with potential clients though this can feel like a bit of a waste of time. It’s best to master one platform before switching over, or else you might find yourself spending more time on social media than actually looking for work.
Our goal in creating these systems is not only to help the freelancer secure more projects than he could ever hope to handle working alone but also so that said freelancer can free up his time from having to do everything by himself after all, he’s got plenty other things to consider beyond securing new jobs and have it run itself. Whenever I post something on Twitter about my following video game review, I get traffic because people show up at my website expecting to see a review. The same happens whenever I release a new video. It even happens when someone mentions my name on Twitter that referral traffic all goes to my website where I can see how much of it is genuine interest from somebody wanting to hire me instead of just random people passing by who want nothing to do with it it me or my work.
Not only does this give you an idea of who might become your next client, but it also informs you about what types of projects they may need in the future. Maybe one person wants you for your animation skills, but another wants you for something different like transcribed interviews; whatever the case, having these systems allows you to be more reactive rather than proactive because one hundred clients aren’t feasible anymore, and you still need to focus on updating your online shop, marketing yourself and taking care of all the other responsibilities like invoicing or networking.
Each project is treated as a business in itself; for example, I’m currently working on developing an iOS app in Objective-C, which requires some coding and needs a lot of design work. For this reason, I make sure that each potential client has seen my portfolio even if they haven’t clicked through to see more about me — it’s always good to be prepared just in case someone comes along at the right moment looking for somebody with your specific skillset. In this regard, don’t ever say “no” to anybody who requests something without first checking out your website; people might want things from you that you never knew about until now. You can even use this to your advantage by offering something entirely different for free just to see if the person is serious about having it done.
Some of these systems are more practical than others. Still, all of them were initially designed as a way for me to minimize the amount of work I had to do while maximizing my hourly rate (since doing freelancing full, I’ve become much pickier).
1) Renting out office spaces in cities with high concentrations of freelance developers and graphic designers. Since they’re already working from home anyway, this allows them to earn extra money by renting their desk out whenever they’re not at work — somewhat similar to Airbnb but with a business focus.
2) Expanding the hourly-based freelance system to include recurring clients so that you can use your existing freelancers for jobs like email marketing, SEO copywriting, and social media management. This also opens up opportunities for other potential service providers to work as assistants or project managers on more significant projects, which would typically not be possible through direct hiring alone.
3) Creating an online job board where freelance designers and developers can place their services in one centralized location — your website — rather than posting ads all over the internet and waiting for potential customers to stumble upon them. This way, they can just go straight to the source whenever somebody needs something done; if this is coupled with tools like Skype chat or Google Hangouts, it becomes an invaluable experience for both sides because they can get to know each other ahead of time while picking their brains and asking any questions they might have in real-time you’re not bringing on just a client but also a potential future partner.
4) Finding ways to make your online presence more engaging so that people will want to keep coming back; this involves doing things like writing blog posts (even if nobody reads them), posting comments on forums, maintaining high search engine rankings employing Google Adwords or even setting up an easter egg video loop on your website’s background which only stays visible when you refresh the page with Ctrl+F5. The idea is that people should always be visiting you day after day because they’re interested rather than simply being led to your site through search engine optimization.
On top of all this, you also have to be aware of a few other things such as:
1) make sure that you cover the basics before signing with anybody; pay special attention to their history (references), job descriptions, and overall portfolio (many people will just say that they can do something rather than showing you what they’ve done in the past).
2) learn how to read between the lines when sending invoices many clients will attempt “budget cuts” by suggesting lower rates despite having accepted your estimate beforehand or one-time projects which don’t require any type of payment.
3) keep track of everything; note down important events in your logbook, record dates on which you accepted bids, track important information about each customer and keep them all organized in your unique way.
4) try to avoid clients who are too demanding or challenging to please some times it’s easier always to give people what they want rather than speaking up just because of the money.
Ultimately, the goal is for everything to fall into place naturally so that you can maintain a steady flow of work without having to “recruit” new freelancers every week or struggle with non-paying clients. The most crucial thing at this point is building trust through direct recommendations so that your services will continue generating leads long after you’re gone. While there was a lot more, I wanted to include tips for determining fair prices or making sure that your clients are happy; any additional insights could easily be covered in a future article if the above provided any value.
I hope you found this blog post informative! If you have anything to add, please feel free to leave a comment below because I’d love to hear from you. Happy growing!
Originally published at https://www.sucz.net.