Over recent years, freelancing has become an extremely attractive career option for people working in a diverse range of industries. From graphic design to journalism and software engineering, increasing numbers of people are seeing value in being their own boss. However, with the growing number of freelancers operating these days, competition for the most lucrative contracts is fierce, and it is important for freelancers to find innovative ways to set themselves apart from the competition.
Whether you are a content creator, an SEO specialist or a photographer, here are a few tips that will help you establish yourself as one of the best in the business:
Quality Is Key
When you are starting out as a freelancer, it is easy to be tempted to take on as many jobs as you can. However, this may mean compromising on quality which won't serve you well in the long-run. Invest in equipment and facilities that will assist you in creating the best quality work you can. This could mean purchasing some additional software or searching 'coworking space near me' if working from home just isn't your thing. Whatever the case, striving to produce a quality product for your client will have them coming back for more, well into the future.
Know Your Limitations
New freelancers are often keen to broaden their skillset and offerings. However, it is important to know your limitations. Taking on a project that you aren't quite qualified for won't help build trust between you and your client. If you haven't had much experience in a particular area, communicate this to your client and perhaps suggest a lower fee in order for you to get more experience. You might be surprised to find that clients will appreciate your honesty.
Go the Extra Mile
A rule of thumb that every freelancer should commit to memory is to always under-promise and over-deliver. If you think you can get the job done in 24 hours, err on the side of caution and say you need 48 hours. If you do get the job done overnight, then surprise your client by submitting it early. Another way of going the extra mile is to take on additional little tasks that aren't necessarily part of the brief. This shows the client that you are taking ownership for the assignment and instills the belief that you can be an asset to them.
On a similar note, be proactive when dealing with clients. If you spot something missing or feel you can suggest small improvements to their processes, volunteer your ideas. Even the best business people can overlook things when working with the same projects day in day out. Clients will appreciate you speaking up with your recommendations and improvements.
We are all human and mistakes happen. Perhaps you've fallen behind and can't meet a deadline or a task is more difficult than initially anticipated. In such situations, try to communicate with your client ahead of time to enable them to find a solution. Keeping them in the loop on your progress will demonstrate your professionalism.
Starting out as a freelancer is an exciting new venture which has the potential to reap high rewards, however building a solid foundation and establishing your reputation by following these simple tips will be essential to your success.