After receiving an overwhelming response to my articles about Freelancing, a number of readers have commented that they are a freelancer or who wish to take up freelancing. I am not claiming to be well versed or knowledgeable in the line of freelancing. After all, I am a noob at this and I have only been freelancing for 6 months, of which the first 3 months are more of a half-hearted attempt as I concentrate on setting up MiddleMe. I did admit when I first started out as a freelancer, I did struggle a little but I always relish challenges and push myself on.
I signed up for a couple of freelancing websites, find a pretty photo and do up an impressive profile. And I waited. And waited. I would have thought I would have an influx of clients knocking on my ‘online’ door but after a week, nothing happens. Two weeks later, I started to doubt myself and my abilities, I can tell you it is not good for my bruised ego. Like I advise the readers here to evaluate your careers and what you want, I realize I did not evaluate myself as a freelancer.
I begin to dissect what is wrong with my profile, my rates, my skill sets, my offerings. I begin to look at sellers who has high success rates, how did they approach their clients, what is in their profiles, what are they selling. I even jumped in and volunteered an opportunity to help my friend who needs to look for a freelancer, to search for one so I can get to talk to some freelancers for real. After gathering the information and collecting my thoughts, I know what is wrong and I proceed to correct myself. It is never a single factor why clients don’t come to you. It is an overall effect. From the way, I position myself to the way I charge to the way I bid for projects to the way I talked to people. I realized unlike the corporate world, I just have to please my boss and my clients, now I have to please my clients who are my bosses! Shocking!
Between August and October, I would have a trickle of clients, mostly one-off projects that only could be completed within an hour or two. The influx came after I changed everything I did, and in November, I began to receive bigger projects, longer projects.
Clients who want me to work permanently with them. Clients who asked if I provide other services or even if I can try my hand at other areas that I have no experience in. (They are under no illusions that I am an expert in that area and willing to pay me to try a couple of sessions for them so I can grow my skills.) Returning customers who appreciate my work and tip me extra for my service.
By December, I have ongoing long term clients who I committed to and trust are mutual on both ends. I begin to build a steady stream of jobs coming in my way. Regular daily tasks that I have worked and get paid on a weekly basis. Without much choice, there are clients that I sometimes need to turn away because I believe in the quality of work and not quantity. That is one of the major reasons why my clients stick to me.
And right now, I am comfortable with where I am, I don’t have to worry about irregular income or not booking a job. However, I don’t take that for granted and I always constantly looking out for new freelancing opportunities to broaden my knowledge and profile. And of course, earn my keep.
Let’s be realistic. Freelancing will not make you rich (at least, not in the pockets). If you want a quicker way to get rich, try working in the oil industries. I have friends who are trading and broking oil, retire at the age of 30 with houses at prime locations, fast cars, and an enormous fat bank account to last their lifetime and their children’s. If I want to get rich quick, I wouldn’t have turned down the offer to join them 10 years ago. Why did I do so? That’s a story for another time.
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Coming up next week: My Review of Fiverr!
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