I have been a top rated freelancer for more than a year and I thought I should share my secrets with you. As you know, I am on most of the freelancing platforms, but most of the time I hang out at Upwork as most of my clients are from there.
Upwork has a program to reward top rated freelancers, which scores based on the number of hours, the jobs completed and the positive reviews that your clients leave you with. The benefits inclusive of getting first hand matched jobs via email to an invitation to exclusive networking events but the best has to be those top paying clients usually will opt to hire top rated freelancers.
I have never set out to be a top rated freelancer, I was hoping that I can get a job, any job. And of course, for the clients to love my work after putting tears and sweat into each article. I am appreciative that I am awarded top rated freelancer by Upwork and the positive reviews that my clients generously bestowed after each project.
Be Top Rated, Be Refreshing
To stand out from the ever-increasing pool of freelancers, always aim to improve and upgrade yourself by learning a new skill every now and then. Whether it is to expand and cast a wider net to attract new clients or to provide add-on services to your existing clients, it can only do you good and no harm. Clients will prefer to work with someone who has multiple skill set than to hire 5 freelancers to complete 5 tasks because they only have to manage you and not 5 others.
Compete On Your Own Terms
There might be lower rates freelancers on the platform but don’t defer yourself to them. Instead, concentrate on what you can provide to the client. However, in order for you to have the bargaining power, you need to have unique selling points like the one I mentioned above.
I hate it when clients ‘disappear’ and I believe it is vice versa. If a client pings you on the chat platform or in Skype, be sure to always respond within 24 hours. 24 hours is long enough to provide a proper response, rather than a ‘yes’ or an ‘ok’. Understandably that you might have an emergency and you can’t be online to reply your clients, but emergencies don’t happen every week and one-time pardon is more than enough for any clients.
If you take on a project, be responsible for it. Own up to your mistakes, apologise and do your best to make up for it, whether it is revising the article or redo the excel sheet. If you have doubts on your assignment, always good to check and ask your client for further clarification. I’m sure they will be glad to guide you rather than to waste their time on a submission that they do not want or not to their expectations.
Honesty Counts More Than Anything Else
Like above, clients appreciate honesty from you. Rather than promising a deadline you can’t meet or do a job that you can’t complete, be honest about it in the first place when the requirements are laid out.
Don’t Be A Yes Man
As much as you are working for your clients, good clients actually do appreciate if you provide professional advice as well. Don’t just say yes to everything the client said, digest and suggest an alternative if you have better suggestions in mind. Always prompt for a value added discussion rather than just blindly take instructions. Clients will tend to value you more as a consultant rather than a mere freelancer, thus coming back for your services.
Surprise & Delight
One thing that my previous customer service experience has taught me is that you always need to surprise and delight your customers in order for them to return again and again. One key thing is to always be different from the usual freelancer in order to stand out from the crowd. So go the extra mile to please your clients. Whether it is procuring additional information for their research or working an extra hour to clear up last moments influx of emails, clients will appreciate your initiative.
The worst thing that can come between a freelancer and a client is when their expectations are not aligned. Whether it is the deadline or the outline of the content, do make sure you and your client are on the same page. When I write for my clients, I’ll provide them with additional links to articles on the web so that we can discuss on the formatting, first second person writing, the tone of writing and the style of writing.
Don’t take feedback negatively. Once you do that, you’ll never improve. Instead, try to learn from the feedback if the feedback is true.
Do you think the above tips are useful to you as a freelancer? Yes or no, do let me know in the comments below. All feedback is warmly welcomed!
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