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Freelancing has no future for those who don’t pay heed to these 5 things

by Usman
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Freelancing is getting extremely popular, largely because of huge unemployment in every country. It seems to be the mode of work for the future. The gig economy’s recent popularity is attributed to people’s choice of choosing their work hours, working from the comfort of their homes and most importantly, they have no boss to answer to.

Freelancing is not essentially digital, anyone who renders their service for a contractual job is a freelancer. A guitarist, DJ, event host or musician who performs in an event is also a freelancer. For digital freelancing, the ones who offer skill-oriented services online using different freelance marketplaces are high in demand. Many freelancer websites such as Upwork, Guru, Fiverr and peopleperhour are attracting buyers to post their contractual jobs and chose freelancers based on their experience, skill, and portfolio.

With such rising popularity to become self-employed, many people who try their luck with online freelancing do not succeed. They fail because they miss the basic attributes associated with performing online work. When they fail, they say; freelancing has no future but truth be told, they are little too impatient and do not wait for the right time. They also miss a few important elements essentially required as a freelancer.

I’ve been freelancing for almost two decades now. I am one of the rare people in the country, who have not only successfully transformed their career from freelancing to entrepreneurship but, also have expanded services to other avenues besides paying back to the community by teaching freelancing online.

I believe, if you want to become a successful freelancer online, you have to pay special attention to these 5 elements. Without these five qualities, success is a far cry.

1- English:

You must be wondering, what has English got to do with freelancing?. It is one of the most important elements of freelancing. If you do not know English, you are unable to sell online, period.

The project on different freelance marketplaces is posted in English, the bid has to be placed in English and yet people do not pay attention to learn basic English, so they are able to sell their services.

Grammarly is a great widget that can be installed free on Google’s Chrome browser. Not only it identifies basic spelling mistakes, but it also suggests improvements in grammar. It is a great tool to use if you want to sound perfect in English.

Also, I suggest that reading should be adopted as a habit to learn new words. It helps in a long way. One of my favorite book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” has some great lessons. Go grab your copy and read it, please.

2- Tone of your writing:

The tone of your writing weighs in very heavily. As a digital freelancer who offers their services on the internet, you do not interact with your client in person. While writing, you must pay special attention to good selection of words and should avoid getting into a passive tone because it often causes confusion.

A simple sentence should be written in a simple way i.e “I have done similar work in the past, if given a chance, I will complete this task in an effective way”. If you present the same content in a passive tone, it kind of spoils up the meaning, i.e “similar work is done by me in the past. Give me a chance, I will complete the job, in an effective way”

Both reflect the same notion but the meaning could be translated in a different way. As a freelancer, it is very important to learn, how to write effectively. The tone of the pitch holds great importance.

3- Solution to the client’s problem:

As a freelancer, we often do not pay attention to the client’s problem specified in their project placement. Instead of telling the client, what are you excellent at and going at length in praising your work and previous client’s experience, it is important to address the problem first.

If a client is looking for a particular service or wants someone to troubleshoot a problem, please try to explain; what you can do for that problem.

Always pay special attention to;

  1. What you can do?.
  2. How you can do it?.
  3. Price.

4- Portfolio:

A portfolio is your showcase of work that could fetch you business. Without a portfolio, a client can never judge what are you good at.

As a beginner, it is very important to invest in your self. By working “free” initially for 3-4 projects, you can not only gain good experience but you will also build your portfolio.

If your bid does not present a portfolio, rest assured, consider your chances of being selected cut to half because the client will prefer discussing their project and possibly awarding it to a freelancer who has a portfolio to reflect in their bid.

5- Response time:

This probably is the most important element, if you can not commit to timelines, if you do not quickly respond to the client’s project placement, their PMB (project message board), you are not doing yourself any favor.

It’s a race against the time. The one who is agile, pro-active and jumps to opportunities is better destined to succeed as a freelancer over one who takes an awfully long time in responding to the opportunities.

Always ensure, you respond to the messages quickly.

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