Back in 2008 when I first started freelancing, it took me over 2 months until I landed my first job, and as small as that job was I was flying high with happiness. A few years later, I started to get a lot of young men and women coming to me asking how to get started.
And what started as just sharing my personal experience in a few sentences developed into a full-blown course that’s available online on Udemy, and as a week-long training that’s offered in some training centers. It covers everything I know about the secrets of Freelancing.
Today, after 9 years in the field I ask myself, why do some people succeed in freelancing and others fail, although most of them have the right skills that are needed in the market?
I would say I found three main traits that separate those who did it from those who gave up too early:
This is the single most important trait that I found made a whole lot of difference for anyone starting freelancing, or any other new field or career; it won’t be easy at the beginning. Some will be patient and try harder and give it more time while others will simply say “It’s not going to work!” and give up too early.
So, which group are you in?
If you’re new to freelancing or think of getting started, keep this in mind and keep asking yourself this question from day one.
This I found to be the second most important trait in those who made it all the way to the top; are you unique? In other words, do you know what makes you different from others? Or like you would be asked in a job interview, “Why would I hire you?”
This is something you need to think about a lot and try to make it your focus when communicating with clients or offering your services to them. You need to be very clear about what sets you apart and why are you the best person they need to hire or work with.
If you fail to see this clearly yourself and then sell it to clients, there is a very little chance that anyone would want to hire you – so always keep that in mind. What makes you special?
Here I would like to tell you about the story of one of my students who specialised in creating animated videos intros; after attending my course, she created her profile on one of the freelancing marketplaces. One day I needed to create an intro for a startup I was part of, and ordered her service, which included providing an intro video with my logo. Next day I woke up to find a delivery and was really surprised to see that she provided me with 4 intros and 3 outros for my videos for the price of one – all were of a high quality. Since then she’s been my absolute go-to person whenever I need to create similar work and I have even recommended her to a number of my clients.
So, as you can see she put in her personal touch and managed to gain a lifelong client from the first encounter!
3. Clear Communication
Most of the time I would hear clients complaining about a failed job or a bad relationship with another freelancer. They would be complaining that he didn’t listen to what they said or that he didn’t communicate clearly or as often as they would expect!
So, always make sure to stay in touch with your clients, ask them questions, reply to theirs even if you don’t have the answer they want – just let them know that you got their message and will get back to them as soon as you have the answer. This even gets more important as your work grows and you start taking care of multiple jobs at the same time.
Always be sure your client knows what you’re doing with their job and that they like what you’re doing, so get frequent feedback on your work – don’t wait until the end. Of course, there are lots of other important things that you will need to learn how to do and practice well to be a successful freelancer, but keeping these three in mind will make a great difference in your career and set you apart to be one of the few who make it to the top.
If you have other ideas, comments or even disagree with some of my points, I would love to hear back from you.
About the Author:
Mamdouh Kaldas is a web designer, WordPress expert, online instructor and Adobe Education Trainer. He’s been freelancing since 2008 and he’s currently teaching freelancing to new talents in both English and Arabic.
He enjoys writing about WordPress on his blog.
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