5 things a freelancer should know to succeed

Created on 13 Jun 2021648 words・3 min read

Freelancers or independent contractors are in demand as never have been before, the pandemic changed how businesses work and hiring a remote worker has become a new normal.

As a freelancer myself with years and years of remote work experience and sometimes as a client who hires for work, I decided to share some ideas and advices with those who just start or want to improve their experience and success rate.

Be a human and read carefully

From times to times I had to hire some professionals and this experience allowed me to understand how a client feels like when receives proposals.

First of all I should say that more than 95% of freelancers just don't read job descriptions, they copy paste a prepared "promotional" text and send it.

Don't do like this, ever.

This does not work and shows that you are not really interested, most of the times this makes the client remove your proposal and proceed with somebody else who reads the description, answers the questions, asks some questions and is proactive.

Learn to discuss and convince

The ability to discuss and convince somebody using structured arguments is very important.

You should not always agree with a client, your main goal should be a good product and you as a professional hired to do your job should be able to propose some ideas and help the client choose the best option.

So, next time you'll do something, just propose some ideas and changes backing them up with good reasoning, with some examples and etc. Trust me, this will give you a lot of credit and possibly your client will share you contact with someone else.

Leave traces of agreements

Leaving traces of agreements is important and how many times I've seen people ignore this, to be honest I ignored this too to the moment when a client just scammed me and left without money. Freelancers do scam clients too, so this matches both sides.

What does it actually mean, leaving traces of agreements?

First of all, you should communicate on a platform where you got your job, usually the platforms act as an escrow, protecting your agreements and money, of course they take percentage for this, but what is better, to get your money or product, or be scammed and not pay for escrow?

If you got your job or hired a worker somewhere else, sign a contract, there are multiple good examples on the internet.

Talk and discuss using messengers where no one can edit their messages or via email, that is even better, as emails are usually considered first class proof of agreement in courts, but don't forget to mention email addresses in the contact.

Never say a hard no

I consider that saying a hard no is a pretty bad business approach when working for yourself.

Even when you don't want to work with a client who asks for your help, just don't say no, say that you are busy and will be free in three months for example, or name a price that is reasonably high for this client, just don't say no.

As you never know what will happen in the future and you don't what to burn all the bridges behind.

Do project for yourself

Make imaginary projects for yourself or solve your problems with your own skill sets. This is really important, as it allows you to use a new tool, develop a new skill, check design trends or update portfolio.

Maybe help your friends or someone who cannot afford your services. What is more important, this will help you understand how the projects are done, from planning to mockups, from idea and research to launch.

Doing something for yourself is hard, this needs a very specific motivation boost, but this will help you in the future and will teach you something anyway.