Freelancing is one of the best ways to start working at home asap. As a freelancer, you can take a skill you currently have and start selling it to others who need the work done. We often think of freelancers as writers, but today the term is used to include anyone offering their skills including web and graphic design, bookkeeping, transcription, social media, translation and more.
Here are some tips to making your freelance career a success:
1) Price right. Many new freelancers are afraid to set prices that adequate represent what their skill is wroth. While you might need to undercut your prices to get your first client or two, you don’t want to set your prices so low that you have to work too much or can’t make a living. Make sure you build in the cost of doing business (overhead and expenses) into your price.
2) Learn how to quote project price. Once you have an idea of what your time is worth, you need to be able to let clients know what a project might cost. For example, you may decide you want to charge $25 an hour, but a client will need to know how many hours the project will take. You need to determine how much time it takes you to complete work so you can give clients an over all quote. For example, if you charge $25 an hour and the project will take 3 hours, the project quote is $75.
3) Have a professional looking website. Today, it’s easier and more affordable than ever to have a quality website. A website provides a place where clients can contact you, you can share testimonials and show off your portfolio. It’s also where happy clients can send people referred to you. Don’t skimp on this. Build it and use it.
4) Market, market, market. Along with providing your service, you need to market everyday. One of the challenges for freelancers is having enough clients. That’s where marketing comes in. Even if your plate is full, always make time to promote your business because you never know when you’ll lose a client. Good marketing starts by knowing your idea client and where to find them. The next step if to get your business in front of them.
5) Make your clients happy. The most successful freelancers I know, get most of their clients through referral. The only way to get referrals is to make your existing clients so happy that they tell others about you. Referrals cut down on the time and expense of marketing, so find ways to help your clients share your business with others.
6) Don’t overextend your time or expertise. They’ll come a time where you’ll feel the need to take a project even though you don’t have time or the knowledge. However, taking on work that you can’t put the time into or that don’t have the skills to complete is a sure way to hurt your business. The work will be subpar. If you find that you need more clients to make a living, go back and review your pricing structure. If you’re being asked to do work you don’t have the skills in, learn it first.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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