There is no doubt my freelancing journey has been a great one, but on a second thought I think it would have been a more spectacular one. The main reason I took longer to reach where I am is the learning curve. I had too much of learning and testing to do.
I just wanted to write this and let you know the five things that I wish I knew before I got started with freelancing.
No one will tell you these things, and I think it is important for you to know these before you dive into the freelance world. Of course if you are already freelancing, you can use these tips to make your freelance business better.
Here are 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Freelancer
1. You must be a salesperson
I wish I knew that I had to learn how to sell my services. I learned this one the hard way. One of the most important things you need as a freelancer is learning how to sell. It is very wrong to think that there is plenty of work out there, and all you have to do is show up. The truth is you need to learn how to sell your services, and also find a way to attract the clients. Learn how to be a great salesperson and trust me, you're going to stand above the competition.
2. Free time is almost never there
When I got started, I actually thought I would get more free time to do the things I love doing. I soon realized that this wasn’t true. Whenever I got a free time, I spent that looking for new projects. You have to know that it is your responsibility to set aside that free time you are looking for. Make sure you set aside a couple of hours a day, or a day/s a week to stay away from your desk.
3. Only start work after a client commits
This is one of the biggest mistakes I ever made in my freelancing career. In the beginning, I used to get excited when I got a new client. So because of the excitement, I ended up starting to work on some projects without any commitment from the client. And at the end, I lost a lot of money. The point here is to never start working on the project unless a client has committed themselves by paying a percentage of the amount. Most freelance platforms have a milestone system. Please make use of them.
4. Specialize in Something
Specializing in a specific niche or industry is very… very important. It took me so long to understand this. Specializing in one particular field is important in building your freelance business. The reason is, the more projects you do in that particular field, the more experience you get, the more reviews you get connected to the field, and the more you are looked at as an expert. At the end, all these translate to more clients and more money.
5. There are seasons in freelancing
This is where your patience gets to be tested. When I got started, I always thought there will always be work. Freelancing has seasons. It is hard to tell, but once you are more than 2 years in the business, you start to see a pattern. You definetly want to be ready when the dry spell comes.
If only I knew all the 5 things above, I would be 10X the freelancer I am today. Lucky for you, I made that mistake. I hope you take this post seriously and act accordingly.
Have a great day!