Want to work as a freelancer? I have some tips!

Today, I've written down some tips and advice for people who want to start working as a freelancer. I will shove some ideas down your throat, oh and yes, you're welcome.

As some of you may know, I worked as a freelancer before opening up my online business. I thought of just making a table of pros and cons but I don't want to be labeled as a lazy fuck so here you go:

1.) TAKE TIME TO DO AND EDIT YOUR PROFILE - Upon signing up on freelance websites (Elance, PPH, Freelancer, Fiverr, Odesk, etc) you'll be so eager to start bidding on projects and get overwhelmed by the number of opportunities that's in front of you. Well not so fast, sister. You may bid on a shit load of projects but guess what? No one will even bother to respond to your bid. If you were the employer, would you even consider someone who didn't bother listing down their educational background, skills, and portfolio? Exactly.

2.) BUILD YOUR CREDIBILITY - Bid on simple projects first! New freelancers with no feedback at all are most likely to be hired by employers who offer easy jobs. You can easily find those types of jobs by looking at the cheapest projects. After getting some positive feedbacks, you can work your way through the bigger ones.

  • Design - If you're a freelance artist, it's obvious that you need to let everyone see your work! Be careful though, there are LOTS of people who will rip off your work (even big companies do that... blame their lazy staff) I suggest that you place watermarks on your work, you can also place a copyright notice in your portfolio - make sure it's visible. 
  • Writing - If you're a writer, you can upload at least 2 of your articles to let people know the quality of your work. I would suggest uploading it via image, not text, as some people who claim to be freelance writers may also steal your work.
  • Web Design - Easy! Send the links to your previous work. If you've never done one before, I would suggest making a Blogger Design and just make a pre-made template. It's free to host and your potential employers will also see the quality of your work.

4.) GET YOUR PRICING RIGHT - Most freelancers sell themselves low, myself included (well, used to) and that won't help you in the long run! You need to think about the number of hours that it will take you to finish a particular project, since we're talking about intangible products here. Say for example, you're a designer/illustrator who creates logos, headers, and other graphics for websites. Consider this: How much time will you spend working on an illustration? Include all factors such as brainstorming, sketches, communication time between you and the client, number of revisions, time to illustrate, time to render it on photoshop, etc. Remember, time is money, bitches!

Another thing, if you sell your services too low, people will absolutely doubt the quality of your work. Here's an example: You come across a designer's portfolio and browse through her work (and you find them really unique and wonderful too) In most cases, you'll have a fair idea on how much the designer will charge without looking at the rates. Then, after looking at the prices, you found out that a design costs only $20. Yes, some people may find this as a great bargain, but most people (especially big time businesses!) will feel a bit unsure with the overall quality of your work. So get your pricing right, it will benefit you in the long run.

5.) BE PROFESSIONAL - It is a given fact that you will encounter clients who will either try to make you work for free or make the project really hard for you. Believe me, I've been there. If you make yourself appear as someone who has a heart as soft as a muffin, they will take advantage of you. Before signing an online contract, tell your client your terms and conditions. If you only allow 3 revisions per design, tell them right away. If they need to purchase copyright (this applies when you're dealing with people who will place your work on e-commerce sites) tell them before the work commences. This will protect you from shitheads who will try to cheat their way out and get something for free.

6.) TELL THEM WHY THEY SHOULD HIRE YOU - I do this every single time I'm bidding on a project, because I want them to notice me. There are a lot of freelancers who are also lining up for the job, so make yourself stand out. I notice that most freelancers don't even read the description, they just bid right away! Don't do that, when sending them a message, reassure them that you read the project thoroughly and that you can confidently do it. Tell them your previous experience, provide samples, and other advantages that you possess (example: Native English speaker, degree, etc)

7.) FOLLOW-UP - This is very important, especially when you're dealing with business people. It is very important to know how they're doing, if they enjoy the finished product, and letting them know that you are open for more collaborations. This will show them that you truly care about your clients and that you value your work. Like business, freelancing is all about making your customers come back.

That's all I can think of right now but I am sure there are still heaps to keep in mind! If you have any questions, I am always available to help via email/comment/twitter :) Hope this helped!

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  1. Great ideas , I had joined FreeLancer a couple of months ago but I turned it down too early , as I'm a student so I never got any time to do their projects properly :S

  2. Great tips! I really need to set some time apart to build my credibility. Very inspiring as well, girl! Thanks!

    Also wanted to let you know I have a giveaway you might like too :)

    Cathy Trails

    Revlon Just Bitten Giveaway

  3. You are an absolute star.
    I really want to do some freelance work (possibly when my uni load tires down a tad) so this is really helpful.

    Thank you!

    Xx. Emma @ ever--so.blogspot.co.uk

    1. Yaaay, glad this helped! :) You can email me any time too :)