Tips/Tricks to Freelancing
Today, i will share my experience about Freelancing. I have been doing freelancing for about 10 years now and things have worked pretty good for me uptil now. I have learnt new things, earned money and most of all I have a strong profile that can get me most of the jobs on freelancing sites. I have bought so many things from the freelance money like android phone, LCD, gaming mouse, Saturday night McDonalds home deliveries and many more. Lets track back and see what i did.
At first i was not aware of the word Freelancer. So, it is good to know some theory. Here is a good definition from Wikipedia “A freelancer, freelance worker, or freelance is somebody who is self-employed and is not committed to a particular employer long term.”
There are different ways by which we can freelance e.g.
- Freelance Websites
- Local Clients
- International Clients
There are different sites available that can help you get projects. Naming a few
They give you 100% guaranteed work if you are willing. You can get your money from almost anywhere in the world and they provide you with wide range of employers. They also provide you with softwares that help you in managing things. They also provide you with projects that range from data entry to enterprise level applications.
You can also get projects from local market, relatives and people around you.
- This is generally difficult
- People do not pay much (it has different reasons and will discuss it in some blog).
- You cannot RUN (kidding 🙂 )
- You have to do everything on your own.
If you have links outside your country then you can go global and get projects from other parts of the worlds
- Very difficult to get projects
- People never believe you
- No Payment guarantee
- You can get more/less money (depends on what you have)
Now, i am jumping to my experience and will show the summary of what i have learnt. I will make headings to make things more clear.
Define your skill set
First, you need to write down your skill set. This is very important otherwise you will end up losing your clients. So, get a pen and write down everything you know it can be anything like (You can get a list of categories here https://www.upwork.com/jobs/)
- Data Entry
- Technical Writing
- Email marketing
- Machine Learning
Identify – where you are different from others
Next step is to identify, where you can beat everyone. That will be the key on which you will market yourself. This is important and you must rethink. In case you end up having nothing in your bag then no problem you can still get projects. Here are some samples of what you can write
- Apache Spark Expert
- Hyperscaler Expert (AWS/GCP/Azure)
- Kubernetes Expert
- DevOps Engineer
- MS Sql DBA
- Algorithm Developer
- Programming Article writer
What i have done a few lines back ? I have made things more specific and unique. If you are good at Algorithms then this will make you different from 90% of the programmers and by doing so you are ensuring that whenever any project related to Algorithms is posted it will be yours or atleast you have more chances then others.
This is one trick that i have learnt to get attention of employers. (btw i have Algorithm developer in my profile and i get alot of job offers only on this basis)
Complete your Profile
When ever you signup on any website, do complete your profile. If you will not have a complete profile then most of the employers will just move ahead. So it is important and must done properly. A few things that should be added and that add value to your profile are
- Your Education
- Your Work Experience
- Your Portfolio
- A small description – Why the employer should hire you.
- Any certification that you have done
Everything you write should be honest/fair. Don’t write too much that you cannot handle. Always be honest with your clients they wont eat you if you do something wrong. Just tell them honestly and they will help you sort out the problem. I have tried it and it works.
This is my best trick ever. I have a lot of demos on desktop/github readily available and they are part of the proposal most of the time. This is the biggest impact that you have on your client.
Complete the Project
If you get a project then complete the project. Give your best and let the employer enjoy the work for which he has paid you. If you leave a project then it has many disadvantages
- You loose your trust level
- You loose a possible candidate on your portfolio
- You loose future possible projects
- Your profiles gets a negative impact
End on Good Notes
Always end the project on good notes. Even if things went wrong try to end it smoothly. By doing this you are ensuring
- Future work
- Good rating by employer
- Bonus (Yes! you also get a bonus)
I have done many projects by just doing this. Once, i was not even selected for the project but i replied to the client nicely and in the very next project he asked me to do it.
Keep following a project
If a client is slow, lazy and even does not have a project then still keep emailing him after a week or 2. I bet whenever he will have a project you will be on the top of the list. Keep emailing him in nice words, update him about your skills and etc.
You wont believe, i had one client who used to reply too late. He posted a project and replied to my proposal after 4 days and it took 1 month to even get the project. There were 21 other candidates and what was i doing different? I kept on posting messages like
- Hi, are you interested?
- I have studied your details and I understand pretty much everything
- Hi, I have the setup ready when can i start ?
- Will i be working on your machine or mine ?
- and other
And VOILA !!! i got the project + 2 others following that by the very same employer. So, you see things actually work.
Choose the Right project
Always hit the right project, if you know almost 60% of it then you can go for it and try your level best to get that. Write a smart proposal and keep following it.
Before posting the proposal, study the client. See his work history, the amount of money he has spent and what was his rating and what were the comments given to him by his employees. This can bring wonders to your life
- A customer who post many projects can be your long term employer.
- You can get a lot of money from just a single employer.
- Once you get to know him, he will care for you.
Never do a project if you are not sure about the payment method
A lot of employers, post a project on a website and on completion they ask the employee to give his personal id so they can work directly. NEVER DO THIS. Ask him to again post a project on the site, this will make sure that he will pay your money. Just to save a few dollars you might end you losing a lot.
Work yourself for atleast 1 years
You should work yourself for first few years so that you gain solid skill set and after that add some team to enhance your work. But believe me if you are not strong on what you do then people will cheat you.
Most of the people reading this, will do freelancing as a second resource of earning. So, dedication is fully required in first 6 months. This is the period where you are building client’s database, profile and skill set. You should put your full effort in making this period successful.
Employers mostly have more trust on companies as they have registered sites and have proper support system. So, after working for a year you should make a team and form a company. This will increase your earning a lot.
IN THE END:
IF YOU DON’T GET CLIENTS THEN DON’T STOP FREELANCING.
KEEP TRYING AS IT IS JUST A MATTER OF 1 LAST TRY :).
You can always guide and correct me. For this either drop a comment below or an email from contact us.