Starting off freelancing is really tougher than you think. Let me kick you with that first! But as you might have heard a trillion times before, it’s worth the shot! I started my freelancing career as a content writer (English content) and it’s paying well, even though I am not a native English speaker! And if I am not a native and I still make good figures, maybe you can do the same and better with your tongue! In fact, these freelancing tips aren’t just for writers, it’s meant to help everybody start their freelancing careers right!
5 freelancing tips I wish I knew before I started my freelancing career
1 – Choose the right high-income skill and master it
2 – Prepare a portfolio
3 – Content Creation
4 – Learn how to communicate better
5 – Learn to say no and walk away when you have to
1 – Learn a high-income skill
Business owners and clients are ready to pay freelancers who can make their life easier. And if you can solve hard problems, it means you possess a high-income skill!
A high-income skill is simply one that generates at least 5X more than you need to live -month as a scale. The skill can be almost anything but a job! In fact, we have two articles; one about high-income skills and the other about best-paying jobs. We recommend both for they’d help you choose the right career!
However, we really recommend you pick one skill and become so good at it. Don’t be a jack of all trades. That’s to say, don’t learn a bunch of skills at once because you’d end up being average in all of them. And clients really prefer to work with a professional in one field rather than one average skilled person in everything.
That’s not to say you can’t be a good copywriter and a good video editor at the same time! But master one skill at a time & when communicating with potential clients, talk about one skill at a time!
An anecdote about me:
A good example to show you how it’s done would be a quick story with one of my biggest clients currently. I’ve been writing articles for these guys for the past 8 months, and I have never mentioned that I can do anything beyond SEO and writing. But after no less than five months of work, and during a Zoom meeting, my manager asked me if I can write a script for a tutorial about their software and I said “Sure! I can even help edit the video if necessary…” “The manager was like really? You can edit videos..?” I sent him my videos from my YouTube channel and yeah, I edited that video and a few more after that!
2 – Portfolio
Show me a bird that can fly without wings and I’ll show you a successful freelancer without a portfolio!
There’s no way on earth that you can build a great freelancing career and you don’t have a good and well-presented portfolio. I personally have mine on Upwork + another portfolio in .Docs + my own personal website + Overmentality! All of this is just to prove to my potential clients that I am capable and I’m a professional.
But you’re just getting started right!? How can you do the same!!
Well, the answer lies in working for free! If you’re a writer, reach out to websites and tell them you’re ready to write good content and give it to them in exchange for a testimonial or something. If you’re a designer, reach out to that photographer and tell him/her you can create a free Logo…
You can even reach out to Overmentality.com and we can have your content published here under your name if it’s good enough for our audience! We can use your Logo or voice-over or anything & give you credits! Feel free to reach out.
In a nutshell, there’s no shame working for free on a few projects to get your portfolio ready.
If you’re a designer, a photographer, a video editor, or any other skill related to visual art… We recommend using Behance, Adobe Portfolio, or FlexClip to showcase your work. As a writer, you can either use Docs.google or build your own personal blog/website to show off your writing caliber.
Most other skills may require you to have an actual well-built website!
But as a starter, you don’t really have to have all of that! You can just share your work in the DM and that’s it! Best of luck
3 – Content creation
A thing a lot of freelancers struggle with is landing jobs continuously. Although other freelancing tips in this article are helpful, this one really solves your biggest struggle!
As Garyvee says, just go out there and throw a bunch of videos/content related to what you do for a living. And brand yourself as the best dude in the multiverse who can write articles or design logos.
Do this and keep talking and providing good content related to what you do and you’d have a long-lasting stream of new clients who are educated about your content & are ready to pay you good money to help solve their problems.
Content creation doesn’t necessarily have to be YouTube or IG content! You can also start a blog if you’re into writing or a Podcast on Spotify and Soundcloud, etc…
Just provide value and content that’d reach the right people, and go get that money bag!
4 – Sharpen your communication skills
As a freelancer, you should be improving your soft skills almost on a daily basis. Read articles, talk to people, watch Teds… do anything because you just can’t afford not to be a good communicator.
One good reason for that would be the fact that you’re not the only person offering that service out there. And the only way you can win the battle against other freelancers is if you can lay out a good proposal and convince the clients to work with you.
Another reason would be that, according to your clients, unless you’re keeping them updated about the progress, you are not working! As a result, when you show them the biweekly bill, issues might arise.
Avoid that by writing daily updates at least once a day about what you accomplished, what you haven’t, and what you plan to do the next day. Believe me when I say that communication really makes a difference in the freelancing world. And We’ll be listing a few freelancing tips here to help you out.
Freelancing tips related to Communication:
1 – Be Concise:
When writing a proposal for a new job offer on a freelancing website, always BE DIRECT and CONCISE. If you can communicate a piece of information in two words, why use three? Your clients don’t have all day to read your proposal and a bunch more. An example of a good proposal I’d write to my potential clients would be:
“ Hello there! I hope this finds you well.
I’m a Top-Rated SEO specialist & Content writer with a 100% Job Success Score.
I worked on a few projects similar to yours, and I’d be happy to work closely with you and finish this one with success too!
Attached is a copy I wrote for another client, and here are links to other articles I wrote:
LINKS LINKS LINKS LINKS
I’ll be waiting for your message so we can talk more about your project! Stay safe & Cheers.”
And just like this, the client knows everything he should know about me!
2 – Don’t Lie:
Sometimes a very small micro-lie can make the difference whether you’d be hired or not. It’s so tempting. But a pro freelancing tip would be DON’T. If it requires lying, it’s not worth the shot yet.
You also may end up being exposed and the client would certainly mention it in his/her review, and your integrity & reputation would kiss the floor for a very long time.
3 – It’s okay to go unprofessional after some time:
Most of my clients -if not all call me my friend and treat me like one. That’s because I make sure I understand the person and I work with & I adapt to their personalities and interests. Crack relevant jokes enough times and you’re not their freelancer anymore but rather their friend or teammate.
Of course, this doesn’t turn the green light on for you to just go with the flow and say whatever you want… You still are working for that person and he is paying you to solve a problem. Break the ice very slowly and let the drops sink in slower…
A good trick you can trick here would be asking genuinely about the person’s personal life and safety during a call. If something in their part of the world isn’t going well and you happen to know about it, ask and make sure they’re safe! They’d notice and it would be a bonus for you…
4 – Be yourself:
Always be yourself. Don’t try to be Casey Neistat, don’t try to be Garyvee, Don’t be Joshua Burnstech… Be whoever you are and stick to it. People notice when you’re faking it and they’d feel they’re being scammed and end up running away.
5 – Learn to say no
I wish I learned this in a freelancing tips article rather than the hard way I did. And I don’t want the same to happen to you!
Recently this year, I received an invitation to work on a project that has nothing to do with SEO or copywriting.
A Canadian car agency contacted me and wanted me to help them sell cars over the phone… The hourly rate was fair & making a couple of sales per month would’ve paid me ten times more than I used to make back then.
I said yes! I messed up because I lack experience and expertise, and then ended up dropping my job success score to 86% on Upwork because of that job only!
It took me almost three months to raise it back to 100%. And that’s something you don’t want to happen to you.
The lesson here is that you shouldn’t say no to a job offer just because there’s money in it. Don’t be blinded by easy income and end up ruining the reputation you’ve been building for months.
Another situation where you’re ought to say NO is when you’re offered a lower rate than you think you deserve. Trust me, when you lower your rate once, you’ll have to do it again, and again, and again…
Never say yes to an offer that doesn’t respect or reflect what you can accomplish. The income struggle is necessary at first, but if you keep up the hard work, income will certainly increase later.
Pro freelancing tips:
Make sure to check Overmentality often for we’re here to help you in your freelancing and business journey. We upload new educational content on a weekly basis. And we make sure you get the best content possible.
We’d be more than happy to read and interact with your comments down below & we’re open to your suggestions and freelancing tips you want us to include, and we’d of course be answering any of your questions.