If anyone tries to tell you that freelancers don’t work hard for their money just because they don’t operate within the typical nine to five schedule that most do, you might as well laugh in their face – because that is far from the truth. According to freelancermap, a typical freelancer works 7 more hours per week than a traditional employee. Despite working harder, and even having more freedom in those hours, freelancers run into the same problem over and over again – not being about to sustain their career. Unfortunately, many talented professionals have to leave their freelancing career because their leads dry up. Fortunately, if you are already or want to become a freelancer, here are some tips for you to sustain your career, make more money, and have less headache.
This might be counter-intuitive to most of the advice that you have heard, but freelancing is different than almost any traditional job out there so it warrants a different type of advice. Freelancing requires a level of flexibility unmatched in the working world. To ensure that you are attractive to the widest number of people, you should broaden your professional horizons. By honing in on one facet of your profession (ie: Blogs about dogs for a writer, fixing sinks for a handyman, or building landing pages for a web developer), you will become a expert on that particular focus, but lose out in the eyes of the potential client when they are looking to hire for something other than your specialty. Don’t live and die by that one focus, be flexible enough to win the max range of projects.
Study the Competition
Even if you are not freelancing you should be doing this. No matter how successful you are, there is someone out there doing it better than you, and if you can identify them and figure out what makes what they are doing work, you can get that same leg up. In the world of freelancing, adaptation is what will bring you longevity. Adapting based on what the competition is doing right (or wrong in some cases) will allow you to change and benefit from it.
Keep Meticulous Track of Your Income
One benefit of working a boring nine to five is the luxury of someone having your back when it comes to your financial records. As a freelancer, you have many different luxuries (reference our previous blog for those), but you must keep track our your own income. Doing so can help you better plan for the coming months, know how much you need to save compared to what you can spend, and how to project your income for the rest of the year. Staying out of the dark is of the utmost importance in the nebulous world of freelancing, and keeping track of your income is one way you can light it up.
Plan On a Successful Future
You chose to freelance because you thought you could be successful, right? If so, you should build in a period where you will begin to charge clients more for your work. This will help you not only make more money, but work towards a goal and keep up consistent improvement, which is necessary as more and more people join the gig economy.
Maximize Active Clients
This skill is not taught anywhere outside of universities and cutting edge marketing firms. Your best source of new clients are actually old clients, but freelancers are often so focused on the task at hand that they forget this. Independent workers are asked to do so much more than a traditional employee, scheduling their time, performing the job, marketing their skills, charting their own progress, and more. At QuiGig, we are building platform tools to help freelancers juggle this hectic life a bit better. Stay tuned for more, right here, and on your profile page.