A career as a freelancer affords the opportunity to be independent and work wherever and whenever you want. From stay at home parents to travelers and everyone in between, individuals of all types can pursue a career as a freelancer to enjoy more freedom in their job. But a love of independence won’t make you successful on your own. Whether you’re an aspiring freelance web designer or you’re an employer looking for UI designers for hire, these are the skills a successful freelancer must possess.
Unless you’re lucky, you probably won’t have that many people to help when you first start out. You have to stick your neck out and have the confidence to build professional relationships on your own. As an independent professional, you are the face of your own brand. It’s up to you to reach out and gain clients. Networking events and conferences are the perfect venues to meet new partners and prospective clients. Attend events that force you to put yourself out there and work for new businesses.
Save the PJ’s for home and look nice when you meet clients. You want to present a professional image to clients to encourage them to work with you, so give them your best self. Some businesses and organizations are skeptical of freelancers who work from home, so dispel their suspicions with a professional look and attitude.
- Time Management
Working from home has a lot of benefits, but with those benefits comes responsibility. While you do have the luxury of working when and where you want, there’s nobody standing over you telling you what to do. This means you must keep track of your own deadlines and meetings. Without a boss, you now have the task of managing your own time to meet everyone’s needs. Help yourself by keeping a calendar of all of your projects.
Discipline is key when you work alone. It may seem like home is the perfect place to get work done, but without discipline it can make your job much more difficult. Suddenly your laundry may seem more important or you’ll stare out at your garden wishing you could take the time to pull out the weeds. Soon enough, you’ve wasted hours cleaning the home until it’s pristine, but at the end of the day you didn’t finish your work. If you’re easily distracted, find a time and place that suits you best. If you’re a morning person, make a goal to complete most of your work by noon. If you have kids, aim to work while they’re at school. Should your home get too distracting, find a good coffee shop or a library that has the atmosphere you need to get work done. No matter what you choose, stick to your routine as much as possible.
- Excellent Communication Skills
Working from home doesn’t mean you never have to speak to people. Exceptional communication is standard for a freelancer. You don’t see your clients every day so it’s your job to keep in contact with them. From the beginning of your business relationship, you should establish yourself as a reliable person by communicating often. Take care to update your clients on the status of their projects and follow through with Skype meetings. Make yourself an open line of communication. Inform your clients of when they can and can’t reach you. If you’re inaccessible while you’re out of town, it’s your job to inform all of your clients. Working from home doesn’t mean you have to be on call around the clock, but it’s reasonable to let your clients know how they can contact you ahead of time.
Being a freelancer isn’t easy but it can be rewarding. Take these traits into consideration to become a successful freelancer.