12 Tips For a Beginning Freelancer

It's not easy to start, but as soon as you see the first results, you get inspired and motivated!

12 Tips For a Beginning Freelancer

12 Tips For a Beginning Freelancer

It's not easy to start, but as soon as you see the first results, you get inspired and motivated!

1. Do not quit your job.

If you are a beginner in freelancing, take your time and do not quit your current job. You need a fixed income and your job may serve as a safety net for the period when you set straight your flow of freelance orders.

2. Make a portfolio

Demonstrate your client what you are capable of. Make several projects or works: one for yourself, another - for your friends or imaginary customers, but make your works top level! So in a short period of time you will have your portfolio. Review and update your portfolio on a permanent basis.

3. Sign up on freelance and portfolio websites.

These websites are an excellent source of orders. Pick some, sign up, tell about yourself, about your professional experience and place some of your works. Here are some of these websites:

4. Improve your communication skills.

Irrespective of the field you work in - 3D artist, animator, graphic designer or web-developer, you should be able to communicate easily, fluently and efficiently. You will need to compose emails, communicate online, make business proposals and speak to customers.

If you feel the task is too complicated for you, give it a chance, do not refuse at once. Focus on positive aspects: promise to scrutinize everything in detail, learn how to do it, most probably you'll be able to complete the task. This is how you demonstrate to the customer you are a self-starter and ready to deal with difficulties.

5. Assign the time for work and eliminate all distracting factors.

Freelance is a free work meaning you are the only boss of yourself. Therefore make yourself more productive by scheduling your work time. You don't have to work from eight to five, but appointed and scheduled time will make it easier to keep a good pace. Be responsible for your time management - make a plan, stick to it and target your aims. Concentrate fully on the result, eliminate all distractions like social networks, chatting with friends, sofa and TV, etc. These are the traps that crave for your attention. You wouldn't even notice how an hour or even half of the day is gone.

6. Responsibility.

Freelance in the first place is taking responsibility for yourself and your work. There is no organized team work, no managers taking care of sales and client search, no accounting responsible for accounts and payments, no chief executive ensuring the efficient work of the whole company.

Freelancer is a chief executive, an accountant and sales manager in one. The responsibility is solely yours. You need to find the clients, provide them a service, and make sure they pay the bills. It is not easy, but in return you get the freedom! Hundred-per-cent freedom, complete time and workplace management. No traffic, no trips to work and crowded transport!

7. Improve yourself and make more money.

Want to earn more, open the window of opportunities and improve your skills. Think about what else is relevant and needed by your customers.

For instance, if you created a character - offer an animation or rigging of it, you created an interior design - offer visualization of it in the game engine, you made a website - offer its promotion, etc.

8. Make your agreements in writing.

Agree all the details (deadlines, payments, requests) by email or SMS (no phone conversations) in case any misunderstandings arise and you'll need some proof.

9. You are surrounded by customers? Offer your services!

Run against anything that needs improvement? Be ambitious to offer your services! For example, you came across a tasteless menu in the restaurant or old-fashioned and poorly functioning website, or low quality animation in the advertisement - make high quality proposal and offer it to the company. In most cases you will get a client right there and your remuneration!

10. What about the pricing?

You may set a price in different ways. Here are some tips:

  • Let the customer propose his price, sometimes you'll be left really surprised;
  • Pay attention to who your customer is. Private individuals and small companies usually are looking for low price and good quality ratio. Bigger companies and corporations are interested in the best possible quality and are ready to pay better;
  • If you are a beginning freelancer, you may lack experience of project evaluation. In this case do consult your friends or other freelancers working in the industry for a longer time. Also you may contact other freelancers on behalf of the customer and request project assessment.

11. Offer some guarantees both for yourself and your customer.

Both you and your customer shall feel secure, meaning a safe and secure system of settlements. A customer shall not risk the advance payment, and you should not waste your time and efforts. The thing is that there are plenty of cheaters on the web, ready to place an order, get it done and leave it unpaid. Or otherwise - some fraudsters pretend to be freelancers, take the payment and disappear. It is important to minimize the risks both yours and your customer's.

This is how you can do it:

  • Ask for an advance payment as of 10-25% of the project value;
  • Do part of the work, send it to your customer for approval;
  • Then ask your customer for another advance payment to amount up to 50% of the project cost;
  • Then complete the works and show them to a customer remotely (you may send part of the works, but leave some to yourself until you get the full payment);
  • The customer sees the result and pays the remaining amount;
  • Then you send the complete work to the customer.

12. Don't be afraid to say "NO"

Sometimes you may not "fall for" the project, customer or his communication style. Be brave and say No, so saving your time and energy that you may direct to another interesting project.

12 Tips For a Beginning Freelancer

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