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How To Become A Successful Freelancer

Today we’re going to talk about secrets successful freelancers use daily to be…SUCCESSFUL. If you’re just launching your career as an independent freelancer or you have five plus years living the freelancer lifestyle this article will benefit you. We’re going to review actionable items everyone can do to improve their chances of success. You ready?

How To Become A Successful Freelancer

1. Master Your Niche

The best thing about freelancing is the amount of freedom you have. Freedom to work any time of the day you want. Freedom to say yes to every gig that comes knocking on your door. Freedom to set your own rates. Being a freelancer means ultimate freedom.

A common pitfall freelancers fall into is taking on too much. Every day is different as it is, so why not expand the scope of work just a little bit?  There’s no harm in doing more, right? Well, you don’t have to be a master of every field. No really, you don’t. PLEASE STOP IT.

I’m not trying to toot our own horn, but when we launched goLance we did a bunch of research and talked with so many freelancers. We noticed a trend of freelancers taking on projects then secretly having friends join to help complete them. Why all the secrets? More freelance websites out there don’t have a feature where you can subcontract. We do.

I’m bringing this up now because even though you’re hearing me say be a master of your niche there will still be those projects you just can’t say no to. So don’t. In those cases, manage a team. With our platform, you can do this easily. Being a successful freelancer is all about knowing how to maximize your abilities.

Remember, being a successful freelancer is all about knowing how to maximize your abilities.

2.  Be Professional

The freelance market is growing daily, what is it going to take for you to stand out? Well, the truth is being professional goes a long way. The people who hire freelancers are generally the decision makers at companies. They are looking for contractors who hold themselves to higher standards.

In some cases, as a freelancer, you have to be more professional and hold yourself to higher standards than the guy in the office. This makes sense, there is a lot more trust that goes into what a freelancer does. Do to the lack of face to face interactions the bar is set higher for freelancers.

Remember as a freelancer you are essentially running your own business. If you want to instantly earn and keep the respect of employers conduct everything you do as a business owner — be professional at every stage of the project.

3. Ask For Referrals

If you want more business you need to market yourself. The best way to do this is through your own fanbase aka clients. They know how you work. They’ve seen you in an action. They know your strengths and are happy to share success stories with others.

Let them help open doors for you. One of the best things you can do right now is sit down and create a message talking about what you’ve been up to and what you want to continue to do. Have this message be designed as a template where you can easily swap out parts.

After you have this template completed reach out to your former clients and fire it off to them. Ask for referrals. Do NOT be scared to do this. No one will help you if they don’t know you need help.

If you don’t have a huge base of clients to reach out to, then jump on Facebook. The average Facebook user has 300 friends. You probably have around 300 friends yourself. Email them and let them know you’re in the market to expand.

4. Have Goals

Success means different things for people. For some, it means making X amount of money per month. For others, it means having X amount of free time a day. It really depends on the person.

As you embark on your freelancing career or find yourself coming into your fifth plus year as a freelancer, ask yourself what your why is. Be honest about this guys. Why do you get out of bed? Why do you freelance? Why?

Set clear goals in place so you have something to work toward. A lot of times people get stuck doing the same thing every day without knowing why they are doing it. It just becomes a habit. Now is the time to pause and ask yourself what success looks like to you.

After you identify those goals create a roadmap to get there. Let’s pretend you want to work only four hours a day, figure out how much revenue you need to bring in to live this life. As long as you have a plan and are willing to work toward your goals you WILL get there.

Remember you have to take action. A plan by itself is just a dream. You need to pull the trigger and make it happen. As a freelancer it’s up to you to hold yourself accountable.

5.  Start Small

Being a successful freelancer has a lot of mental factors to it. It’s not just about bringing in crazy amounts of revenue, which you can absolutely do. It’s also about keeping things in perspective. Whatever you’re doing, start small and build. Ever hear the old saying Rome wasn’t built in a day? Exactly.