Freelancer Survival Tips

Freelancer Survival Tips

How will you stand out uniquely despite of the high freelancer demands on the market? How will you convince your client that you are the one that they are looking for to land on their job preferences? These tips will help you not just to survive, but also to do your best being a freelancer.

Find Out Your Greatest Niche Skills.

You have to know what your greatest skill is. Are you someone who loves doing graphic designs, or are you a dedicated writer, or the one who loves helping people in communicating, or the one who just love office-related work? You need to know it so you will have an idea on what to present and how to present it on your potential client. More is more. The more you have skills, the more you have a chance to land on a job, whether it will be a part-time or a full-time remote job. Marketing yourself will be easier and less competition.

Show Professionalism in Communication.

Clients are still your boss. Be formal when speaking especially when you are presenting yourself. Start it in your cover letter. For example: I came across your post regarding this job and I thought to myself that I am able to help you with it. If you needed my help, please don't hesitate to contact me as I'll be glad to assist you.

Clients will not be able to be impress but also they can feel that you are worth the trust and easier to work with. Always remember not to be boastful.

Work and Communicate with the Language You Are Comfortable Speaking.

Being a freelancer, you are able to work with different countries such as in the US, Singapore, Hong Kong etc. Being an English-speaker, you also preferred to work with an English-speaking client. Unless you know and have a fluency in other language, then you may opt to have it as a choice. Use it as your advantage as some clients gives additional pay if you can speak more language aside from English. Work with ease as you can also express your ideas in the language that you are preferred to use together with your future clients.

Promote Yourself.

Never stop learning. Just because you landed a job doesn't mean that you will stop learning and experience new other things outside your job niche. No matter how you became a topnotch and a well-known freelancer, you should not stop promoting and making a target audience in your post. Whether if it's your social media sites or even your own website. Continue to be active. If you are having a full-time job and you still have an extra time, you can be active in posting and engaging in your social media sites or post on your website daily. Or even use a scheduled app so you can post and schedule it at the same time, targeting your preferred audience base on your topic. Or you can find a part-time job based on your preferred niche for example, sending cold emails to clients. There are so many ways to promote yourself. In short, be active.

Talk to the Professionals.

If you are new to freelancing and you have a coach, you can ask him or her about your questions and guides regarding being a freelancer. You can also ask for some tips and tricks especially on how you will be able to charge your potential client based on the niche and the proper ways on how to communicate on your clients. As everyone was saying, never stop learning and exploring things.

Do Market Research.

Google it my friend! It is important for you to do a market research regarding the company that you are going to be soon a part of it. Legitimacy is definitely an important pace. You will also have to research for some reviews especially if it's a retail company. It is really important for you to be able to know and to get some sense especially on the size of the company. You will soon to know how much the project or numbers of projects that they needed means to the company and its purpose.

How to grow your Freelance Network

grow your Freelance Network

Business networking is a socioeconomic activity by which businesspeople engage in business relationships to create or act upon business opportunities, share information and find potential partners for ventures.

Networking for a freelancer is crucial as you don't count on a team to solve problems or create new business opportunities, but you have to seek for them on your own. Networking allows you to find other likeminded businesspeople with similar interests and goals as you but with different skills or resources that along with yours might lead to a new venture, new opportunities or an exchange of skills/knowledge.

Networking is important because it allows you to make the most of your personal and industry connections that will probably bring you a regular supply of new business. As a freelancer, you are always in need of new work, and the easiest way to find new projects is when you get new work from people you know. That is why your personal network is an invaluable resource.

Therefore, networking is important because it may lead to new businesses and client leads. Also, networking leads to information and project leads, sometimes even before the project has been announced. Another reason why it networking is crucial for freelancers is because it allows you to make a connection. Portfolios and cover letters are sometimes too impersonal and there are many other people out there who possess the same qualifications you have. Getting to know someone on a first name basis allows them to get to know you better, and people prefer to hire someone they know and like. The last reason is that meeting other freelancers allows you to team up and pitch for bigger opportunities.

They way you can grow your business network is, first and foremost, by networking every day. Networking is not just about exchanging business cards, but also about talking to people. This doesn't necessarily only happen at networking events but it can take place anywhere. If you meet someone who could be interested in your services, you should keep it casual and that person to get in touch or ask for their contact details. You don't want to seem to eager.

Networking is not also about taking but also about giving. Try to help others often and look at it as an investment. This is one of the best ways to build your network. When you help others, you are automatically letting them know what you are capable of doing, what your ability is in, and that you are willing to share that knowledge.

You can help others by replying to their email, responding to a tweet for help, writing a blog post offering advice, giving support over the phone, or meeting someone for a coffee to chat about the issues they are facing. You'll see the favour is returned when those you helped recommend you to others who are looking for similar expertise - clients.

You might also want to keep your relationships fresh. Try and get in touch with those contacts you haven't heard of in a while to keep your relationship from going stale. Even if it doesn't lead to a new business opportunity, they might recommend you to someone who requires your services.

Make friends with other freelancers. Don't think of them as competitors as most freelancers want other freelancers to succeed. You might want to team up with them at some point to pitch for bigger work that requires a team or you might refer businesses to each other. If you stay in touch with them, you might have access to more opportunities.

It doesn't end at making friends with freelancers, but you must also connect people. That's part of networking as they might do the same for you. After referring people, these opportunities will hopefully come back to you as people remember the opportunities you have created for them.

One way to meet fellow freelancers is by going to networking events in your industry. Attend these events with the purpose of meeting other professionals and listen and learn about what they are doing and what is going on in your community. Their insight might help you professionally. Some of the websites that list networking events are Meetup, Eventbrite and Lanyrd.

Benefits of Working Remotely

Benefits of Working Remotely

Technology is fast changing the way we live and the way we work, particularly space where work. Thanks to the Net and electronic devices, it is possible to work from anywhere in the world and remote working might be the most suitable option for certain jobs. Working remotely also provides a win-win scenario for both the employers and the employees, as the former save money on leasing an office and the latter enjoys more flexibility and saves money on commuting.

Wi-Fi

One of the perks of being a remote worker is that you can work from anywhere, as long as there is Wi-Fi. This might change from country to country, but you can always find a spot with free Wi-Fi, either from a coffee shop, public library or your hotel room. Alternatively, you can always purchase portable Wi-Fi, in case you are travelling.

Productivity

Remote workers are usually more productive than office workers. This changes from one person to the other and their position. While some people find it easier to work from an office where there are others working and they feel that they have to work, others prefer to work from home where they are more comfortable and they can listen to music if they choose to. A comfortable environment often boosts creativity.

You don't always need an office

Thanks to the Internet, what you used to need the office for, you can now do it from home. For instance, you don't need to go to the office to make expensive international calls as you just need Skype for that.

Besides, remote working provides choice. According to Robert Gorby, marketing director of Powwownow, choice is very important. There shouldn't a technology-driven compulsion to work in a certain way.

Remote workers are actually well connected. Thanks to smartphones and social media, you don't have to be next to someone to communicate effectively. Remote workers are being empowered by new business trends such as remote administration, cloud-based project management, video conferencing, an BYOD are extending the effectiveness of remote work.

Happiness

Millennials know with just a few taps on their phones they can do anything from bank transfers to buying flight tickets. That's why they enjoy remote working so much, because they know the potential of technology, they use it and that makes their life easier. In a way, remote working is the future.

The office environment also ramps up stress levels. According to a study, remote workers enjoy lower stress levels, and thus, they are less likely to suffer a heart attack or a stroke. For instance, Daryl Wilkinson, group head of digital development at Nationwide Building Society, said he wanted to encourage remote working to empower his staff and as a demonstration to the rest of the company. There's less stress in the office and the workplace - people feel empowered to work in a way that suits them and suits the business.

No dress code

Remote working allows you wear whatever you feel like to work. If you are more comfortable wearing sweatpants while sipping on a cup of coffee and sitting on your couch, then nothing is stopping you.

You have time to exercise

Working from home means you are already saving time as you don't have to commute nor get dressed for work. You can use this extra time to exercise and clear your head.

Family time

Working remotely also means you can be more involved in bringing up your children and family affairs. Instead of paying someone to pick up your children from school, you can do it yourself and spend some quality time on the automobile.

Being away from the office is good as well. The ability to work remotely eliminates the necessity of presenteeism - being in the office as much as possible, said Jonathan Swan, policy and research officer for Working Families, a charity specialising in work/life balance.

New roles are emerging

These new ways of working also require new roles in the company. According to Ian Adams, head of strategic marketing development at outsourcing company Mitie, we're seeing greater collaboration between HR, IT, property and facilities management and job titles like workplace director making this agile workplace happen.

Article 8 How to stay connected as a Remote Worker

While working from home has its advantages like avoiding traffic in peak hours and the flexibility, it can get lonely sometimes. By working away from the office, you might miss out on a chat with a colleague that might give you an insight into what's happening in the company, or you talk one on one with your boss and get clear feedback. Remote workers are often viewed as slackers and this may affect your career. The bottom line is: your colleagues and employers don't really get to know you that well and your skills first-hand, so this might affect the image they create of you, and keep them from propelling your career forward. Here are some tips to bridge the gap between remote and in-office workers.

Learn how to communicate

You need to figure out what's the best reach to communicate with your colleagues without disturbing them. For instance, Christy Hopkins, HR staff writer for FitSmallBusiness.com, who also telecommutes, said she is willing to use every type of communication tool available - whether it's the phone, email, Zoom, Slack, etc - to keep up with her co-workers,

For me, I always Skype or Zoom with my manager. He and I are similar in age; we value that face-to-face. With my younger team members, they're all about the chat. So I've figure out different ways to communicate as well, she said.

It's okay to be social

As long as you get your work done first, it is okay to mix work with social gatherings. Hopkins, who is based in Chicago, sometimes gets together with her colleagues from the New York office and, as she has a dog, they sometimes bond over their pets.

I know everyone who is a dog owner there and they know it's important to me. We only start to talk about social things after the work is done as well. It's why I call it relevantly social, she said.

Be Proactive

According to W. Wayne Turmel, co-founder and product leader at The Remote Leadership Institute, remote workers are sometimes too focused on their own assignment and miss out on the bigger picture and the whole work product. This might lead to losing out on larger work responsibilities, and your employer and colleagues might now ever consider an activity team member. That's why, despite working remotely, you have to be proactive.

Ask how you can be of service to others. When we're remote, we often are ‘out of sight, out of mind.' The boss sometimes delegates to the first person they think of - or see... When talking to your manager, make sure to explicitly ask about the rest of the team, and is there something you can do for the good of the team. Even if the answer is no, you get the good karma of asking, as well as sending the message that even though you're far away you are still a team player.

Try to participate in the company and be vocal about your contributions. Even though you are a remote worker, you need to make your colleagues and employers feel your presence even when you are there. Try to communicate and get to know you better so you are more than an invisible person who gets tasks done from the other side of the computer.

Your manager is going to now if you miss a deadline, but they may not know if you turn in something two days early. They might not even gauge that, Hopkins said.

When you get a task done or achieve something, let your manager know. It is important to be confident enough to celebrate those achievements, she said.

How to cope with isolation

One of the disadvantages of working remotely is the feeling of lonely we sometimes get on our own, according to Kim Shepherd, chairwoman at Decision Toolbox, a 100 percent virtual recruitment firm. You also don't feel like part of a team and it's hard to feel identified with the company.

Lots of people - good people - think they can do it. But when push comes to shove, it's easy for them to feel they're doing the pushing and shoving all alone. As CEP one of my main concerns is combatting isolation and loneliness, she said.

To fight loneliness, they organised their colleagues into small groups that schedule a call on a regular basis to let members share issues, ideas and insights.

According to Hopkins, talking to your manager is also a way to deal with the issue at hand. He or she probably has no idea you feel out of the loop and would most likely welcome to a way integrate you further and not feel like your work isn't being valued.

How to grow your freelance business

How to grow your freelance business

You might have heard numerous ways concerning how to grow your business, which include but are not limited to paying for advertisement, blogging, and so on. There's business advice all over the Net, but if none of these have worked so far, perhaps it's time to up your game a bit and think of more creative ways to promote your business. Although this strategies might not seem the most obvious ones, sometimes you need something completely creative and out of the ordinary to get your business off the ground.

If you want to grow your freelance business, you might want to consider offering a new product. Although you might already be used to perfecting your skills to ensure that the services your offer are competitive in the today's market, perhaps it's time to add something new to the mix.

A product puts something tangible and immediately useful into the hands of clients or potential clients. This product could be an e-course, ebook, or even a series of how-to videos. Regardless of which product you create, it needs to be useful, easy to use and one of the highest quality.

If the problem is not creating product but how to fund it and you don't want to get a traditional loan, then you might want to try crowdsourcing. After outlining a visual plan and your vision, share it on Moon$hot Stories, a P2P platform created by Moonlighting, aimed at connecting freelancers and small business owners with potential business donors. Either to purchase equipment, pay for advertising or hire additional help, these funds can be used in many ways to get your freelance business off the ground.

From our inception, Moonlighting has always set out to help people launch their dream business or career, said Jeff Tennery, founder and CEO of Moonlighting. With Moon$hot Stories, we can go a step further and help first time entrepreneurs raise the necessary funds to build their own version of the American Dream.

Moon$hot makes it easy for start-ups as it doesn't require a minimum donation and there's no deadline to meet. This is an important source for growth for freelance business, as they are not usually on the radars of traditional investors.

You might also want to expand your services. Think about it this way, you might be offering one or two core services, but you might want to add some complementary services that will make you look more appealing. For instance, you might be a content writer but can you offer SEO writing as well? Or if you work in PR, can you also offer content marketing. You might already posses this skills, but they might need some dusting. You can boost your expertise and knowledge by doing some training and online research.

Another way to reach out to a relevant audience and start building relationships is by teaching a class. At least you can be certain that your students are at least interested in what you have to teach them and what you have to offer.

There are many ways to teach a class. You can either create an e-learning class that people who visit your website could log into periodically, or you could deliver lectures in person. Finding a place to give class is not an obstacle. You can either do it at your local chamber of commerce or even a college might be happy to give you space and your audience space for your class.

One last resource could be creating an online posting on Meetup.com or on a Facebook group of local entrepreneurs and then you can ask them if they'd like to attend an in-person workshop. You can do the workshop either at a coffee shop or a library.

Although as a freelancer who is just starting out, you might feel like you always have to say yes to all clients, this is actually a trap that might hinder your growth. What you should consider is to focus on higher end clients and those that speed up your growth. Create a list of standards that must be met before you accept work, and play a bit hard to get. Better clients lead to other great clients and they all lead to better income. This is how you create a name for yourself.

For instance, don't accept any project you are given right away. This might make you look like you are desperate for work and will leave no room to negotiate a price. You might also want to check the company's credentials and ask for a sample of their product.