Things to know before you start freelancing
The intriguing idea of earning money from one's home has gotten a lot of people peeking into the freelancing industry with many attempting to build a full career at this. However, not everyone has been able to survive this tough career path. Lack of skills, inability to pursue clients, and failure to keep up with the competition have eventually caused this downfall for a lot of freelancers.
Here is a list providing the basics of surviving and competing in the freelancing market. The focus will be on web development, but the basics apply to most other fields of freelancing.
HIGHLIGHT YOUR WORK BEFORE YOUR SKILLS
Buyers will not put blind faith on your skills just because you said so. Instead, send them your portfolio first, with all your completed websites or mock ups, and then brief them about your skills.
APPROACHING THE BUYER
As newbies, you have to send in your offer for the work that buyers post. Your proposals should contain your portfolio, a briefing on how you plan to proceed, and the time you need. DO NOT SEND proposals without being sure that you can handle them.
START WITH SMALLER PROJECTS
Many people would argue that if you can go big, why not? But personally, I think it's best to start small and gain confidence, ratings, and most importantly, experience before trying to land a big deal.
MAINTAIN CONTACT WITH CLIENT
Keeping clients updated about the progress of their project shows how competent you are. If you're confused with something regarding the project, you can consult with them as well. Responding to their messages or requests as quickly as possible can also be very useful to get a positive review, even a tip!
Before working on a live or fully functional website, make sure that you have made a backup of that website (in case something goes wrong). You DO NOT want to risk losing an active website.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
There will be clients who have no idea of what design or features they want in their website. It's up to you to use your own creativity and experience to deduce what they need with the little info they provide.
AVOID GETTING BANNED
Freelancing websites have a tendency to frequently ban accounts if the account holders breach the website policies. It doesn't matter if you're new or have been a part of the company ever since it came into existence, if you're flagged for inappropriate activities, your account is most likely to get banned.
These basics will take you a long way in your journey as a freelancer. So if you're thinking of becoming one, start right now. Remember, the competition will only get tougher by the day.