“From Everest you can see how the world looks to Everest. But you can’t see how Everest looks to the world” – By a believer in the Epicness-of-Quotation-Marks
Are you a freelancer that’s still waiting on clients who told you they’d get back to you… last year? Or are you under the impression the clients you’ve sent your portfolio to probably can’t-read-English/can’t-read? Yup, I’ve been there fellow freelancers, and here’s how I’ve learned to wise up! (Insert giant thumbs-up smiley face)
As a person that’s been working on my own ideas from home for a while now, while attempting freelancing side by side – I’ve not been particularly successful (with the latter) to crack freelancing deals. But I do have friends that do extremely well with freelancing (because life likes to be funny that way). And so I’ve had more time on hand other than their obviously busier-bodies, to contemplate the reasons for their success (in jestful jealousy – might I add).
My – hard found – tips to successfully crack freelancing deals are as follows:
The Obvious One
Have a well-organized and great looking portfolio – obviously – right? Wrong! One of my most successful freelancer friend’s (designer/illustrator) entire portfolios consists of like 4 links that she sends to clients. No educational experience – though hers is great, no years of experience – though hers is considerable. Clients don’t want to read, they want to ‘SEE’(the visual age and all that). Sites like Behance, LinkedIn, Personal Facebook Pages, Personal Blogs work better in showcasing your work than some exquisitely designed portfolio. In fact, the latter could also be seen as a hard sell. In an article on tips to successfully crack freelancing deals, this should probably the first and the second tip.
Quotations Too High
The most probable reasons for clients choosing freelancers over an agency – is low budgets and flexibility. Ask questions and be prepared to negotiate. You don’t want to get underpaid, nor do you want to overcharge. It is advisable to always leave a margin of around 10% for negotiation when quoting your fee. Because 9 or lower indicates uncertainty, 11 or above pegs you as overpriced, while 10 represents balance, fairness, my sarcasm (if you’ve not been getting it)…
It is always safer to assume an unresponsive client is busy (or just plain forgetful), instead of disinterested. Experts recommend a good three-step system for connecting with clients which involves – first calling, then texting and finally emailing (or was it the other way around… no wonder I’ve been doing so well) *nervous-laughter*
Be Forthright and Responsive
Responsiveness is key to eliminating a lot of uncertainty that exists within clients that approach freelancers. Responding promptly and confidently also assuages the sense of urgency that accompanies most freelancing clients. Have at least 5 good client reviews Just like a sharp consumer will always rely on user-generated reviews for a product, so shall the word-of-mouth of other clients go a long way in ensuring your services are availed. I recommend getting your skills endorsed or getting testimonials on LinkedIn. Note: There’s no fixed number of reviews you require, I just said 5 to continue the numbering-wordplay-thingy I’ve been trying (in case you’ve noticed now).
Sixth Sense Non-Profitable Clients
A personal experience tip I’d like to add is that – successfully acquiring all work that comes your way doesn’t necessarily mean success. As a copywriter, I had a client that wanted me to write 500 word product descriptions for 100 products, for Rs.150 per description (like in a week and a half). I could have acquired that client – but would that have been a success? (If you’re broke, maybe…)
I said 6 tips to crack freelancing deals, but if I said 7 and atheists didn’t have sentiments, I’d have recommended praying for good clients, believe it or not – a lot of it is all musical chairs; sometimes you get great clients – most other times you just get clients.
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