The amount of freelancers is increasing every year and as we open up the new year (this is my first post of the year – yay!), many aspiring freelancers will ask “how do I get clients?”
Freelancing is NOT an easy lifestyle to have. You may see digital nomads posting up pictures of themselves in other countries enjoying themselves but what goes on behind-the-scenes is never shown. It’s easy to see a selfie online and think “wow, freelancing is awesome. I want to be one!” but that’s like seeing someone driving in a luxurious Rolls Royce and saying “wow, that looks awesome! I want to do that too!”. The amount of work it takes and the discipline and mindset that is required to make that lifestyle happen is not for everyone.
So when it comes to living the lifestyle of a freelancer, how does a person succeed in doing it? There are many things you should do to help you on the journey but here are some things many people will never tell you that you should NEVER do.
Thinking too highly of yourself
This is a big one. Unless you have years of experience in your skillset, having a big ego won’t help you. “that job is too weird!”, “the rate is too low!”…..Always humble yourself. When an opportunity comes, grab it. Sometimes, it’s true…jobs ARE weird and rates ARE low….but that is when you have to go deeper and see what the job conditions are. It’s good to say no to a job opportunity if you really think you deserve better but always remember that opportunities can be hard to get.
I’ve seen many freelancers do this. How you compose yourself, how you react to certain situations, and how you manage things shows a lot about how you are as a person and as a professional. Remember, just because you aren’t in an office doesn’t mean you need to loosen up. Always maintain professionalism.
Applying for the WRONG jobs
Applying for as many job opportunities as you can increases the chance of landing a job, which is great but landing a job that does not match your skill set and experience does nothing good for you and you’re just wasting your and your potential client’s time.
Using bad English
I’m not an expert in grammar nor am I good at using big words but I’ve seen many cover letters from people who could have spent more time polishing up their cover letters. Your cover letter is your moment to shine and get the client’s attention. SHOW your client why they should hire you. Your cover letter shows a lot about you.
“But I’ve done everything”
A lot of freelancers will complain they can’t get a client. If asked if they have any online profiles, they will say only facebook. Make sure you look around and diversify yourself so clients are able to find you online.
Creating only ONE online profile
Don’t just create a profile on UpWork. Create profiles on LinkedIn, onlinejobs.ph, and anywhere you can think of. Even if a website isn’t big, create a profile on it. The more places you appear at, the bigger you appear.
Having lack of experience
Applying for an SEO job with just call center experience probably won’t get you through unless the job involves training and calling clients on the phone. Don’t be afraid to learn new skills or master your current set of skills. Create projects. Work with other people. Experience is key.
Not applying for a job
This is a big one. Seeing a job opportunity then telling yourself that you aren’t good enough for it. This is just lack of confidence. If a job requires a college degree and you don’t have a college degree, apply anyways. If a job requires 5 years of experience and you only have 2.5, apply anyways. You would be surprised at how far you can go just by showing up and putting yourself out there. Some clients will hire you just because they like you and want to give you an opportunity.