Invoice2Go, a top resource for invoicing and staying organized, reached out to me with an interest n hearing my top freelancing tips for an infograhic so I thought I’d share them in a fun post. I didn’t receive compensation for this post and all thoughts are my own. Enjoy!
Freelancing for the past 1.5 years has been an exciting journey as well as a roller coaster ride for my emotions and personal life. As a natural-born perfectionist, I often only tend to see the things I need to accomplish over the things I have accomplished. I may not always meet all my goals, but no one is perfect and I’ve learned to become okay with that. It makes life much easier and more enjoyable anyway 🙂
When I started freelancing the goal was to earn more money, and I did just that. You can read my first income report here, and my latest one here. I actually forgot to organize my stats for an income report this month to detail how June went – oops. The past few weeks have been very busy and I still plan on sharing an income report, but I just may do a double report for the month of June and July.
I also shifted from focusing on using freelance income to depict my success which could be another reason why I haven’t made the time to analyze my earnings in detail this past month. A few weeks ago, my co-hosts and I interviewed Matt Giovanisci from Money Lab and Swim University for our podcast and discussed his experience with serial entrepreneurship.
One of the things Matt said that stuck out to me so much during the interview was how he defined success, failure, and how he didn’t even set income goals for his business. My jaw pretty much dropped to the floor when I found out about that last point, but it opened my eyes up to start giving myself some more credit and define success in different ways. You can catch the entire episode here.
With freelancing, there are many different ways to measure and reach success. Today, I wanted to keep it short and sweet and share my top tips for freelancing success that can apply to anymore.
1. Make Sure You Narrow Down and Fall in Love with Your Niche
Doing what you love is a must when it comes to freelancing. Freelancing can be unstable at times when work is not flowing in fast, and it can be a bit stressful at times when too much work is coming in and you have strict deadlines.
It’s important to choose a niche that involves work that you really like so you can weather the storm during good and bad days. Also, it makes things so much easier for your clients when you are honest and clear about your interests and your specific niche. I never advise anyone to try to be a jack of all trades because odds are, you won’t please everyone.
As a writer, it takes me a super long time to write about things I don’t have an interest in, so marketing my services for those specific topics is pretty counterproductive.
2. Collaborate With Others, Get Your Name Out There
It’s crucial to get used to networking as a freelancer because relationships are key. I’ve sent quite a few cold pitches out to potential clients throughout the year and sometimes I’m successful. However, my best clients have come from referrals or the relationships I’ve built with others.
This past year, I’ve really put myself out there in terms or submitting guest posts to other sites, doing interviews, being active on Facebook groups in my niche, emailing back and forth with others, and more recently, attending networking events in my area to meet up with other writers and podcasters in the personal finance niche.
Sometimes it’s hard for other people to understand your work as a freelancer so it’s nice to be able to chat with other people who ‘get it’ and have similar goals so you can not only get to know each other but motivate each other.
Most of the time, I’m not looking for any perks from the relationships I build with others but it’s inevitable that some positive opportunities with surface as a result. I few months ago, I shared a very personal story in a guest article on another site and my story captured the attention of an editor for a corporate blog. He reached out to me and asked if I would like to write for them and what my rate was. I scoured the blog to look over the content, writing style, etc. before providing an educated and realistic response and noticed I knew one of the writers on that particular blog since we commented back and forth on each other’s blogs from time to time.
I reached out to her to get more info about the client before sending in my rates and pitches and she was happy to answer my questions and even told me to reach for the stars in terms of my rate. I ended up signing one of my highest-paying contracts for $300 an article with that client and it’s not because I was chasing money. I would have never known who they were if they hadn’t reached out to me first.
3. Accept Criticism and Learn From It
All freelancers are automatically thrown into the service category. Since you are providing a valuable service to others, your success often relies on your customers’ or clients’ satisfaction. Not everyone likes criticism, but it’s important to have thick skin to a certain degree and accept constructive criticism so you can perfect your craft.
I have never been one to get offended easily and that’s played out in my favor when it comes to freelancing. I’ve been corrected and received suggestions quite a few times and I am more than open to receiving criticism that can help me make my services better. After all, if my clients aren’t happy with my work, I don’t feel happy or successful.
Sometimes criticism may sting, but as long as critics are not tearing you down in a senseless way without giving you any constructive feedback, I’d say to take in what others say about your work with an open mind and collectively dissect the criticism so you can make changes to improve and enhance your services.
Let me know in the comments!
P.S. I am hoping to get in the running to win an award for all my writing work at this year’s Financial Blogger’s Conference. If you could take a minute to click on the image below to nominate me for the ‘Best Freelancer’ category I’d be honored! Thanks for your support 🙂
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