Tips for first-time freelancers
Original article in Greek by Evridiki Markopoulou
Translated by Dafni Manti
Self-employed, or in other words, freelancer. It seems particularly appealing to have your own job, on your own terms, with no pressure from an employer. One has the opportunity to evolve without restrictions and to let their creativity run free. However, as a freelancer you will probably encounter a few obstacles. You must pay attention to certain things in order to increase the chances of success.
Your first steps as a freelancer
First of all, one should prepare a portfolio, which is a list of the best and most successful projects undertaken so far. Whatever the nature of the work, a freelancer must convince the prospective client that they are the best person for the job. And what better way to do that than to let the work represent the creator? Furthermore, it is essential to invest in the right equipment and technological means, as the right tools will determine the quality of the work.
Promotion and advertising
One may have talent, but that is not enough to succeed. There are many ways one can promote themselves properly:
It is obvious that without a network of people, it is difficult to acquire new customers. Through events, conferences and exhibitions, freelancers can present their work publicly. By building a strong network of associates, the work is being advertised and becomes more and more known in the market.
In the modern digital age, there are many different platforms where one can present oneself and the projects. For example, LinkedIn is one of the most popular professional networking platforms. Of course, there are also platforms, corresponding to the specialization of one’s job.
There is no better advertisement than a satisfied customer. Freelancers can ask the clients to write a review of their work. Then, they are very likely to be recommended by these clients their acquaintances.
Although at first glance, a strategy where someone takes on various types of jobs may seem better and more interesting, it will not have the best result longterm. It is advisable to identify one’s strengths and weaknesses and pursue expertise in a particular area, in order to offer the best result to the clients.
Do not hesitate to turn down jobs
At some point in a freelancer’s career, they are likely to be offered a job that they do not know for sure that they can do. Or maybe they have already taken on several projects and their schedule is quite tight. In these cases the best option is to turn down the offer. It’s better to maintain credibility and client trust than to risk one’s reputation with a questionable outcome.
Payment is objectively one of the most important issues. In order to secure an income the freelancer needs to calculate the amount of compensation you require and the appropriate payment plan (e.g. per project, payment packages, per hour etc.). First and foremost, the freelancer themselves should consider the value of their time and charge accordingly. Finally, they should clarify all details from the beginning of any collaboration by signing a contract. That way they can always keep records.
Being your own boss can give you a different kind of life. But it is also a significant challenge. The above tips are sure to make the start to your freelancing journey much safer and more rewarding.