You’ve probably heard some freelancers boasting about how they take projects of their choosing with no control-freak bosses, how they have the freedom to work on jobs they feel more comfortable about, and how they lives of luxury with plenty of money and time for their family. These freelancers are happy and successful with what they are doing, but in reality, attaining such height as a freelancer is no small feat. There are certain qualities and characteristics that make some freelancers stand out among their peers in the freelancing world. Becoming a great freelancer requires a great deal of persistence, commitment and a tireless effort to overcome obstacles. Read on to discover the 10 most important attributes of a successful freelancer.
1. Strong Communication Skills
Most freelancers work exclusively online, especially for non-Canadian, non-British, or non-American freelancers. So many freelancers use voice and video call, chat, and email to communicate with clients. Strong communication skills are needed to give the client the right impression that you know your job.
Of course for a freelance writer, excellent knowledge of the written language is a must. But non-writers also need to have strong communication skills with good language and tone to give the client a good impression. Reply to emails within 24 hours and always answer their questions without making them wait for too long. This is how to build a strong relationship with clients.
Being professional implies that you let your clients know what you can do and when you can get it done. Professionals always keep their promise no matter what obstacles they may face while executing the project. They are ethical, communicate in a timely manner, and honor the initial arrangements with their clients.
3. Time Management Skills
A freelancer needs to manage time effectively in order to succeed. This is why a schedule of all your daily activities is needed. You need to know the number of hours you can work per day, how many tasks you can complete a day and what type of task you can handle. Proper time management will ensure that you don’t disappoint your client and they will see you as someone who is trustworthy.
As with any other kind of endeavor in life, freelancing requires a persistent heart, especially at the beginning when you face a lot of rejection letters and it's very hard to land a job. The only thing that can push you through here is your belief in your skills and abilities. It is never an easy ride to become successful in anything let alone freelancing when you have the task of promoting yourself. But once you stick to your goals and keep pressing on, you will definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel.
5. Determination and Responsibility
These are attributes a freelancer cannot do away with. The ability to complete projects, go out to meet with local clients, and stay within a project deadline requires sheer determination. You will be responsible for your actions and inactions. This ability may come with experience as you deal with different clients with varying project needs.
Dependency is one feature of most 9 to 5 jobs. You are expected to follow the instructions of your boss whether you have a better idea or not. But as a freelancer, you need to have initiative. Asking questions and suggesting ways of improving the project becomes part of your job. This is important because there are many occasions where a client may not understand or communicate properly what they want you to do. In this case, taking the initiative to understand exactly what the clients want will make you highly valued. If you are highly valued, you will definitely get more repeat jobs from the client. It’s that simple!
As a freelancer, your clients should be able to know what you can do and what you cannot do. Nobody likes to be lied to or misled, especially if they pay for professional consultation or high quality work. Be sincere when dealing with clients and always stand by your principles.
Becoming a successful freelancer doesn’t require only skills. You need to have goals and work toward achieving such goals. By the time you reach these goals, you will surely become geared up to meet more targets. Attaining your personal goals (whether financial or professional) will help you stay more focused in what you do.
Being flexible will help a freelancer with decision making and situation assessment. It will equally help you when looking for new opportunities or when you want to diversify your portfolio. To be successful as a freelancer, you need to learn how to adapt to new things as the freelance market demands it. Your flexibility will also ensure that you are able to take and complete rush projects from clients who need a high quality work with quick turnaround time.
This should be top on the list as the most important attribute of a successful freelancer, because without it no freelancer would be able to handle work successfully. As a freelancer, you will have a lot of opportunities and freedom to do the things you like. While you are drinking beer, walking the dog, playing chess or doing whatever it is you like doing, your work suffers and you begin to miss deadlines, upsetting your clients and – ultimately lose money. As a freelancer and being a master of yourself, you need to be self disciplined and know when it is time for leisure and time for work. Organize your daily activities by setting a working schedule, so you don’t sacrifice one for the other.
If you are a newbie and need help to learn more about boosting your career as a freelancer then let me help you get better quickly!