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Freelance Business Success Tips
There are many articles such as this one out there and you may be wondering why bother reading this one. What's different about it?
Many of the articles I have read about working from home as a freelancer will tell you how to be organized, where to find jobs and how to successfully bid on these jobs. They will go on to tell you how to make a killer profile and even give tips on pricing. But here in this article I will give you the exact ingredients for managing a successful freelance home based business.
This article is written by someone who currently operates a successful freelancing business from home and is thinking seriously of expanding. Without further delay please see ingredients below,
1 - Quality
The first thing that comes to mind when searching for a freelancing gig is to get the job and then get paid, but the first thing you should actually focus on is quality. Quality comes in different stages from the moment you think you want to become a freelancer up the point where you have become an expert at it. Quality never stops.
- Before you start looking for freelance work you need to make sure your work is good enough. Practice your writing or whatever your skill is. Many people think they can freelance because they have started a blog which gets a few readers.
- Your profile not only needs to sell you but also must be written in a way to reflect the quality work you will offer your clients. Your profile should be free of grammatical and spelling errors. We all make mistakes so keep checking back over and over again for these. Ooops, I just found a typo...lol
- Your first job will determine the next. Make sure your first job is exemplary. Your client feedback could make or break your career. Put out more than the client asked, be exceptional.
2 - Define your work ethics
This one is thrown out the window by many. Work ethics are a set of values that you have set for yourself which will give the client an insight into your character. Everyone has different work ethics and you should define yours. Some ethics include diligence, initiative, quality and responsibility.
Another key factor in displaying good work ethics is when we take criticism and use it to make our work stand out instead of badmouthing or cussing off a client. We need to understand that there will be many clients who find our style different from theirs. Many clients are experts at what they require you to do and expect the highest quality.
3 - Honesty
There are many people who apply for jobs they know they can't manage, have never done or just plain ignorant about. They apply for it in hopes that they will learn as they go along. This is especially frequent in writing jobs.
If you bid on a job where the terms are not quite clear, after which the terms become clear after the client chooses you; what will you do? This one gets sticky. You need the job so why not just swing it? Not so. You need to let the client know that this is quite new to you and you may not be able to complete it so it is better to find someone else.
Never lie on your bid. If you use work samples that do not belong to you (to get the job) your lie will be revealed in your actual work submission.
If you don't know what a copy is, or what a sales letter entails, do not bid. Only bid on jobs you are adept at doing. It is not your inexperience that will prevent you from succeeding, it will be your bad work ethics or dishonesty.
4 - Integrity
Integrity has to do with being honest, having strong work ethics and character. This is not only being honest with clients by not accepting work you cannot handle; but also honesty in terms of not overcharging your client on a job that is worth less, or undercharging a client and then producing mediocre work.
Integrity is the basis on which you will build your online brand where people will come back to you or recommend you. Word of mouth is one of the strongest advertising strategies and in the case of the internet a recommendation or endorsement represents just that.
5 - Flexibility
Being flexible is a good trait to have in any business. Never be too rigid on your job description, price and time. An example would be not accommodating a client after you have submitted your work. If a client finds that you refuse to answer their messages or you won't negotiate on a lower cost then you may just lose that client who may give you a negative feedback.
Here are my 5 recommendations for you to start your freelance home based business
- Text Broker
- Bright Hub
I have had success with the top three. Textbroker is for US or UK based freelancers only but I have heard good things about them.
Bright Hub is more like a content site but you get upfront payment for each article submitted. This site can help supplement your income while you build your online brand.
6 - Investment
There are different types of investment and when it comes to your freelance home based business it's very little different from an in-office business.
- You must invest your time in research to better understand and learn about your type of business
- Investing time in producing quality work. My motto is quality over quantity - I would rather spend more time producing quality work than finishing quickly and pushing out mediocre stuff.
- You must invest some money. I find that for getting better jobs I must invest in a higher membership level on Elance (example). Another way to invest money is office supplies such as pen and paper because even though you are working on the computer there are times you need to take notes, or print a document to edit it thoroughly before handing it to the client
- Invest in quality equipment. I am talking about software and hardware primarily a good computer with software that can help you make your work stand out. As my business starts to grow I realize I need to invest in a better computer so am shopping around now. Another good investment is a good grammar software such as Grammarly or Ginger.
Never let a client get frustrated about not being able to reach you. Keep your client informed about the progress of your project. It is better to frustrate them with constant emails than the lack of communication.
Questions were made to be asked so ask your client questions about the project. Be sure that what you are giving is what they asked for.
Getting a bad feedback is not the end of the world. I got a 3.9 star for a erotic short story yet the client had nice things to say. I was confused and a little hurt by the rating but when I look back on all the other 5 stars I just let it motivate me to do better.
Managing an online business is hard and may be even more challenging than a regular business due to the fact that you work from home. It will take a while to get your business going and to get it off the ground.
Take time to get to know your business and what clients are looking for. Read other success stories and don't be afraid to ask for help. You may think that writing for clients is easy, it is not. You must consider all your clients as both your bosses and your customers. You are the employee and you must do anything to please your boss, likewise, you must do everything in your power to please the customer so they will return to your business when they are in need.