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How to be a Successful Freelancer

Updated on January 11, 2013

Are you tired of your regular 9-5 job? Do you want to be your own boss? Or perhaps you are paying more to keep your children in daycare than anything? If you said yes to any of those questions you will love being a freelancer. A freelancer works whenever they please, they are their own boss, and they do not have to pay the horrendous daycare bills.

Being a successful freelancer does not happen overnight. It takes time, research, dedication, patience, and quality work. If you possess these four traits you are on the right path to becoming a successful freelancer.


Research has to be the most important thing when it comes to the freelance world. Just like you would research different items you want to purchase; you would do the same thing in the freelancing world, but you will be researching the different places you want to contract with. You will find plenty of places that say they are legit, but if you do a little bit of research you will soon find out they are far from legit. Never ever apply to a place before digging up some research on a company and if you decide to apply and something does not seem right stick with your gut feeling.


Becoming a successful takes a lot of hard work, time, effort, and dedication. You have to be ready to start from the ground up. This is what many people do not realize, they believe they will be able to jump right in and be able to be successful.

You have to have the dedication and motivations to find yourself work because until you are well-known around the freelance community no work will come to you, you have to find the work for yourself. Sad to say, but only the strongest people will survive in the freelance world.


You have to have patience and a lot of it. You can’t become impatient when you are trying to land your first project. I know from experience that it can be very nerve rattling until you have your first contract under belt, but in order to keep your stress levels at a normal non-life threatening level you must not be impatient.


Even though, there will be many other freelancers will bigger portfolios than yours does not mean you should add anything and everything in your portfolio. Sometimes it is better to have a small portfolio of your high quality work than have an enormous portfolio with mediocre work. Especially when starting out, no one will expect you to have a big portfolio anyway; however, as you are on your journey it is best to add some work during the different stages of your freelance career.

Other than those four traits remember to have fun. Do not forget why you are doing this in the first place. You are trying to have more freedom and enjoy work. If you are fretting and worrying about every little thing than work will not be the way you hoped it would have been. Just remember to take it one day at a time.


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    • profile image

      Destrey 3 years ago

      Why does this have to be the ONLY rellabie source? Oh well, gj!

    • profile image

      Lakiesha 3 years ago

      Dag nabbit good stuff you whanperspippers!

    • William Gerace profile image

      William Gerace 5 years ago from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

      I can't agree with you guys more. Patience is definitely key in anything such as Freelancing. It takes time to build up your client base, build trust, and develop a steady income stream. Great Hub!!

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      So true, it does not happen overnight. It can be a totally new lifestyle for the person. If you're used to the 9-5 job, changes in your schedule is required. Freelancing is not for the faint of heart nor is it an escape from work. It requires one's commitment like any other job. The plus side is you control your time.

    • cmahan profile image

      Chrystal Mahan 5 years ago from Michigan

      Patience is definately key. I have seen so many freelancers give up too quickly.