Working as a freelancer comes with its own perks. Since you are not bound by the usual timings and the need to work with one firm, or on one project, you can choose who you want to work with, or what work you want to take up. But the lack of order can create devastating financial instability. However, if done correctly, its benefits far outweigh its disadvantages. Stephane Kasriel, the CEO of Upwork, mentions that more than 50% of the freelancers on its platform are IT related. That means, the competition to make it as a tech freelancer is extremely high. So here are some tips that will help you in making it as a tech freelancer.
Even if you are one of the best subject-matter experts in the world, as a freelancer, your talents are only as useful as the clients that it can get. Freelancing is competitive. So, if you’re planning to leave your full-time job behind and start your own work, you need to take charge of every aspect of your business. When you’re a full-time employee, your only responsibility in the organization is meeting the targets and completing the projects that you are assigned. How you will get those projects is the company’s problem. The decision to quit is mostly centered around how much pay you could get if you went off by yourself. But the one thing that most freelancers underestimate is how difficult it is to sell your services
Upwork, one of the largest talent-differentiated platforms for freelancers, claims that it gets 10000 applications every day. On a platform where the task of finding clients is made that much easier, the competition is still high. Imagine how much harder it would be if you had to sell your services by yourself. A study by Udemy showed that organizations don’t struggle with finding human resources; they struggle with finding good talent. So, if you want to be able to stand out, you need to show why clients should approach you. Having good marketing skills can only so far in differentiating you from the crowd. In the end, it is your ability to perform that cinches the deal.
As a full-time employee, you complete the project your company assigns you. But as a freelancer, you must decide what volume of work you can take on. This means that you must act like an entrepreneur to manage clients’ expectations and the deliverables they need within the budget they allocate
Build Regular Clients:
Business spreads by word of mouth. No matter how well-crafted your marketing strategies are, much of your business will still be driven by how satisfied your clients are with your service. Therefore, it is important to build a network of regular clients that can drive your business even on days where the business seems dull. Lead generation is an important quality that freelancers should develop – especially freelancers in tech. One way that this can happen is to spend more time billing your clients than looking for work when you do have some.
While we don’t suggest that you don’t look for work when you have clients, you need to focus on delivering to the existing clients. Spending considerable time looking for new clients will only hamper the quality of deliverables to the existing ones
Don’t Slack Off in Delivering:
Companies are generally hesitant before hiring freelancers because, one, they can’t control the exact performance of the freelancer, and two, they don’t know if they made the right choice picking you from the sea of opportunities they have. In those cases, it is easier to break their impression than it is to build your reputation. Slacking off can mean delivering late, handing over project deliverables that are different from what was originally agreed upon, billing them for a higher amount, or asking for extensions.
Getting into this quagmire can be easy if you don’t estimate your abilities accurately. While taking a high amount of work can seem tempting for the revenue, it is a good way to fail if you overestimate your abilities. You need to manage your clients’ expectations, and what you know is right. Because, in the end, the client is always right even if he isn’t.
Learn New Skills:
The world of tech is changing rapidly. What is relevant today might not be so a year later. A successful freelancer is one who can predict the trends accurately. Work from home tech jobs are volatile because, as a freelancer, you need to be available when supply can’t meet the demand. After a trend explodes and everyone familiarizes themselves with the skill, it is much harder to differentiate yourself. That means you’ll have to struggle harder to get clients when supply is starting to meet demand. You should keep abreast of the latest trends in the industry and understand what skills are relevant to the work you’re doing.
Your expertise at a skill is only as useful as the demand for the skill. Given the complexities in mastering new skills in the industry, you should start as early as possible. This is important because as you build clients, there is a distinct risk that you’ll slip into complacency. Besides, incorporating new skills and tools into your business can help save costs and time, which opens opportunities to take on new clients.
Have a Backup Plan:
Depending on the kind of work you’re into, the possibility of going obsolete changes. If you’re into providing IT services, just learning new skills might not help you because those skills, and the clients’ requirements in those skills, might require additional infrastructure. When this happens, you’ll need a backup plan. Being in the freelancing business is like having an investor – you need to know how to predict the growth of the business, except that you’re not sure how to do it. One way to do it is to diversify. You need to have enough projects that the obsoletion of one skill doesn’t kill all of them. You should chart a plan for where you want to go but keep a failsafe option that you can always fall back on.