There are quite a number of freelancing platforms filled with hundreds of thousands of competitive freelancers battling endlessly for jobs with all they've got and if you happen to be a complete newbie with no prior experience,
you stand to get lost in the crowd, lose job biddings and eventually fade out. It's never an easy feat to crush the experts in the field and be the ultimate winner of the project.
In fact, I remember jumping up in excitement as though I won a lottery and even doing a mini celebration when I finally got my first client as a freelancer.
There are ample opportunities in the freelancing world if you know what you are doing. UpWork, for instance, is a proud host of over 14million users (clients and freelancers) from 180 countries.
With more than 3 million jobs posted and executed annually, UpWork has positioned itself as a well-established community that generates about $1 Billion worth of jobs every year. Are you yet to start freelancing?
Nevertheless, the freelancing world could be very brutal when it comes to gaining quality jobs and as such, one can only utilize as many strategies as possible in demonstrating the ability to carry out the project effectively.
Yes, you need as many tips as you can get but that is not always the case as sometimes, the clients themselves,
may even be the ones to find you when you present yourself correctly as a professional. Here is how to set yourself up as a freelancer on UpWork, Fiverr, PeoplePerHour, FreeeUp, JobDone, Freelancer, Guru etc.
Your success on most freelancing websites usually depends on your profile and the way you bid for jobs but even a well-crafted profile is still not a guarantee.
Fortunately, I will be highlighting a few tips in this regard in a matter of seconds. Each of these freelance websites only serves as an online workplace that connects clients with the right freelancers.
Their sole role is to provide a trusted medium to help clients and freelancers alike, connect, collaborate and accomplish their common objective – Completing quality projects.
This, in turn, creates an economic and social value on a global scale but it's your duty to present yourself as the right candidate for the job otherwise, you make no money.
As stated earlier, the way you present yourself is of utmost importance to the level of success you can attain as a freelancer.
This is likely one of the reasons you are yet to make good sales. A well-crafted profile not only demonstrates confidence and shows that you who are capable of handling the project but also shows your dedication and leaves a professional impact on your clients.
Believe me, that lasting positive impression will be the sole propeller for generating high-quality sales from your clients exponentially.
A quality profile photo that projects how welcoming and fun it is to work with you and an in-depth description that states what you do as well as how you do it, is a must – for a start.
Even clients that found your profile when looking for people of your talent, would most likely use your profile as a deciding factor on whether they should hire you or not.
It's true that some people may be more interested in your skills but they won't fail to also notice your profile details, writing style, spellings and grammar.
This alone makes it a necessity to build a strong presentation and interpersonal skill. A well-presented profile acts as your sales page that convinces your prospects to work with you.
It simply encourages clients to trust you to handle and deliver their projects in record time. Start by investing some time to improve your profile appearance with quality images, sales copy description as well as an introductory video.
Yes, you should do a brief video of yourself that tells your potential clients why they should work with you. Why are you the right man for the job?
You can mention your skills, experience and any other relevant pitches or offers that will turn a visitor into a customer.
A well-presented video creates a connection between you and your clients. However, be mindful not to sound too desperate as such traits only put off quality clients that will get sceptical of your true intentions.
However, it is even more important to be careful of the details you use on your profile. Most clients will analyse every single information on your profile before hiring you and the smallest perception of deceit can ruin your reputation and probably end your freelance career on that platform.
This is to say you should be sincere to yourself and input only what you have accomplished and what you can deliver.
Wonder what the successful freelancers have in common? Here are the qualities of the profiles of other freelance experts. And once again, here's how to setup a high-converting freelance profile.
The way potential clients perceive your level of expertise is probably one of the reasons you aren't getting the number of sales you dream of.
Everyone (including you and me) love to get the best possible quality of service for their money and if they happen to be less-convinced of your professionalism,
they bailout quickly. This means even if you are the best-talented individual that can handle that project, you won't get the job if you fail to prove it to your client.
So, how then do you show your competence? Through your portfolio, reviews and qualifications, of course!
Clients will certainly observe your seller ratings, reviews or any other useful customer feedback on your profile to help them determine your level of expertise.
The importance of having a good portfolio can never be overemphasized. I already talked about how to gain this in my freelance for beginners' article but then again,
it all boils down to samples of your previous works which could be jobs from external sources or even demo projects you did that proves that you truly possess such skills.
However, getting seller ratings without doing any actual sales can be very tricky and most clients wouldn't even consider working with you to they see a positive review from a previous customer.
This only gives you two major options. You either invite your friends, clients from other sources to buy your offer on the freelance platform and give you the review
or you make a deal with a few users on the freelance website to buy your offer at a highly discounted rate that they can't refuse in return for a good positive review.
This will give you a good seller rating for help you kick off your career but you will still need to do a quality job and encourage your clients to drop a feedback after each successful sale as this will improve your ranking and bring in more sales.
Also, does your freelance platform have some skill testing feature? UpWork and Freelancer, for instance, offers this and you should ensure you utilize it maximumly.
Though not mandatory, the skill test is very essential to gauge freelancers' efficiency and it's the best way to prove your expertise.
Show your competence and work experience by taking a test on the platform and in turn, it will improve your rankings as well as build trust with your profile visitors.
This will certainly generate high-quality sales. The tests, depending on your skills, could be just a few questions or an actual practical work you will do to show that you truly have the skills as well as how well you can do it.
At the end of the day, you get an approval badge that certifies you as a skilled individual in that field. As a web designer, the first thing I did to prove my expertise was to build a variety of websites to add to my portfolio.
Though some of the sites are demo projects, a number of them are making me money today (including my Ghavoch.com) in addition to my freelance career.
If you are interested in learning how to setup any type of website using the free Joomla! CMS, I already prepared a blueprint for you.
It's the complete step by step guide on how to build a profitable membership website which will teach you how to build virtually any type of website using the free Joomla! CMS.
Okay, now you have a professional profile filled with a great portfolio, seller reviews, high-quality profile picture,
video and description and you probably just searched and found a promising job offer and can't wait to place your bid.
Well, before you go singing alleluia with all confidence, how well do you understand the job? It's no news that most freelancers don't get jobs because they waste their time bidding for projects that will never yield anything tangible.
The same way some freelancers lack what it takes to deliver a good project is the same way some so-called buyers only come to the platform to waste people's time.
Simply put; you have to choose your job wisely. Besides, most freelance websites don't let you bid anyhow so,
in order not to waste you bidding credit, time or money, it's best you bid on only jobs you are sure you are most likely going to be selected.
You should always examine the job description thoroughly and scrutinize the request of the clients beforehand.
Analyze the task at hand by checking for the associated problems and the kind of solution wanted by the client.
Is the client the type that actually knows what he wants? A client that can't at least be concise in his demands could end up tedious to work with.
He could trouble you with lots of alternatives and changes that will make you spend too much time on his project and it gets worse if he's not paying well enough.
Is he truly ready to pay for your services? Some cheap clients would prefer to pay $150 for a $350 job. Being cynical around this type of people won't raise any eyebrows.
Is it something you can carry out effortlessly? If your profile and skills don't exactly align with the job you are bidding for,
the chances of being hired will be reduced to the minimum. Just know that the probability of the client awarding the job to you is relatively dependent on your understanding of it.
For instance, if your profile states that you are an android application developer, it's only logical that you focus on applying for android app projects.
Applying for a web development project will seem absurd even if you can do it too. Every client looking to award such a project will certainly reject your offer for those specializing in web development.
It's good to be versatile but if you intend to handle multiple project niches, it's best if you add your other skills as add-ons for upsells and target your current customers with it.
This means, instead of applying for that web development project, apply for an Android development project and offer to build a website for your app customers – Every app needs a website anyway.
However, that works best if the skills are related. Asking to handle business financial forecasts for your clients will most certainly raise some questions as an android app developer.
The skills are completely far apart and it only portrays you as a jack of all trades but then again, your clients have worked with you earlier and probably trust you so, they may decide to give it a shot.
The more appropriate option should actually be to offer to build an IOs version of that android app or handle the logo design for their website – These ones are related and easily understandable that you may be able to do it.
Once again, every web designer is likely going to be able to have some graphic design knowledge so, it will be consistent to say you can design logos for your clients' websites.
Whatever the case, you are now aware that some of your bids were completely neglected based on this very reason and I believe the next time you are checking out a job,
you will be able to detect what particular jobs are worth applying for. After finding a good job and your skills matches the tasks involved,
then you should capitalize on your proficiency and monetize your time on that platform by submitting a standard proposal capable of turning that job advert to your earnings.
In case you need a full-time job while running your freelancing career part-time, here are the 6 major steps on how to land your dream job.
Your job proposal is the driving force behind the success of your offer as it determines if the client will even check out your profile or get in touch with you.
With an exception of a few websites such as Fiverr where the clients search for services and contact the freelancers offering them,
most freelance platforms use this proposal feature to connect buyers and sellers. This is good since you no longer need to wait for clients to find you.
In fact, you now have a higher shot at taking charge of career by bidding for jobs and getting hired. The proposal is there for freelancers to pitch to potential customers.
Your proposal should clearly state how you plan to do the work when you will start the project as well as how long it will take you to get it done.
Writing a quality proposal shouldn't be difficult especially if you read the job description and the total concept was understood.
Information such as the project deadline, required skills and project examples are usually open for public consumption.
Your proposal should be a summarized step by step illustration of how you will get the job done but you should not also forget to outline the tools and resources you would use to do the job.
This, of course, is not compulsory but it certainly does increase your chances of getting the job. Why should the client hire you? Why are you the right man for the job?
Are you offering any incentives? Why are you different? You should probably input whatever you think will make the client hire you ahead of other freelancers currently bidding on the job.
Remember to maintain a professional writing and communication style. High-value clients can see your abilities and can also smell your desperation and nervousness.
This is why it is recommended and pretty much essential that you are able to demonstrate enough confidence in your proposal.
If you can, explain everything about the project in the job proposal. What tools are you going to use for the project?
Your goal is to paint a picture of how great you are at handling such projects as well as what the client should expect to see as an end result if you are hired.
This will not only impress the client but will also position you as an expert in the field. Once you are able to write a quality comprehensive proposal like this, 70% of clients will likely contact you for an interview.
Nevertheless, writing an award-winning proposal won't make you a successful freelancer if you don't deliver a quality service.
This means you should only ensure you promise what you can deliver and make your client's satisfaction your utmost priority.
Remember that time matters a lot so, you should always ensure you submit your proposals on time.
In fact, strive to be among the top 8 freelancers to bid on your desired jobs because most clients don't bother checking out every sent proposal.
They usually start from the top and once they find someone reasonable and available, they contact him and if he proves good enough, the job gets awarded.
Punctuality is a good virtue that shouldn't be ignored so, if you intend to make money through freelancing,
then take it seriously by being available to bid for jobs and interact with interested clients every other hour. Also, read my solid tips on how to get more clients for your business or services.
As if the process of getting the client's attention through your proposal wasn't hard enough, most clients will most likely still carry out an interview phase to determine the right candidate for the job.
Yes, you are not the only one with a great proposal and as such, you are probably going to be invited for an interview together with a few other freelancers.
Whether you will get the job or not, depends on your performance during the interview. While this may not be the ideal corporate interview you are used to,
it will certainly involve a question and answer session as the client will certainly need to clarify some details or need more information as the case may be.
Your aim at this point is to prove that the proposal you sent was not scripted and that you actually know what you are doing.
Your best bet is to research the details of the job (a simple Google search will do) together with other resources regarding the project.
Prepare yourself for all possible questions the client could ask regarding the project as well as the appropriate answers, not forgetting to list your own questions for the client.
Some clients do require a little more verification or would just want a more personal interaction process and as such, may demand a video or audio conversation.
This means you should ensure your phone, Skype, Facebook, Google hangout is ready. Remember that while you are a person of interest for the job,
the client is still making consideration among others and you have to position yourself as someone who is fun to work with and can get the job done fast and effectively.
Your first impression is to be available to sort out the client's queries at all times. It's understandable that the difference in time zones will be a major obstruction in this regard but at least, you should make sure the delays between your answers are minimum.
If after the proposal the client attempts to contact you and you are unavailable, then your effort in gaining that job would be a waste because the client will certainly proceed with the available freelancers.
Also, there's one common mistake most freelancers make during an interview with a potential client and that is; negotiating the price too early.
While clients are compelled to set the price of the project according to their budget when posting the job,
not all clients do this as some lack the basic knowledge on the cost of such job in the freelancing market space while others simply want you to have a say in the price.
Whatever the situation, you are required to ask for a review of your fee if you feel that the asking price is too low for the magnitude of the project.
However, doing this too early will raise a red flag. It portrays you as someone who is more interested in the money other than doing a quality job.
I know the essence of freelancing is to make money but making it too obvious as your top priority is the fastest way to lose the job offer.
In fact, the price negotiation process should be the last topic to be discussed during the interview phase.
Set your fee according to the work and the effort you will put in while making sure you don't discourage the client by asking for a high price or undermine the task by requesting for a low payment.
You should set a fair fee that is suitable for you, the project and the client. If you are a total beginner, it's absolutely recommended that you forget the prices and focus on building your reputation first.
One other ingredient that is necessary to catapult your effort of getting that freelance job is a good communication strategy.
This means you have to be a very good communicator. It's certainly not a mandatory quality but it could really affect your success rate as clients will prefer someone they can easily converse with.
Also, being a good communicator means you will be able to openly discuss, share and explore the smallest detail about the project as well as convey your understanding of the job and decisive choices in a much easier fashion.
Your best communication ability is expected to be deployed when writing your job proposal and during the interview.
In fact, if you intend to get a positive review from your client, you also need to maintain a good communication method even when the job is actually being carried out.
This is to say you should always ensure your communication methods are professional, easy to comprehend and responsive.
Keeping your client's satisfaction, a top priority is very much needed to scale through your projects and build a reputable and successful freelance career.
Doing this starts with your communication. How do you converse with your clients? Do you argue all the time or do you just make the necessary corrections your client wants on his project?
When you disagree with your client, how do you make your approach with your own view and lay out the alternatives or appropriate solutions?
It's true that in an attempt to show your proficiency and expertise, you may be tempted to sound like you have it all figured out but on the other hand,
you are actually supposed to opt for your client's opinion. It's never a good option to enforce your choice on them or sound cocky. It's only logical that you ask questions regarding their decisions and understand their reasons.
Whatever the case, your clients are paying for the job and they have the right to decide how the project should be carried out.
The client may be interested in you because of your level of confidence when demonstrating the major details of the project but giving him a voice in the matter may very well be the sole reason you will get hired. Meanwhile, did you know you could freelance completely offline?
Did you find this helpful? Then, don't hesitate to share it with your friends.
Feel free to link to it or use it as a point of reference during your conversations.
You are also encouraged to share your views or ask your questions right away.
If you are a freelancer who has handled a few projects and probably has some reviews on your profile,
I believe my tips above will certainly propel your effort in your bid to land more quality jobs and thereby joining the successful freelancers' gang.
However, if you are a complete newbie, while I have laid out my tips to help you effectively land your first job,
it is also worth noting that it could take a considerable time and more effort on your side to make it happen.
Don't get it twisted as most of the reputable professionals (me inclusive) on your favourite freelancing platform (UpWork, Fiverr, JobDone,
Freelancer, PeoplePerHour, FreeeUp, Guru etc.) with lots of positive reviews on successfully delivered jobs today spent weeks or months before gaining their first project.
This is because most clients are sceptical to hand their project to an amateur and that is why I recommended you build your reviews and portfolio through friends.
Remember that your success as a freelancer depends on your perseverance, knowledge, skills, integrity, dedication and quality of your work.
You should always aim to be a better version of yourself by practising and improving your skills as often as you can. How is your journey so far?