2019 Sep 17
The life of a freelancer has so many positives and negatives. For one, your home is your office – no more dealing with rush hour traffic and no coworkers to bug you. While working from home seems idyllic, freelancing comes with its own set of challenges. For instance, you’ll spend a lot of your time following up with clients to see if your payments are ready (I’m sure that all freelancers can agree on this). Then there’s the fact that working from home does come with many distractions, after all, you are at home. Either way, if you chose the freelancer life, this one is for you! Here are our top tips on how to be an effective freelancer in Sri Lanka.
Establish a name for yourself
Right from the get-go, start building up a name and identity for yourself. Even the little things like email signatures, business cards and standardized invoice formats go a long way to establish credibility. Identify the defining traits in your work and make it a selling point. Perhaps you are a freelance writer, what is it about your work that makes it easy to distinguish your work from someone else’s? These are all questions to ask yourself which will help you improve the quality of your work.
Try to work on projects across many industries. Even if you specialize in logo design, try to venture out into print layouts and so on. The great thing about being a freelancer is that you aren’t limited to one specific area of expertise. Step out of your comfort zone and go ahead and experiment as this is the ultimate self-learning experience.
Stick to your rates
The golden question, ‘how much should I charge?’. You of all people will know how much effort you put into your work. So, if you don’t get a client to agree upon your rate, don’t take up the project. Having said that, if you feel that you will receive continuous work from a particular client, try lowering your rates to establish a long-term relationship.
Make sure that you have a wide range of clients that come to you for services, you never know when budget cuts will arise or if and when another project will come along, so be mindful. Another trick you can make use of is to initially offer to take up a project for free. This might sound crazy, but it will really help you grow your network. After all, freelancing is an industry that depends on who heard what through the grapevine.
With websites like fiverr.com and freelancer.com which connect freelancers to clients across the world, use the internet to take your name to an international level. These websites have their own bidding systems in place where a series of projects according to your expertise are listed down. All you have to do is place your bid and wait for a response. Patience is key here, but once you get your first project, sailing will be smooth from then on.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Tempting isn’t it? That project you just got offered may pay really well, but if you’re already full up with work, either decline or refer someone else (remember the grapevine here people!) If you do overload yourself, you’re going to end up with unfinished projects way past your deadline; this will only be detrimental to your growth as a freelancer.
If you have decided to go down the path of freelancing, you just made a bold move. Sure, it has its ups and downs but if you weather the storm long enough, it will pay off. We hope you take something away from this list of tips to better yourself at the game.