Could any freelancers here offer some advice?

11 replies
Hey all you Freelancers!

What is the one part of being a freelancer do you wish you had help with when you started out? I'm new to this and want to avoid the pitfalls.
#advice #freelancers #offer
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    You need to narrow down what you offer and who you do it for...get clarity on these things.

    POSITIONING.

    #1 key to success.

    Try to be everything to everyone and you'll get nowhere.

    Specialists get paid more money.
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  • Profile picture of the author imoonlight
    Get to know people who have truly succeeded in freelancing.... like you're doing here!


    Finding a niche that you have some experience in is a good start. Really think about what you have to offer -- if you're good at something be quick to put it out there. Do not hesitate.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave d
    What type of freelancer, what is is that you do. Different people will have different experiences depending on what their industry is.
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  • Profile picture of the author dilipcybex
    In the beginning everyone hoped that had a user base where they can bank in. People wish they were familiar with a lot of things and look to people to lean on. If you have experienced friends to bank at the starting of your freelancing career, that is the best thing you could ever have.
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  • Profile picture of the author ashishbedi
    Glad to come across this thread. So much information for a beginner freelancer. Thanks for sharing all the info with us
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  • Profile picture of the author ncinsure90
    I am agree with Jason Kanigan.
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  • Profile picture of the author affmarketer101
    Be different from other freelancers in every application, you will be successful.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Two things that might help you...

    Jason touched on the first one, positioning. I'm going to add picking a specific niche to specialize in. If you're an article writer, you'll have an easier time finding clients and be able to charge more if you specialize. Instead of just being an article writer, be the article writer for the nutritional supplement market.

    Who makes more money -- a doctor in general family practice, or a thoracic surgeon?

    Second, get over the notion of not being qualified.

    You do not need to tell people you are just starting out. If they ask, don't lie. But if you have the skills to benefit your clients, you don't need to worry about qualifications. When a dentist opens a practice, they don't tell the person sitting in the chair that they are the first patient, do they?

    On a related note, don't worry if you don't have an extensive portfolio. If you need samples of your work, create some. They don't have to be paid work -- mostly, no one cares. If you want to write articles, write some articles. You can label them as 'spec', meaning you wrote them without having a contract in place before you wrote it. Same with graphic design. If you want to create book covers, create some, either for books that don't yet exist or as examples of how you would have done the cover for an existing book.

    One last thing.

    Don't stop marketing your services. It's better to have a full pipeline and tell potential clients you have a waiting list than to go through the boom and bust cycle many freelancers live. In a way, this also adds to your positioning. If you have to tell a client that you can't start their project for two weeks (or months) because you already have work scheduled, it adds to your position as a go-to guy people are willing to wait for.

    Good luck to you...
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  • Profile picture of the author crackhouse
    I would never do freelancing, i would have a job, with a steady stable income, then work on a business as a side hustle. Then quit your job and become your own boss. Going freelancer for years is a losing proposition.
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    I sell backlinks on some of the most lucrative editorial websites in the world.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by crackhouse View Post

      I would never do freelancing, i would have a job, with a steady stable income, then work on a business as a side hustle. Then quit your job and become your own boss. Going freelancer for years is a losing proposition.
      If your definition of freelancing only extends to the job boards like Upwork or Fiverr, I agree with you. These work to get those first few clients under your belt, but they will burn you out over the long haul.

      On the other hand, once you graduate from the 'race to the bottom' boards, you have the potential to earn far more than many stable jobs pay. Take copywriting, for instance. If you can produce a control (a package that beats the previous package), you can make a year's average income with a single mailing from the royalties.

      You also have the chance to develop a stable list of clients who come back to you again and again.

      The two things that stop a lot of people from doing just that is a) an unwillingness to put in the time to dig out clients with both the inclination and the budget to pay higher fees, and b) an unwillingness to put in the time acquiring the necessary skills to produce those results.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I agree with most of the answers in here but would add a few things.

    1. Don't just go chasing money. Find out what people's problems are (in your niche) and create a great way to solve them.

    2. Make friends, whether other freelancers or people doing a range of different businesses. You never know when you'll find friends and/or leads.

    3. Position yourself as an expert in your chosen niche so people start coming to you. As John mentioned, always be busy, even if you're not.

    4. Spend time in this forum searching for answers to questions because most of what you will ask will already have answers in the database.
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    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Website / Blog for more info.

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