A new freelancer has a lot to learn.
The learning will take place as you continue to work on the platform you have chosen, and as you approach potential clients for jobs.
It is another experience entirely, different from what you have known, and what you are used to in a normal office job.
Depending on what you have in terms of skills, and knowledge about what you want to do, you have to prepare adequately for this new career, and ensure that right from the onset you have all the basic requirements that will sustain you in the job, and that will enable you to build the career as you desire it.
No matter how you are starting, and the type of freelancing job you can do, there are three major things that you must keep in focus, if you want to survive and thrive in the world of freelancing.
1. The right work schedule:
To be professional, and be prudent with time, you must have a work schedule that determines when you are available for work on a daily basis.
This will free up your time for other things that are also important in your life.
It will help you to organize your day, and will greatly impact the quality of jobs that you will deliver to your clients.
Many people find this very difficult to do, because they feel that freelancing means you can work just any time and anyhow.
You may decide not to be rigid with the specific time for working, as the time that your clients will need the job will be a major determinant of when you can work.
You should at least have the number of hours you want to be spending at work daily, then you can keep shifting the starting time based on the preferences of your clients.
Never overload yourself with work. Never take more than what you can do, nor what you don't have the required skills to do.
Since you are now your own boss, at the appropriate time give yourself a break, unwind and refresh from time to time, so that you will always have what it takes to deliver quality services.
2. Good reputation:
At the beginning of your freelancing career, what should be paramount in your mind should not be the number of jobs you can take, or the amount of money you can make.
What you should focus upon more than anything else is building your reputation.
Most clients are looking for freelancers who have samples of what they have done before as proof that they are capable of doing the work that the employer is looking for.
They are also looking for comments and feedback from clients you have worked for in the past. They will use all of these together with other information you have in your portfolio to know whether to pick you or not.
Because you are just beginning, you are not likely going to have enough work samples, and feedback to convince them.
This is the reason why you have to focus on working for low paid jobs that are readily available, to get these the portfolio experience and feedback history from them.
Know that when you over deliver to a client, he or she will not hesitate to tell the world how good you are.
That is far more valuable than the money you can get for the early stages of your freelancing career.
As you continue to build your reputation, you must guide it jealously, just one negative comment among ten other positive ones is enough to make you lose jobs that you are well qualified for.
Never be discouraged, and never give up.
Do not expect all job proposals to give you favorable responses.
There may be times when you will not land any client for weeks, never be discouraged.
Whenever you lose a job, try to think on what you have done, or what you have not done that could lead to rejection.
Using this information, try to make your next proposal better, and push on.
Surely at the early stages of your freelancing career, you will encounter things that will want to make you quit, especially in the area of competing with other established freelancers, you must know that it is normal for such to happen.
In all, building a successful freelancing career will take time, especially for those who are just starting.
Be patient and focused, and you will arrive at your destination at the end.