The Freelance industry is as vast as an ocean—there are numerous opportunities available to freshers as well as professionals. As technology grows and binds us together in a web of networks, freelancers and potential freelancers find it all the more easy to explore offers, but one cannot take freelancing for granted.
The freelance industry may be huge and brimming with opportunities, but that does mean one can obtain success with a pinch of luck and random activities. In order to start and excel in freelance industry, there is more than just determination that will drive you through.
There are certain mistakes that most newbies and, at times, professionals commit while engaging in the freelance industry. If you avoid them, your freelance career would experience fewer obstacles.
In this article, we will talk about ten such things that you should not do while searching for a freelance job. So, without further ado, we begin:
1. Do not apply to every job in the universe
Many people engage impulsively, and this is one of the many reasons why most of them do not make it big in the freelance industry.
It is a sheer waste of time to apply for every job opportunity. What is more wasteful is that you will likely not get any of the jobs applied for.
The first thing to be done is an assessment of your skills, and only after that, you should apply for work. Your applications will be limited, but there are greater chances to succeed. Plus, you will waste less time of yours.
2. Over-commitment is a disease
When you work as a freelancer, you enjoy slightly more flexibility than as a regular employee. This flexibility, however, should not make you over-zealous, causing you to make too many commitments.
The problems with over-commitment are many, and they affect your professional relationship with your client.
You may be super talented, but you do not work with a hundred hands.
3. A generic cover letter and resume won’t help at all
After having done a thorough assessment of skills, it is time to apply for work. When you apply, you should tailor your resume and cover letter as per the requirements of the particular work you are applying for.
It is time-consuming to tailor credentials every time you apply, but in order to increase your prospects of getting the best of the freelance industry, you should put in some extra hard work.
4. Do not compromise beyond what is feasible to you
The freelance industry is fast-moving; jobs come and go, and at times, you end up with a job that pays you less than what you normally charge. It is tempting, especially when you do not have enough jobs at hand, to accept such work proposals; but we ask you not to.
You cannot survive any industry without compromises, but too many of them can hamper your professional status and cause you unwarranted frustration.
5. Do not be hasty while applying
After having tailored the resume and cover letter, do not hastily submit them. Make sure you have proofread them over and over again before making the final submission. If a mistake goes unnoticed to you, it may be a problem.
The following are common errors: misspelled names, different receivers, broken links to credentials, etc. These little things create a huge difference, so pay attention to them while you can.
6. Be very specific about yourself
Skills determine your future in the freelance industry, and if you are not able to project your best skills, you will never be noticed by clients.
While submitting an application, especially a proposal, make sure you have highlighted your skills, relevant work experience, and how much time you can contribute to assignments. Be very clear about what you are made of. Avoid projecting yourself more than what you really are.
Specificity helps a great deal in a professional setting, and one way of giving a practical demonstration is through sample submissions. Draft samples of your work and submit them along with the application—it will help clients a great deal to gauge your skills and potential to work with their organization.
7. Do not badmouth
You may end up with an overbearing client, but you must keep calm and avoid showing your disgruntlement with them, especially on public forums.
Hiring managers assess all the applications regularly and they keep tabs on your activity in public forums. If they find out that you have been bad mouthing behind their backs, your career will end right there and then.
Do not be too outward about your dissatisfaction with your job.
8. Procrastination will drown your career
As a freelancer, you know time is precious and if you do not stick to the schedule, you will lose your status as a credible freelancer.
Clients look forward to working with punctual freelancers, but if you keep on procrastinating, they will immediately brush you away.
If you cannot complete the assignment on time, make sure you inform your client beforehand. This way the client will make temporary arrangements to get the job done or simply excuse you for the day.
9. Do not forget to keep tabs on emails and phone calls
Freelancers usually work from home and that is why communication is not as simple as it usually is in a professional setting.
You would want to represent yourself professionally, and how you do that? You tweak some changes to your virtual profile: create a professional email address (no firstname.lastname@example.org.) , use reasonably formal language in emails, put a professional profile picture in your accounts such as on linkedin.com.
Always be prompt with emails and phone calls; don’t keep your clients waiting for too long.
10. Do not forget the websites
The freelance industry has gone beyond yellow pages and job pamphlets—much of it functions online. Take a dive into the world of online freelance industry and scavenge through popular freelance websites to avail opportunities.
There are a number of websites such as worknhire.com, linkedin.com, freelancer.com, and guru.com where you can get access to thousands of job opportunities by following a few simple steps.