Keep it movin’: How to get more work as a freelancer

You are only as good as your last job when it comes to freelancing Click To Tweet

Working as a freelancer has amazing perks: you keep your own hours, you do the work you actually want to do and above all, you do not have to answer to anyone else. You are your own boss and that is so liberating.

With the highs come the lows: the inconsistent paychecks, the odd working hours and the never ending search for more work. Until you build up a reputation and have people knocking at your door you have work twice as hard- for your actual content as well as looking for more business.

So how do you keep the business rolling in when starting out as a freelancer?

1. Be proactive

You have to look for the work and until you become a brand name, it won’t look for you. So spread the word among your friends, family, even the stranger down the street (jokes, don’t do that unless you really have to).

If you’ve left a previous job to become a freelancer ask your old colleagues to put out the word for you, even if recommending you for work they can’t take on. Referrals will help you get new jobs especially when you have a good reputation.

It might be worth it to talk to other freelancers in your field, hear how they built their business and they could also become someone worth partnering with. Approach people you want to work with/for, put yourself out there.

2. Be social media savvy

Thanks to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, your clients are literally a click away. I am not a fan of the, ‘Guys, my client could be on your timeline’ tweets but I also appreciate the resourcefulness.

If you use a website remember to link it to your social media so you can direct traffic to your site. Keep it updated, showcase your work and also engage with your followers. Social media is a great tool to build up and maintain your clientele.

Until you have people knocking at your door you have work twice as hard Click To Tweet

3. Be accessible

Nothing irritates a potential client more than having to work for someone and not being able to find them. You don’t have a PR team behind you or a secretary so you have to balance your work and being available.

Make sure you keep your contact details and website up to date. When your clients want you, they should be able to find you. When there are events or opportunities to attend conferences for your field, go!

Get out there and get known, build your brand by being reachable. Having a good reputation is as necessary as producing good work.

4. Don’t be too picky

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Sometimes, you’ll look at a work offer and be like, ‘I’m above this’ but when you a starting out you cannot be too picky. You’ve got to do some not so great work to get access to the more exciting work.

Sometimes this might mean doing work for free – which is a freelancer’s nightmare. Annoying but necessary in some cases especially when it will contribute to exposure and portfolio building. It is part of the process of starting your career. You get to be pickier when you have the choice to be. Right now you don’t.

Talk to other freelancers in your field, they could become someone worth partnering with Click To Tweet

5. Plan, plan, plan

Without the daily structures of office life, it is easy to be lax when it comes to planning and having a set routine. In order to put out good work, you have to be efficient and structured. You are in charge of your schedule and it’s easy to let things slide but you have to create timelines for projects and mark down deadlines.

Put in a weekly reminder to track your progress, that way you are consistently putting in the work and not just waiting for the due date to get the work done. You have to be on top of your schedule to stay on top of your work.

6. Let your work speak for itself

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You are only as good as your last job when it comes to freelancing. When looking for working on sites such as UpWork, you may be requested to give examples of previous work.

Your portfolio is as good as your CV. Always be consistent in terms of quality by making sure it is always up to date. Another way to get more clients is to have your previous clients speak up on your work.

Freelancers need to get out there and get known, build your brand by being reachable Click To Tweet

Have them quote their opinion of your work on your site/ portfolio. This builds up your reputation and shows a history of satisfied clients.

Effectively handling multiple jobs like a pro

Reading to be a professional job juggler? Here's how to balance your 9-5 and your hustles Click To Tweet

So you got the gig! You are excited because you are finally on your way to doing something you really love. You spend endless hours on your side gig all in the hopes of being successful.

But your job becomes a distraction and starts to keep you away from your hustle. How do you balance it all? Below are some of my tips for being a professional job juggler.

Develop a work routine

The biggest problem with holding multiple jobs especially if you already have a full-time job is falling into the trap of thinking you don’t have to work as hard as you would a regular job.

Sorry to burst your bubble but having a freelancing gig may mean working twice as hard just to get a little bit of success. Therefore, a work routine needs to be developed for your multiple jobs.

If you have set aside 3 days a week to work on your side hustle do it! Treat your gig just the way you treat your regular job. If you can’t imagine slacking on your regular job then you sure can’t slack on your side job.

If you can’t imagine slacking on your regular job then you sure can’t slack on your side job Click To Tweet

Talk to others

The good part about the year being 2017 is that plenty of people have lived in on this earth. Chances are there are plenty of people doing what you are doing right now.

Talk to other freelancers and pick their brains on issues that you may be having. Also just ask them general questions about how they operate. Learning from others will help you avoid the mistakes they made and save you a whole lot of time and money.

Be organized

Being organized doesn’t always have to mean you have a physical space to call an office for your business. In these times, few businesses have that. Regardless always make sure you have your business cards, company profile and pitch ready.

This will significantly reduce your turnaround time with potential clients. Getting even one potential client is a good feat for a gig so you don’t want to scare off any. Additionally, you always want to feel ready to conquer what’s thrown at you.

Being organized doesn’t mean you have a physical space to call an office for your business Click To Tweet

Take time for yourself

Seriously, take a break. When you feel overwhelmed by your multiple jobs it is okay to have a time out to just think. Watch your favourite 90s movie (cue in Pretty Woman), take a bath, go out for drinks, read a good book the list is pretty endless.

The goal is to rejuvenate yourself so you can focus on your work.

Create goals for yourself.

Look! Goals give you direction period. If you do not set goals for yourself and your work you are most likely going to get overwhelmed.

Additionally, you will be working but not adding impact. Every morning when you wake up ask yourself, “What single task can I do today that will take my business forward?” It’s all about creating purpose and everything will fall into place.

Celebrate!!

Celebrate every little milestone you achieve while working multiple jobs. You will automatically psyche your brain into doing more and before you know it you’ll be a master of your craft.

Being your own boss as a freelancer

You need to fully get your hustle on and sell yourself whenever you get the chance. Click To Tweet

Welcome to the freelance life.

First off, I’ve noticed a Nigerian trend where too many young people are obsessed with the title of CEO on their name cards, and less committed to undertaking the hard work that comes with working for oneself. In an economy that may or may not be in a recession, the conventional employment sector is overburdened as too many people clamor for scarce resources. For some others, the strings of a 9-to-5 or round-the-clock job working for someone else is just not appealing.

Let’s be straight up, here. Freelancing is not an easy path to navigate but there are serious perks to it if you’re actually good at what you do, and if you’re prepared to put yourself out there. There is such a wide range of freelance occupations which includes writers, graphic designers, animators, accountants, MUAs, hair stylists, recruiters, lawyers, models, real estate agents and more.

Statistics tell us that about a third of all working Americans are freelancers. In several parts of Africa, we can expect that more people are also taking up freelance work. There are several perks to working as a freelancer:

  • Your time is flexible
  • You’re your own boss
  • You get to select the projects that interest you

All that sounds super great, so let’s balance it out. There is a downside…there is no guaranteed income stream. This is true especially when you’re just starting out. It means you need to fully get your hustle on and sell, sell, sell yourself whenever you get the chance. Some periods may be a lot better than others. Sometimes, you’re absolutely swamped with work and at other times, you’re almost begging for work.

How to boss it?

Network!

Whenever you meet new people or talk to old friends, tell them about what you do. People are always looking for freelancers but you wouldn’t know if you don’t spark up the conversation.

Be super organized

It’s important to respond to clients in a timely manner and to keep adequate records. It helps to have a to-do list and to set hours when you must get things done.

Brand yourself online and offline

Use social media to showcase your skills and highlight your personal brand. Work on a splendid offline portfolio too, get all your marketing tools in check.

Look for opportunities on social media

Forget looking only at the traditional sources! I personally have been exposed to more opportunities on social media. Twitter is a great tool to find work and engage with other freelancers as yourself.

I personally love the freedom that comes with being able to plan around my own time, to travel while I work, to work at odd hours. Just remember, you need to be practical about your goals and expectations, and you need to put considerable time and effort in to get to your ideal place.

Kindly share your tips and experiences from working as a freelancer with us.