A freelancer is someone who sells their services to clients without a long-term employment contract with any of them.
However, a successful freelancer is someone who has carved a niche for themselves in their freelance career.
A successful freelancer is known for their hard work, professionalism, persistence, self-discipline, excellent communication skills, initiative and passion for their job.
Good Freelancing reporter Dan Agbo spoke with some freelancers and they described a successful freelancer thus:
A successful freelancer is self-disciplined
“Simply put, a successful freelancer is self-disciplined, hustles, has integrity and is passionate about the services they offer,” says Kathleen Benson, a virtual assistant. “With over 25 years of providing services to my clients, I have learned what it takes to succeed as a freelancer: it’s hard work, it takes dedication and discipline and it’s being open to taking classes to improve your craft and work on personal development.” Kathleen says successful freelancers never stop learning and always want to be able to present their clients with tools that will save not only time but money, advising fellow freelancers to work smarter instead of harder and have their client’s interests at heart. “On most days, I am up early researching various platforms, such as Freelancer.com, to submit bids and proposals to potential clients. I am researching the client and am learning what fair salaries are in my industry. So, I am coming in with a reasonable bid. I do not want to underbid myself nor do I wish to overbid my rates. I thoroughly read the job description and the client’s expectations. I make sure the work is actually what I want to do. I am a firm believer in doing what you love. I work with select clients and I have learned over the years that it is okay to say no thank you to work I am not interested in. I call that integrity. To be a successful freelancer, love what you do, never stop learning, respond to clients immediately and have a dedicated office space. Act as if you are going to an office and dress to meet clients, at least from the waist up, as you never know when you will be on Zoom! And finally, always be impeccable with your words.”
A successful freelancer is focused
Freelance photographer Ryan West believes that for you to be a successful freelancer you need to be someone that is focused. “There are so many details you have to attend to and tasks to get done that you will need to be focused to organize and achieve it all,” Ryan says. “From doing the work to getting new clients to living your daily life and so much more, you will need to focus to stay on top of it all. So, someone that can make detailed notes, make good to-do lists and set reminders will do well at what they need to achieve. Focus is the key. When you focus on one thing, you give it your undivided attention and you will reap the benefits.”
A successful freelancer has their own idea of success
On her part, Giada Nizzoli says a successful freelancer is one who has managed to understand, work towards and sticks to their own idea of success. “It’s easy to get side-tracked by comparing ourselves to what we see online, especially on social media. We see other freelancers creating an agency model and we start thinking we’re falling behind because we’re not (even if we’ve never actually wanted to start an agency),” explains Giada, who works as a freelance copywriter and blog writer. “We overlook our achievements after following someone who hustles seven days a week to earn £20,000 a month (even though the reason why we started freelancing was ‘to have more control over our time’), and so on.” Giada believes that success means different things to different people and the first step towards becoming a successful freelancer is defining it for ourselves instead of running the risk of ending up chasing someone else’s idea.
Who is a successful freelancer to you? Tell us in the comment section below.
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