All sorts of people are freelancers. Some want to be their own boss. Others like the freedom to work when they want and for who they want. And some just like the higher pay compared to being an employee that can come from freelancing.
Whichever reason you have for being a freelancer, all of the best freelancers share many of the same qualities.
This article gives you the opportunity to learn some of the qualities that makes a freelancer a great freelancer.
Make your clients fall in love with you
We’re not talking about anything personal here – we’re not asking you to marry your client.
But you should aim to do such a good job for your clients that they love your work so much that they wouldn’t even think about hiring another freelancer over you.
Know what you’re doing and what you’re talking about
As a freelancer offering your services to other businesses, you need to be an expert in your field – that’s why they are hiring you after all.
Never stop learning. You should take interest in any news relating to your industry to see what’s happening in your field. You’ll get to learn about any new products which will not only help keep your business fresh and relevant, but which could be useful knowledge for your clients.
And you could learn about the industries your clients are in – it will put you on a level playing field and you could even find information that the client didn’t know.
Don’t change (too quickly)
When you start working for a client, and the work becomes regular, your clients will be expecting you to keep a similar approach to what you do.
For example, you should try to keep your response times to emails consistent – don’t email them back immediately one time and then wait three days to reply the next time.
And we know you want to gradually increase your prices as you gain more experience, but it’s not something you can do overnight. You can’t charge a client £50 for a particular service, and then charge them £150 for the same service the next time they need you. They’ll just think you are trying to rip them off or that you don’t know what you are doing.
Freelancing can be a lonely business – you’ll probably spend many, many hours home alone while working.
Make an effort to be social and to keep your sanity. This could be done by opening social media accounts and talking about what you do to like-minded people, or it could be networking in real life at organised business networking events – don’t worry if you’re shy because these networking events are usually very informal.
Don’t burn yourself out
There’s no denying it – turning a dream into a successful freelancing business takes a lot of work. While the hard work can be incredibly rewarding, you shouldn’t let it invade 100% of your life, or you’ll burn yourself out and wonder why you ever thought freelancing would be a good idea.
So make sure you remember to relax every so often. Spend some time with your family or partake in your favourite hobbies. Basically, remember how to have fun.
Shoaib Aslam is the co-founder of Pearl Chartered Accountants, a UK-based chartered accountancy firm that has multiple locations across London. They are experts in helping startups and established businesses with all aspects of growth, strategy, scaling up, accounting and tax planning.