Are you interested in joining one of the 53 million freelancers who want to break free from the daily 9-to-5 grind? Make sure that you possess the following qualities that a successful freelancer has before making the leap.
A Successful Freelancer is Self-Motivated
Freelancers will proudly tell you that they love the freedom and flexibility of their work. We can work whenever we want, whenever we want, and even accept or reject the projects that we chose. With that freedom though, comes great responsibility.
A successful freelancer is extremely self-motivated and are is able to wake up in the morning and start getting to work. They focus on long-term goals and consistently work on being self-motivated in their life, and not just work. They have the willpower to avoid temptations like going outside on a warm spring day all day and the drive to frequently exercise that willpower.
Communication helps freelancers save a ton of money and time. For example, when you and a client are on the same page, you’ll be able to complete a project on or before the deadline, which means that you’ll be able to send out that invoice earlier. Thanks to communication, you and the client avoided any miscommunication so that there weren’t any headaches when working on a task or assignment.
Besides strengthening the relationship with your current clients, communication is key when attempting to attract new clients. Let’s say that a potential client has a question about what services you provide or what you charge. Responding to them in a timely manner could help you land that new gig.
If your communication skills need a little work, try starting by perfecting these skills:
- Respond quickly to emails or direct messages
- Be as available as you can to talk to clients. However, try creating a schedule every morning and evening to respond to emails so that you’re not checking your inbox every five minutes
- Be clear, concise, and transparent with written messages. Explain the steps you’ll be taking in the project and if there are any hiccups, such as not meeting a deadline, inform the client immediately
- Always be a professional. Check for typos. Be polite and respectful. And, only respond when you’re calm and collected. Sending out an email or voicemail when angry can only lead to bad things
Excel At Time Management
A successful freelancer is able to get the most out of their time. If not, they won’t be able to complete daily tasks or meet deadlines. Here’s a couple of pointers to keep in mind when it comes to time management:
- Write down how you spend your days so that you can get rid of any unproductive actions
- Keep to-do-lists short by only including essential tasks
- Plan your day out every morning
- Get rid of distractions like email, Facebook, or text messages by turning them off or on airplane mode for at least a fraction of the day
- Give the 80/20 Rule a try
Jack of All Trades
You have a certain set of skills that you have used to launch your freelancing career. Whether it’s because you’re a talented writer, graphic designer, or accountant, you still need to have at least a basic understanding of other tasks to thrive. Unless you’re rolling in dough, freelancers are responsible for marketing and promoting their services, as well as bookkeeping duties and paying their taxes.
That’s why freelancers have the drive to learn new information and skills so that they can become more rounded, both personally and professionally.
Are Responsible and Trustworthy
Freelancers are known to be responsible and trustworthy individuals. This means completing projects on time, replying to a client’s email when they have a question or concern, and being honest.
Let’s say that you submitted an article and it’s full of grammatical errors and the client sent it back to you for revision. Don’t get defensive. Admit that you made the mistakes and that you’ll revise the articles within the next 24 hours.
A successful Freelancer Can Adapt to Changes
What happens when your laptop crashes or a client has a project that needs to be completed by the end of a day? Freelancers are able to adapt to these unforeseen challenges because they’re flexible and resilient. They may have to alter their schedules to complete projects that are a priority or borrow a computer until they get their fixed in order to keep working.
Know Their Limits
It’s incredibly easy to get burnt out as a freelancer. That’s why freelancers know their limits. They don’t accept more projects than they can handle. And, they won’t accept a gig if it’s beyond their skill level. Even if they don’t want to lose out on making more money, they also realize that taking on too much work prevents them from completing projects on time.
By John Rampton