With so much focus on mistakes that freelancers make, it’s easy to get discouraged. While it’s important to grow and learn from our mistakes, it’s also important to acknowledge when things are done right.
In this post, I’ll list ten freelancing strategies that you’re probably doing correctly with your freelancing business (especially if you’ve been in business for a while).
You may even be able to recognize most of these good business practices as part of your standard operating procedure.
Next, I’ll go even further by suggesting one or two ideas to help you take each tactic to the next level.
What You Are Already Doing Right (Probably)
Here are ten things that most successful freelancers already get right:
- You have a website. It’s crucial for a freelancer to have a website. Fortunately, most experienced freelancers know this and at least have a site that describes their services. If this is you, you can take your website to the next level by adding a blog and/or offering a free information product to grow your mailing list.
- You respond to your emails. You understand that it’s important to respond to client inquiries, so you respond to emails and phone calls as soon as you can. That’s one of the reasons why you are still in business. Take this to the next level by creating a monthly newsletter and asking your clients and prospects if they would like to receive it.
- You participate in social media. Most professional freelancers do already have some sort of social media presence already. You can take your social media presence to the next level by making sure that your profile information is consistent across platforms and by targeting potential clients to friend or follow.
- You meet your deadlines. If you’ve been in business for awhile and if you’ve got customers coming back to use your services again and again, you probably regularly meet your deadlines. You can stand out even more by challenging yourself to turn your work in early.
- You understand your specialty. Long-term freelancers have usually developed a proficiency in their field. They are known for their expertise and knowledge in their area. If this is you, then you can take things to the next level by partnering with another freelancer who has complementary skills and/or learning a new specialty.
- You say “no.” While new freelancers may have trouble saying no, experienced freelancers know that turning down the wrong opportunity is the right thing to do. However, what is wrong for you might be right for someone else. Take your business to the next level by arranging to refer projects that aren’t right for you to another freelancer if they’ll do the same for you.
- You use a contract or other written agreement. You know that it’s important to get an agreement in writing. Perhaps you’ve even been burnt a few times, but now you know better and you always use a written agreement. You can take things to the next level by working with your attorney to create a contract boilerplate that you will use over and over again.
- You value your work and charge accordingly. Plenty of new freelancers don’t charge enough to even cover their expenses, but those freelancers tend to go out of business. That’s not you. You know what you’re worth and aren’t afraid to ask for it. Take things to the next level by capitalizing on your experience and adding consulting services to your offerings.
- You double-check your work. Everyone makes a mistake occasionally, but you minimize the mistakes in your work by checking, double-checking, and re-checking everything that you do. Naturally your clients appreciate this. Why not go to the next level by hiring a second set of eyes to boost your quality even more? Depending on what you do a VA or a proofreader can help.
- You’re reading Freelance Folder. :) Reading and learning from online resources is a great way to get ahead. You won’t miss a single post if you subscribe. You can take this to the next level by commenting on blog posts and/or writing your own guest post.
If you’ve been able to look over this list and you agree that most of it applies to you–congratulations! You’re ready for the next level tips I’ve included with every list item.
However, if you found yourself lacking in a couple of these areas, don’t worry. Most freelancers make these mistakes early on and then overcome them. You can too.
I’ve listed those things that many experienced freelancers do right. I’ve also explained how to move to the next level even if you are getting most of these tactics right.
What tips have you used to take your freelancing business to the next level?
Image by kev.flanagan