how to become a successful freelancer

How to become a Successful Freelancer in 2021

You can start freelancing with Fiverr or any other platform. To succeed, there are things you need to do.

It’s important you know how to become a successful freelancer before allowing the temptation of what others earn to make you sack your boss. 

Freelancing may be one of the hottest side hustles in the job market as the pandemic still ravages the world in 2021.

Although people calling themselves freelancers have been identified even before the arrival of the internet.

The industry grew with more than 25% increment between April and June 2020. Meanwhile, freelancers are about 35% of the total workforce all over the world.

This means around 1.1 billion people are working as full-time or part-time freelancers.

In America alone, more than 2 million people have become freelancers.

And by now, the sector has been recognized to contribute $1.2 trillion to the economy of the country annually.

So, what is so great about freelancing that people are lured to become one, mostly when they see a friend doing well at it?

For one, people want to become a freelancer to be their own boss.

Some have quit their jobs to pursue freelancing because they are fed up with the traditional work culture.

Having realized the opportunities that come with the lockdowns, those who lost their jobs had to make money from selling their gigs online.

Chances are, you too can become a successful freelancer if you know what to do.

Whatever your reason to become a freelancer might be, this article will teach you how to become a successful freelancer in any field.

How to become a successful freelancer

The following are 8 key tips to succeed as a freelance.

You can’t afford to miss even the least of the tips thereof if you want to become a successful freelancer.

1. Understand your niche and have a rough idea of your future

To be a successful freelancer, you have to keep the bigger picture in mind.

Freelancing is an umbrella term for all the services people can offer to other businesses on a non-contractual basis.

You can be a freelance writer, designer, poet, therapist, assistant, and anything else that people are ready to pay for.

Before starting your journey as a freelancer, you must have planned what services you will offer your clients.

If freelancing is something new to you, you should think about the niche you need to work on:

  • What do you want from your freelancing career?
  • Where do you see yourself in a few years to come?
  • How can you maintain a constant cash flow as a freelancer?

Recommended: How to find and validate a niche

Pro tip: The more specific your niche is, the better you will be paid.

Freelancing is not just about offering random services and making money. It is a full-time career. Therefore, you should choose the one thing you can do the best.

For example, saying you are a writer won’t help your clients know precisely the services you offer.

But if you say you are an ‘SEO content writer’ or a script-writer, it will help the right clients reach out to you.

2. Have a daily routine

One big difference between successful people and those who haven’t succeeded yet is a daily routine.

It is nothing like the daily time-table you used to make during your school days.

A daily routine establishes a sense of discipline and workaholics inside you.

This is why Beethoven, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and almost every successful person have a specific daily routine.

If you don’t have a daily routine yet and you want to be a successful freelancer, start now.

Think of all the things that matter to you – hobbies, work, sleep, entertainment, reading, family time, traveling etc, and allocate time for them.

If you are confused and don’t know where to begin, have a look at the daily routine of successful people.

You can take some inspiration from them.

To have a productive day and healthy lifestyle, you should consider incorporating these habits into your daily routine.

  • Sleep at least 7-8 hours each day.
  • Wake up early and start your day with meditation or making a to-do list. Later, you can start checking emails.
  • Read at least 30-45 minutes each day.
  • Start journaling.
  • Workout daily or take evening walks.
  • Sleep early.

3. Use various online tools to manage your work

Freelancing often makes you occupied and so busy that you won’t even have time for yourself sometimes.

Thankfully, you can find several tools and chrome extensions that will help you manage your time and make your tasks easier.

You might know some of these tools or apps already.

  • Google sheets – it is a great tool for managing finances and pending projects. You can literally do wonders with Google sheets. Here, you can make separate tables, manage content, and any other thing you want.
  • Notion – Notion is a great tool for freelancers. Here, you can organize your tasks, set reminders, send the routine to other people, make a bucket list, make a monthly plan, and so on. Notion will help you track your progress daily and monthly. You can download the app on your PC and phone as well.
  • Grammarly – we all make mistakes and Grammarly is here to correct them. Grammarly is a great tool to help you write articles, emails, and social media posts without grammatical or plagiarism errors.
  • Onetab – if you find it difficult to concentrate on the main task due to too many tabs left open, you can just send them to Onetab and open them anytime you want from a single tab.
  • Calendly – Calendly is a tool that allows you to organize virtual meetings without any problem. This way, you can schedule meetings easily and save time for both parties.
  • VPN – since you will spend a lot of time on the internet, a VPN will protect your identity from hackers.
  • Evernote – Evernote is again a place where you can write and make notes. It is great because there you can write almost anything and make rough notes of ideas. You can also combine Evernote with Notion.

There are more than 50 other tools that can help you manage your freelance career.

4. Maintain a portfolio website and have a strong social media approach

A freelancer must have a portfolio to become successful in any field.

The portfolio must be attractive, branded and contain detailed information to showcase your expertise.

To establish more authority, you need to create a brand identity for yourself in your chosen career.

This will make you creative while designing your portfolio.

Spare some bucks to buy a domain name and hosting service using any of these hosting providers.

I’m sure you don’t want to host your website on a poor server.

So, the kind of hosting service you get will add to your professionalism.

Apart from that, you can post valuable content on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

These platforms will increase your traffic and help your potential clients find you.

Many freelancers have earned thousands and millions of dollars by using a digital marketing strategy for finding potential customers.

5. List your shortcomings and things you need to work on

As a human, everyone is imperfect and has their personal shortcomings.

Life is all about improving yourself, and so is freelancing.

You don’t need to be perfect either; you just need to know what you have to work on and take actions for improvement.

Leaving your shortcomings untreated can make you lose your clients.

Sometime ago, I had this terrible experience with a freelancer and had to leave him forever after working for me for two years. 

The first step towards overcoming your shortcomings as a freelancer is identifying your imperfections.

For example, some people have poor communication skills while others are bad at meeting deadlines.

Whatever your shortcomings are, list them out and work on them one by one.

6. Complete various courses to upskill yourself

Freelancing is not just about improving the skills you are already good at, but also about learning new skills.

We offer various digital marketing courses at Pilum Digital Marketing Agency (PiDMA).

You can try finding out any important skill you might need to be a most sought-after freelancer in your field.

On the internet, you can find thousands of courses on various topics that are related to your skills or totally different from them.

Widening your knowledge is really important, and completing a course is an easy way to learn new things.

Some websites where you can upskill yourself are –

  • Udemy – a platform for learners from around the world. Here, you can find free and paid courses. The paid ones are available at really affordable rates during the sale.
  • Coursera – here, you can learn new things from various courses offered by top universities from around the world.
  • Skillshare – Skillshare is a platform where you can upgrade your skills after paying a monthly fee. Here, you can find video lessons from popular YouTubers, industry experts, and more.

7. Stay up to date with the changes happening in your field of work

Staying up to date with the advancements in your field is really important.

If you aren’t aware of what is happening, you won’t be able to make necessary changes and adapt to them.

How can you stay up to date?

You can with the help of books, journals, magazines, newspapers, websites, articles, and so on.

It’s also possible when you follow industry experts on social media and get updates via their tweets and posts.

8. Learn from other freelancers and get ready to build long-lasting professional connections

Freelancing is all about learning and making new connections.

With valuable connections, you can find lucrative deals and be successful.

If you are new to the field, you can find some popular freelancers on social media and follow them.

Many freelancers share valuable content that you can learn and apply.

Use LinkedIn and Quora to build authority and connect with like-minded people.

Once you establish a professional connection with others, try to make it effective and long-lasting.

Conclusion

No one is born a professional. You can be anything you want to be after learning the art of doing something.

So, if you are struggling to find success in the freelancing industry, you first need to know how to become a successful freelancer.

With all the tips provided in this guide, you can be rest assured that your initial days of hard work will yield the best outcomes for you.

Use all the eight strategies mentioned in this guide to see a positive change in your freelance career.

Honestly speaking, the life of a freelancer is hard, just like any other career option.

The only way to make it easier is by enjoying the journey and becoming as effective as you can.

Keep the learning going on and stay up to date.

That’s how you can be a successful freelancer in any field of your choice. 

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