Freelance services are a pretty lucrative option for people who are looking for an opportunity to earn from home. But though it offers decent earning opportunities, one cannot ignore the inconsistencies involved. For at the end of the day it all boils down to how many contracts you’ve managed to get. Yes, getting a contract in the freelancing world is as difficult as getting a job in the actual world! Also the irregular work hours can take a toll on your personal life; this is where time management comes into the picture.
Practical tips for increasing income opportunities:
Freelancing has become quite popular among people, especially fresh graduates and the retired who wish to utilize their time and earn some extra income. Check out these points that can help you maximize your profits as a freelancer.
Timely delivery of projects:
Punctuality is a quality that is valued in all walks of life, and the virtual world is no different. Freelancing has no work limit, you can take up as many contracts as you want as long as you deliver them on time. Try delivering all your projects well within the stipulated time period. Your present and potential clients would usually be busy entrepreneurs or businessmen who have a lot on their hands, and thus would tolerate no delay.
Learn to market yourself:
A freelancer has to do all the marketing himself; create your own USP and stick to it. You need to be at your professional best, generating brand value with your quality work. As a budding freelancer your first job is to build contacts, for this you’d need to present your strengths in the best light possible so that it reaches out to a larger audience base. Often owning your own website or adding links of your blogs to your profile is a smart way of displaying your skills. The client can check out your work for themselves, improving your chances of getting the contract.
Improve your online presence:
The internet offers a global platform to both buyers and seller who get to interact on a one to one basis. Therefore it is just not you who’s in the freelancing business, the ever increasing demand for good content results in an equal increase in competition. And a strong web presence can boost your chances at earning better contracts. For this you can either publish your work online or be highly active on the popular social networking sites.
Avoid being scammed
This is one of the biggest concern with any online/freelance jobs. If you lost $1,000 to a scammer then it’ll cost you a week or may be a few days of your time (depending on your hourly charges). Before starting job, if possible ask for some upfront. There’re other ways like where your client may deposit full fund and release once you complete the job. So many freelancers work over Flexjobs so I’d include this as an example. Check out this article by Faith Stewart who has reviewed Flexjobs (a job listing website for freelancers) proving its legitimacy. You can read article and those comments by other freelancers would help you understand about this. You can easily decide whether it’s legit or scam.
Sub contract the extra work:
With time it would become increasingly difficult to manage the workload. But instead of doing everything yourself, try sub-contracting the work. Most freelancers take up extra work and hire amateur or budding writers to complete it paying them a small share in profits. This distribution of workload minimizes your work pressure and you’re left with some extra time to concentrate on the more pressing matters at hand. Outsourcing even gets the work done faster, however it can be a cumbersome task to manage the hired help.
Increase your credibility in business:
Online credibility goes a long way in building strong relations with your clients. However it is difficult to establish solid customer relations on a virtual platform due to lack of personal contact. Ensure that you deliver only the best quality work that is authentic and free from any plagiarism. In order to get more contracts you have to gain the trust of your clients, and one way of it is by letting your work speak for you. Remember a satisfied client is the best ambassador, his reviews and recommendation can further boost your credibility in the market.
Venture out of your comfort zone:
Exploring new avenues and expanding your potential helps you grow; don’t restrict yourself to one genre or type of work. It is good that you specialize in one field but don’t let that limit you from reaching out to more options. For instance freelance writers can experiment with genres outside their comfort zones. Also designers can venture out into the development and marketing fields as well for better exposure and earning opportunities. Keep yourself technologically updated and be alert to the latest trends in the market. Skill development improves your work, and an enhanced quality attracts more clients.
Advertisements can be profitable for your website:
As a freelancer you can even earn loads of money through advertisements! They are a consistent source of income i.e. you either earn by the hour or by the number of viewers it attracts. Having your own website sets you in a better position at finding more prospective clients. Allowing ads a place in your website also helps you generate more traffic. Ads even improve your visibility and SEO ranking considerably. Also it is not very difficult to sponsor ads through Google, Bing or Facebook, a bit of market research and practice is all you need.
Raise the bar a bit!
Once you’ve established yourself as a competent reliable freelancer, it is time you raise the bar! After you’ve created your own value you can start charging a bit more than the usual rate, the clients would happily spend more if they want the best quality work. This not only enhances your earnings but also reduces the work load.