Like forex trading experts, freelancers can choose when to work, how to work, and who to work for. They can set their own schedules, take on exciting projects and decide how much to charge. However, autonomy has a downside, and this career path can be bumpy. Not only is it highly competitive — the freelance world can be difficult to navigate. These 10 tips will help you succeed as a freelancer in Nigeria.
1. Know Your Skills and Limitations
Whether you want to be a freelance designer, copywriter, or developer, gain an in-depth understanding of the field. You cannot be the jack-of-all-trades — determine where your expertise lies.
First, a narrow focus will help you produce high-quality work and build a stellar reputation. Secondly, you will know what clients to approach and how to pitch your ideas to them.
2. Don’t Over/Undersell Yourself
Do not take low-paying jobs for the sake of getting projects. Freelancing is fiercely competitive, but do not let clients exploit you. Charging a lower rate is acceptable and even advisable when you are only starting out. Subsequently, though, you should seek a balance to be fair to yourself and your clients.
3. Maintain a Schedule
The opportunity to set your own hours is attractive, but it has a flip side — the potential for procrastination. Use calendars and lists to stay on track and submit your work without delays. Make sure you are spending your time meaningfully.
4. Keep Your Promises
For a freelancer, reputation is the biggest asset. You could be the best expert in your field, but if you skip deadlines, getting new clients will be challenging. Thus, deliver on your promises and do not make commitments you cannot adhere to. When negotiating new projects, set realistic deadlines.
5. Connect to Other Freelancers
Mingle with other freelancers offline and online. Professionals in the same line of work can give you valuable advice or even direct their clients to you if they have too much on their plate. Viewing other freelancers only as competitors is wrong.
For example, if you are in trading and provide freelance consultations on how to read candlesticks, connect to the Forextime community. You can share your experience and gain new insights from seasoned traders.
6. Use the Right Tools
Get all the necessary tools for the job. In addition to helping you save time and money, they will boost your credibility as a professional.
7. Learn to Embrace Feedback
Customer satisfaction can make or break any freelancing career. Unfortunately, some people are not able to communicate their needs and wants clearly from the get-go, so pay close attention to feedback throughout your projects. Constructive criticism is difficult to hear. Yet, as a freelancer, you must learn to appreciate feedback, be it positive or negative.
The happier your clients, the better your reputation and opportunities for new work. Feedback is a gift that can help you excel at what you do and build a stunning career.
8. Be Patient
Set realistic expectations. As a beginner, you cannot expect to be paid handsomely, even if you are the best expert in town. Learn to be patient and focus on gradual growth. Communicate with every client in a professional manner, respect their budgets and time frames, and do not make them wait for ages to hear from you.
9. Learn How to Negotiate
Negotiating skills are essential for any freelancer. You will have to discuss deadlines and pay for every project. First, you need a clear understanding of your quickest and cheapest offer, so you know when to say no. Being able to advocate for yourself is key to the art of negotiation.
Keep an open mind and understand that your client is also coming from the same perspective. Stay calm, articulate, honest, and realistic. In freelancing, it is not a tragedy if you fail to come to an agreement with one client. If the conditions do not shoot your goals, you have a right to refuse.
10. Be Safe
The internet brings a wealth of opportunities, but it is also a dangerous place when it comes to data, intellectual property, and money. To stay safe, be cautious about what you share and where you agree to meet people. Do not provide critical information before getting paid. Success feels wonderful, but remember that the internet is full of impostors.
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