There can be quit a few facets to being successful at freelancing. Everything from the quality of your work to how you treat clients will impact how much money you make throughout the week. Just like a sandwich, each part of working for yourself is connected to form a tasty meal. If one of those pieces goes sour, it can affect the entire experience.
The Different Layers of Freelancing
Freelancing is more than just being able to offer a skill that someone wants or needs. After all, most people have some kind of ability they can market. It’s how you use those abilities that will determine if you’ll be successful working for yourself.
Hold the lettuce, please.
Bread: You Abilities
Let’s start with the beginning of the sandwich: the bread. Your abilities are what’s driving you to freelance in the first place. Now, the quality of this bread is going to be determined by how fresh it is. In other words, you don’t want your skills to become obsolete over time.
Nothing is worse than using moldy bread to build a snack. Keep your skills in good practice, even if you’re not working for a client. For instance, I maintain two primary blogs to help keep my writing abilities in check. It is here that I test the waters of different strategies and keep my typing skills at peak performance.
You also want to make sure that your abilities don’t go stale over time. Even if you have to revamp your loaf, it’s still better than serving up a client something that is too rigid or difficult to swallow. Clients shouldn’t have to force themselves to enjoy the project.
Turkey Slices: Motivation
What sandwich would be complete without a meat, unless your vegetarian? Personally, I have an affinity for turkey. Anyway, motivation is the driving point of your freelancing success. Without it, you won’t get much out of the experience.
It can be difficult to stay on task when you work from home. You’ll face a variety of challenges that can affect your motivation to continue. Remember, most freelancers are paid per job. If you don’t feel like working, then don’t expect to receive pay.
Motivation itself can come in a variety of flavors and styles. Perhaps its focusing on keeping the bills paid. Maybe you’re saving up for an over-seas vacation. Find what drives you to be the best at what it is you do. It will help you face each day and fill it with possibility instead of dread.
Bacon Strips: Willingness to Learn More
Willingness to expand your knowledge will only work to benefit your career. This is true whether you’re a freelancer or working full-time at some fast-food restaurant. Anything you learn can become a part of what you offer to those who hire you.
Even those who have college degrees can use a refresher course on their specific industry. For instance, a marketing degree from the 1990s means very little in today’s digital platform arena. If you believe you’re an expert, consider that you can always learn more.
The Internet is more than just a play thing for social media. It can be a great tool to expand your knowledge in your specific industry. Just make sure you’re learning from credible sources. The last thing you want is to put something into practice with a client that is completely wrong. Bacon strips made from rat meat are not often appealing.
American Cheese: Time Management
Personally, I prefer American cheese on my sandwiches. But, it can be any kind your truly like. The point is that time management plays an intricate role in being successful as a freelancer. Without it, the meal may still taste good. However, it could be even better with the right slice.
Personally, this is one of the biggest problems I have throughout the day. I have yet to build the perfect schedule for myself when it comes to making sure my work is done as well as everything else I have going on right now. This means I am using natural Swiss cheese more than American.
For many, time management is a simple thing to grasp. Create a schedule that is perfect for work and play throughout the week.
One thing I hear from a lot of those who want to get into freelancing is the ability to make their own schedules. This isn’t entirely accurate. While you can commit yourself to certain hours of the day, it may greatly impact your success. For example, most of my clients need their work done during regular business hours. If I dedicate my time in the afternoons, I wouldn’t have the clients that I do now.
This isn’t saying that you won’t be successful by working at night. But it may greatly alter the kinds of clients you receive if you’re only available after 5:00pm. On the other hand, this may be perfect to attract over-seas clients who are in different time zones. I’ve had clients in Great Britain, France and even Ethiopia.
Mayo: Customer Service
Customer service is one of the most important parts of freelancing. When this mayo goes bad, it can ruin the project as a whole. Although you can still get by without it, you’ll find the freelancing experience to be quite dry and unappealing.
Don’t forget to check the expiration date. Good customer service is more than just a one-time thing. Many freelancers will create strong leads for future work by sending follow-up emails a week or two after the job is complete.
Slathering on the mayo can often be too much, though. It is possible to annoy your clients through constant contact. Once you figure out the perfect amount, the experience can reach greater levels of perfection. The hardest part is knowing when to tone it down and when you don’t have enough.
It’s Your Sandwich, So Enjoy It
While it’s possible to enjoy this sandwich without all of the ingredients, each will play a crucial part in making it much better. There’s nothing wrong with settling for a less robust experience. However, all of these ingredients together make it more filling in the long run.
Great, now I’m hungry.