Being a freelancer may seem appealing for the average individual or exceptional for the experts who are profiting massively from it but getting yourself from the newbie level to the guru level could be really challenging, thankfully, I'm here to share my experience and tips on ways to up your game.
If you are yet to be a freelancer, get started here. Freelancing as we know is a special form of being self-employed that accords you enough freedom to work where you
Platforms such as Fiverr, UpWork, PeoplePerHour, Freelancer, FreeeUp, Guru and
By rules, I'm not even talking about the terms and conditions of these platforms, rather I'm referring to some success guidelines which are actually the same across all platforms.
Most times, you just have to take an analytical look at the profiles of the experts on these platforms to see what they have in common and applying the same principles to yours. Now, let's see what works and what doesn't.
10 tips on how to succeed as a freelancer
If you are in the habit of writing long episodes on something that a few words would do just fine, you may be having a bit of problem here. This is because, having a short, clear and concise service (aka gig) title will surely improve your performance.
Conveying the value of your freelance service in just a few words can really challenging but not impossible. Fortunately, it's not difficult to put together. On platforms such as PeoplePerHour, you only need to state what you do.
For instance, as a web designer, I would simply use; 'Professional website Designer' on my profile but when creating an
Anyway, it's actually advisable to test out a couple of different title variations to see which one converts more. The best way to get a high performing title will be to use the Google Keyword Planner to see which words get searched the most.
Or you can use the traditional method of inputting the search phrase on Google.com and instantly get suggestions on the common words used by the majority of other searchers.
Do you remember the reason you recently paid for that product you bought? I bet you found it in the product description. Well, freelancing is not an exception to the rule.
Every buyer wants to know exactly what they're getting before they click the order button. Thankfully, every freelance platform gives you an opportunity like this.
It's the perfect section to let your intended customers know why you are the right person for the job as well as what they stand to gain from doing business with you.
Some platforms (such as Fiverr) offers a few more formatting features like font attributes, bullet, highlights etc. and you should fully utilize these available options to get out the most important part of your description to your potential customer's eyes.
Features like these can help you catch the attention of your intended customers because not everyone has time to read the complete paragraph.
Just ensure you put out as much information on your service as possible as your freelance success on that platform deeply depends on it.
Video and Images
The importance of decorating your profile and services (
This is to say you should not underestimate the power of videos as it tends to make customers more relaxed and comfortable with you.
Videos are more personal, convincing and make you seem trustworthy. It's even been statistically proven that services with a video description sell over 200% more and because of this, having a video is pretty much a requirement that I completely recommend.
Your video doesn't need to be the highest production quality in the world. You don't necessarily need to do a professional video shoot. The most important thing is that you have a video of you saying a few things about your skills and services in a friendly way.
You could literally do it with a webcam. People want to be sure you are fun to work with and a video is the best way to prove it.
If you don't have a video yet, at least ensure you take advantage of the available image slots. Only use high-resolution descriptive photographs of your services.
In as much as we can't all make the same amount of money, you can at least influence your earnings to a good amount using a simple business strategy of unique offer with a broad appeal.
What service do you want to offer as a freelancer? Is it something people already want? Does it have too much competition? Whatever the case, you have to know that your earnings actually depend on the kind of gig you create.
Even if you a proofreader, you can spice up your offer a bit by targeting it at a particular audience and creating a unique value around it.
For instance, instead of saying; I will proofread your articles, I would say; I will polish your article with top-notch grammar. And in addition to that, I would give a discount like; give me 5 projects and get one done for free.
This is another feature of most freelancing platforms that you should use to your advantage. Starting from Fiverr to PeoplePerHour, you will find the option of including additional services to your offer (gig extras,
I always ensure I make use of all the available slots when creating my offers as these extras tend to make me more money. One way to utilize this will be to offer a few different options as your extras that might be pertinent to your customers.
Other times, I simply add other related services that I can do. For instance, when putting up an offer as a web designer, I would add service extras such as logo design, domain registration, hosting package, social profiles setup, site backlinks etc.
and at the end of the day, most of my customers will order for these extra services and make me more money. This is because, almost everyone setting up a website would likely need a domain, hosting, backlinks or logo.
No matter your gig, you can always find extra options to add. Even if your option is just a difference in colour variation.
This is to say, If I'm a logo designer, I could put up service extras such as; logo in 3D, black and white, on transparent background etc. I could also add options such as business card design, letterhead design, ID card design etc.
Just like me and every other online shopper,
This is because guarantees like these seem to assure us that we won't lose our money. It reduces the buyers' risk and makes them feel like they are just trying out the product.
This is a powerful sales weapon used by many great businesses (including A2 Hosting, my favourite web hosting company) and you should use it too.
Including a money-back guarantee on your freelance service could really drive in more sales. This helps to persuade buyers who are on the fence about ordering.
It assures them that no matter what happens, they will get back their money. It simply makes clients feel safe about ordering your services.
Your pricing strategy is another factor that will affect your sales rate as a freelancer. Yes, high cost has always been used interchangeably with high quality.
It is already programmed into the majority of the world's population that the higher the price, the better the quality but then again, not everyone has too much money to throw around.
They simply leave it for the few rich folks. Honestly, most people would always pick the cheaper option.
It's true that these few rich folks can make you richer than the large pool of cheaper clients but at the same time, most of them wouldn't even consider hiring you except you already have a huge list of positive ratings and portfolio.
Overall, it means you should always make your price as minimum as possible when starting out and increase it along the way as your expertise improves.
The best way will be to check out the price range of other freelancers in your niche on that platform to help you determine the fee that will be okay to request for that service.
Do not start your freelancing career without a portfolio. I repeat, do not start without a portfolio! No, your success isn't tied to your portfolio but without one, getting your first client will be really difficult and you could get frustrated and eventually quit while blaming the platform or freelancing at large. Why is having a portfolio important?
Well, because it's your proof to your clients that you can deliver the service you advertised. Clients always want to be sure you indeed have the skills for services by checking out your previous works.
As a web designer, clients always want to check out your designs to ensure it matches their expectations. This is not limited to website designers/developers alone.
Even a client looking to hire a content writer will most likely want to read your previous articles beforehand.
So, how do you get your portfolio? Do some demo projects on pro bono basis, do a project for your friends/family or simply upload samples of the drafts you made while learning your skill.
Believe it or not, your delivery rate will play a major role in your positive feedback, upsells as well as new projects. Personally, I've observed that most clients would prefer a quick deadline for their projects.
This is to say, they would rather hire someone who can get the job done in four days than someone doing it in 6days. The faster you can finish the job; the better positive reviews and the more quality projects will line up.
However, if you promise your client a certain delivery deadline, my dear freelancer, you better complete the project before then. Clients are not interested in your excuses.
Even if your close relative was in an accident, they don't care! Just don't promise what you can't deliver.
If you are a writer, in addition to freelancing, you could create a recurring income stream (Meanwhile, real estate is the best means for a steady income stream) through Amazon Kindle self-publishing. Here's my guide to help you write your eBook and monetizing it.
The feedback and review system on every freelancing platform could seem like a joke to you but it's actually one of the factors that determine your success as a freelancer on the platform.
Let's scrutinize this scenario of you buying something online. The question goes; when you are checking out products to buy on your favourite eCommerce store, which would you rather buy among three versions of that product if version-A has 3 positive reviews, version-B rocks 15 positive reviews and version-C has no review at all?
I know I would pick version-B of the product for sure and that is what the majority would pick too. When buying things online, most people go straight to checking out the product reviews briefly after reading the product description/benefits.
People want to be sure that you are truly doing a great job and the easiest way to verify that is through the review/rating/feedback/endorsement section and this is why you should handle your customers' feedback with caution.
The first step is to request feedback from your customers but the second step is rather more important – ensure your reviews remain positive! I don't like negative reviews; your customers won't like it either.
In fact, no one likes it and you should not be an exception to the rule especially if you want to receive any more orders on your freelancing accounts.
But then again, most people won't leave feedback unless prompted and this is why you should ask for it personally after completing the projects. To ensure your reviews stay positive, always do a great job and never have late deliveries.
If a customer complains, you should consider cancelling the order and refunding the customer (and the bad review will be removed) but you should also minimize the number of order cancellations as they also affect your sales rate.
This is also very important because, without reviews, you are less likely going to get your first few orders.
To gain your first project, you probably need to generate some reviews by making deals with other freelancers on the platform or by inviting your friends and previous clients to join, buy your gig and give you a positive review.
Some people simply create multiple accounts and use them to buy their own gigs. This may seem like a hack but however you use it, you will not succeed on the platform if you don't deliver a quality service.
This is to say if you think you can deceive prospects by getting a positive review this way, gaining a project and running with your client's money, well, you can't because the money only gets to you after you deliver the project and the client has okayed the release of the funds.
It's not exactly easy to make your freelance profile an attractive one as a beginner but I'm sure if you take your time in implementing my simple but powerful strategies above, I see no reason why you wouldn't start cashing in on your services in no time.
Remember that the more you earn, the more money your freelance platform makes so it's in their best interest to see you succeed too (as long as you follow their sellers' guidelines and my success tips above).
A great alternative or addition to freelancing on these third-party freelancing platforms (Freelancer, FreeeUp, PeoplePerHour, Fiverr, UpWork,
Or you could do it yourself using my ultimate membership website setup blueprint for learning how to build a subscription-based website or any kind of website using Joomla (without coding) around your services. Do not also forget to use