Succeeding as a new freelancer may feel like an overwhelming task. You might be concerned about finding clients, choosing the right niche, and competing with all the competition out there. The truth is, though, if you have the skills and the motivation, you can find success as a freelancer, even if it’s your first time doing it! If you’re ready to win over your first clients and start building a good reputation, here are eleven tips for success as a new freelancer.

1. Create a Professional Online Image

People will take you more seriously if you have a professional online image. Of course, that takes a bit of work – and time. Focus on creating a high-quality portfolio on your website to reel more people in. The better it looks, the more clients assume you know what you’re doing. You should also use SEO techniques to improve your traffic.

If you do various types of freelancing, like combining photoshop with copywriting, you might consider writing a combination resume to send to prospective clients. You could also include it on your website. Showing rather than telling is a great way to help clients understand you are right for the role – they can see for themselves that you have the skillset.

2. Find Your Niche

Finding your niche is a crucial part of being a freelancer. If you are a copywriter, you need to figure out what type of writing you are going to do. Will you focus on tech, or are you better at medical writing? Choosing the right niche can make or break your chances of success.

You might think writing about a wide range of topics will help you score more clients. While it may help appeal to more clients, your charge rates won’t be as high as if you were to focus on a specific niche. If you like, you can pick several niches if you have a wide breadth of knowledge of them.

3. Invest in Good Tech

If you are going to be a freelancer from home, you will need the right equipment to help boost your success. At a minimum, invest in a high-quality computer/laptop as well as a good webcam (for video call meetings). You should also ensure your internet is high-speed, as you don’t want a poor Wi-Fi signal to get in the way of meeting deadlines.

4. Be Responsive

If you want to attain a good reputation with clients, you must be responsive. That means responding to emails quickly and answering all the questions within the email. The better you are at communicating in such a way, the more respect the clients will have for you, and the better chance they will choose to work with you in the future!

5. Create and Stick to a Schedule

One of the most appealing parts of being a freelancer is being able to work to your own schedule. That only works, though, when you stick to one. If you decide to work whenever you feel like it, there’s a big chance that you will fall behind deadlines and disappoint clients. So, to find success, create a rigid freelance working schedule and don’t shift from it.

6. Improve Your Communication Skills

Good communication skills will take you a long way as a freelancer. You have to speak with clients likely daily, after all. If you can’t communicate effectively, those clients won’t stick around. You should work on your oral and written communication as you’ll need both at different times. Good speaking communication will be particularly useful for in-person networking.

7. Utilize Social Media

Social media is a free way to build an audience and find new clients. Some are better for freelancers than others. LinkedIn, for example, is an excellent professional social media site that can put you in touch with other professionals.

It is generally better to do really well on one or two social media sites than spread yourself too thin. If you know a particular platform very well and have a large audience on there, it is OK to put most of your social media efforts into that site.

8. Network, Network, Network

As a freelancer, part of your work is networking. You need to find clients to make money, after all. You can network anywhere – even outside the school gates! If you run into someone in need of your services, then you can sell them to them. Try to have a small and natural pitch prepared for these types of occasions, and don’t forget to ask your social circle if they know anyone who might need your freelancing work.

9. Use the Right Online Platforms

There are plenty of online platforms made specifically for freelancers. Some are better than others, of course – one might be great for copywriters, whereas another works better for photographers. Do your research and choose the right online platform for you. Take into account things like potential costs and the type of clients that might find you on there.

10. Keep Improving Your Skills

As a new freelancer, you will only find success if your skills are high. If you want to make it as a copywriter, you must hone your writing skills so that you stand out from the crowd. Keep learning more about your craft, even when you feel like you have mastered it.

You should also keep working on general freelancer skills so that you get better and better. Over time, you can earn enough to make more than a good living. Some good freelancer skills to work on are:

  • Time Management
  • Computer Literacy
  • Writing
  • Organization
  • Excel

11. Don’t Give Up Too Soon

Many new freelancers give up before they’ve had the chance to find success. While it can be disheartening to not get enough clients in the early days, it is common and doesn’t mean you won’t find them eventually. Keep going, and don’t give up too soon!

Freelancing is not easy, especially in the early days. Once you get into the groove of it, however, you will be able to make a living from the skills you have built.

Continue Reading: Tips for Adjusting to a Freelancer Role

About the Author

James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.