I started in the publishing industry in 1987, became a freelancer in 1993, and ran an editorial office in New York City from 1996 to 2004.
Over the years, I’ve noticed that successful freelancers, such as those who make a living entirely from freelance work (writing, editing, copywriting, web design, etc.) have the following seven characteristics in common.
1. Writing/Designing Every Day: Many freelancers are drawn to their particular profession because they enjoy it. They love to write, design, draw – whatever it is, they will do it for free.
Once they decide to become a full-time freelancer, most people work every day. They write articles, design websites, doodle illustrations, etc. In other words, they won’t stop working because they don’t have paying customers.
Career Benefits: These professionals always have a lot of work to sell, display, update their portfolios, etc. Plus, it can keep their skills fresh and allow them to work faster after being paid for the project.
As a personal example, when I first started writing an article promoting my business, it took more than two hours to complete an article. Now, if I need to, I can take one down in 30 minutes.
Side note: I’ve met some freelancers who don’t quite like the work they do. However, since they like a freelance life, they limit themselves to what needs to be done, for example (working steadily) to earn a living.
2. Don’t wait for the market to find them: Based on the first habit, when you continue to produce new materials, you don’t have to wait for customers to come to you, you can sell to them.
If you’ve written a great article about the benefits of yoga, why wait for a national sports magazine to take a few months to answer you? Recommend to your local health newspaper reporter. You will usually know within a week or two if they can use your story.
Can’t use your neighbor’s newspaper? Recommend newspapers in neighboring counties, popular women’s health e-magazines, new health websites that require new content, etc.
Successful freelancers are so proactive. When I hired someone, I was always amazed at the kind of jobs successful freelancers can find for themselves.
When I asked, “How did you come up with that task and come up with that idea?” the gist of the comment was, “I couldn’t sleep last night, so I started doing some online digging because I just wrote this article. publishing,” to “I was just graffiti and then found this great design; I knew it was going to be a good sign of this niche market, so I tucked it into a piece of T-shirts and advertised in several boutiques close to me.. .”
Successful freelancers are not only creative in their work, but also creative in positioning the market to sell their work.
3. There is more than one source of income: I’m not saying they have a second job. Most successful freelancers do more than one thing.
For example, a writer might design a series of themed T-shirts with their witty words on them. In addition to creating logos, illustrators can also sell paintings or sketches. Web designers can also create online games.
I don’t know how many more brain cells are used by creative types than others, but editors and creative professionals usually dabble in more than one area – I could add it with great success.
4. There’s a Niche: While this may seem to contradict past habits, it isn’t. Most successful freelancers only do one thing – and do it very well. They are for example medical writers, direct mail writers and web designers.
This is because successful freelancers usually have a professional background in their freelance field. Usually they build a reputation and client list based on their expertise/experience.
Career Benefits: This is effective because once the client is happy with you on one level, you can approach them for other types of projects. In some cases, they will even approach you.
For example, if you are a web designer, you can contact clients to do some logo design work. Most web designers are familiar with other industry tools, such as logo design software, which help them provide peripherals to customers with ease.
In retail this is called up-selling. However, you can only upsell if you have built a certain level of confidence and professionalism in your basic (niche) skills.
5. Own a Website: There is no doubt that all successful freelancers have at least one basic website. They realize the need to give their customers a professional image
l Where clients can view your work samples, pricing information, your professional certificates, your client list, etc. Often clients will find you this way.
So, do you need to have a website if you want to be a freelancer? I think absolutely. Plus, it doesn’t have to be fancy, nor does it have to cost a lot of money. Most web surfers are looking for information.
A simple site can serve your purpose well. Make sure it looks professional, is easy to navigate, has no grammatical errors, and has your contact information on every page (or the “contact” button on every page).
6. Smart and Consistent Marketers: If we revisit Habit 3, successful freelancers are the masters of marketing services. They must be.
As a freelancer, you have to stay hungry for the next task, the next gig. With proactive and consistent marketers, successful freelancers won’t wait for one project to finish before looking for the next.
To that end, these professionals use many marketing tools (free and paid) to promote their business such as search engine optimization, article marketing, press releases, ebook gifts, lecture events, seminars, seminars, etc.
In other words, successful freelancers see their profession as a start-up – this is the real freelancer.
7. Invest over 40 hours a week: Face the reality, when everyone else is in the office you might go to the grocery store at 2pm but you might not be offline until 2am and the completion of one is on the end Customers who need it right now deliver projects.
Freelancing is not a static profession. Sometimes you have nothing to do for weeks, and then you are attacked by three or four projects at once. This is some kind of weird Murphy’s law at work.
Items never show up when you want or need them. They always appear at the most inopportune time (for example, when your child is sick, when you are sick, two days before a holiday, Friday afternoon and Monday if necessary).
So while you may be able to work in your jam, you may also not be able to go to the beach, hang out with as many friends as possible, and take an afternoon off. Like everything in life, this is a trade-off (worth it in my opinion).
Keep in mind that while your time maybe yours, it will follow an unconventional schedule.