The secret to freelance success

You’re sat in the car on the way to your 9-to-5 job, a stream of traffic laid out before you, and you’re considering why you don’t just set up as a freelancer and leave it all behind. Of course, it may not be practical to just quit your job and jump straight into the freelancing pool, but perhaps you’ve been thinking about dipping your toes in. You’re just not quite sure what the secret to freelance success really is.

Get noticed

First and foremost, if you want freelance success you have to put yourself out there!

Being a freelancer essentially means that you're working for yourself – you are working directly with the clients, you’re doing the work and you’re running the show. This requires multiple skills on your part, including a strong working ethic, determination and flexibility.

Building from the bottom up

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the same goes for businesses too. Set yourself the goal of starting and running a functional business and take it from there.

You might start off small, or only wanting to doing freelancing for a short amount of time, only to find your business growing and demand increasing – you might then realise that you don’t need your full-time job and you can continue with freelancing permanently, which is something I feel I am on the road to achieving myself.

The prospect of building your credentials and a project base might seen daunting and time consuming to begin with, but it’s worth it in the end. Learn from each project you do, listen to your clients and other professionals around you, and expand your knowledge wherever possible. There’s always a lesson to be learned and knowledge to be gained.

Balance is key

If freelance success is what you really want, then balancing your work and life is going to be really important for you – you want to make sure you are making time for all your tasks and you’re setting time aside for yourself too. It can be all too easy to mix work and life and come out feeling frazzled.

For some top tips on how to balance these two daily aspects, make sure you read: 'Work and life: Getting the balance right', on the fivesquid blog. You could also invest in time-tracking apps that help you to control your task list.

There might be those times when you do need to put in extra hours of your time in order to produce something that is of high-quality, so be aware that sometimes you might have to sacrifice more time than you might have anticipated to please a client.

Be innovative

No-one is looking for work that's sub-par – they want something unique, bold and interesting. For freelance success you want to be innovative, to stand out from the crowd and to really sell yourself to potential clients. When you go that extra mile and add a personal touch to your projects, then you are really delivering something unique.

You can learn more about using emotion in your business by having a read of : 'How injecting emotion into your business can be the key to success' - again, on the fivesquid blog.

Develop relationships

One of the keys to freelance success is repeat business. There might be plenty of one-off jobs for you to complete, but if you put in the extra effort and build relationships with your clients then you're often ensuring they come back to you with future projects and recommend you to others. I’ve personally found that taking the time to build rapport, whilst delivering high-quality work has helped me get repeat business from a large number of my clients.


Author: Victoria McAfee - Professional writer and fivesquid seller