And we're off!! You take off at full speed from the starting line. Your adrenalin is pumping. You badly want to make it quickly to the end. You look around and see runners to your left and to your right. Not to forget, many runners are way out in front. You begin to lose steam (enthusiasm) and feel like quitting. Does this sound like you?
You took a leap of faith and joined the freelancing community to make significant life changes. There are so many reasons we consider becoming freelancers, including:
- Being your own boss
- Having flexible hours (and escaping your 9-5 job)
- Taking control of your schedule
- Having more time for important aspects of your life e.g. family, church, recreation
- Having another stream of income
Whatever your reasons, you are here now and have started on the journey. With a great sense of urgency to get your freelancing business established, you did all the right things: created your profile; worked on your proposals; placed many bids and you probably even chose the best membership package. Yet no projects!
The many runners ahead of you were awarded projects while your profile still looks like this:
Daunting won't you say? The perceived lack of interest in your bids can be discouraging and creates doubts about your decision to freelance. Trust me, I have been there too.
As a new freelancer (joined February 2017), I questioned my decision and felt those crushing moments too. However, my focus has since shifted to the real purpose of my race; not to be swift but to endure till the end. I see my lost bids as opportunities to improve my game… or should I say to push a little harder. With perseverance, commitment and dedication, I will eventually see the returns of my investment in freelancing. So will you!
So from a new freelancer to another, consider these takeaways:
- Keep reviewing and updating your profile
Employers want to ensure they make the right choice so make it more eye-catching and aligned to your services. Let employers know what you can do for them.
- Consider doing a few pro bonos to build your portfolio
Showcasing samples of your work will give more credibility of your abilities so do small projects for family or friends to display in your portfolio.
- Keep bidding
The more bids you make, the greater your chances of being considered. Ensure you are comfortable with your rate and the time needed to complete a project. While you want to build a reputation, you don't want to undersell yourself so determine the right balance for you.
- Take skills tests
Freelancer.com has several affordable tests that you can consider. For starters, choose the ones that are related to your services. Employers will be looking at these as well when determining their best freelancer.
- Write powerful proposals
This is a critical step in the bidding process. Remember that you want your services to be recognized among the many other runners so be concise but incorporate words to give you the competitive edge.
- Seek advice from experts
You will be amazed by the wealth of information and support you can get from having a coach and from reading articles here that were written with you in mind.
I hope this article has inspired you to continue on your freelancing journey. Stay positive and keep running... the race has not ended!
Tell us your freelancing journey in the comments below!