Being a freelancer is always motivating at the beginning; a sweet start. Think about it, not submitting to the 8-5 routine is thrilling. It makes sense after all, you are in total control. You have the power to choose the client you want to work for and how to spend the money you make. You even have the advantage of waking up or going on leave whenever you see fit. The dream of becoming the most wanted freelancer seems even closer by the day! It’s a terrific life, right?
As you go on, things start to get harder. You didn’t think that getting jobs was this hard leave alone retaining the so called great client. How do you remain motivated to carry on? How do you keep creative when there is nothing to do? How do you become that most wanted freelancer in today’s deathly mix?
Do you really want to be the most wanted freelancer today? Rise up right now, get a pen and a notepad – this is a practical demo; you need it!
1. List your sub-goals and keep them within the line of sight
Because being the Most Wanted Freelancer is your ultimate goal. The sub-goals fall squarely under the ultimate goal. They help you get closer and closer to achieving your ultimate goal. They make it easier for you to ace that Most Wanted Freelance job. Got it?
Whether you opt for online jobs or to create products and serve your clients from home, sub-goals are a must. Package the sub-goals into two. First, the things you want to achieve for yourself and then those that you want to achieve for your clients. Both are vital; you need to have them at your fingertips, so note them down.
The list of what you want to achieve for yourself could look like this:
- Serving at least 7 clients per month; 3 newcomers and 4 old ones
- Writing for a top e-magazine
- Showcasing your product at the regional show
- Buying a new laptop
- Buying your own home
- Furnishing your house
- Owning a car
- Visiting your parents once every two weeks
- Taking a trip to your favorite destination twice a year for 2 weeks.
While the list of what you want for your clients could look like this:
- Understanding what your clients’ really needs from you; spoken and unspoken needs
- Being able to meet their needs profitably
- Have your clients admired by their friends because of your awesome services
- See your client grow in their business
- Please referrals sent to you by your client; it makes your client’s advice trustworthy.
Once you have them all written down, sort them in the manner you want to achieve them. These are your milestones.
To help you understand better consider this;
As a freelancer, you will need to have clients whom you are serving constantly and profitably.
You will need a laptop for easier record keeping and reaching your clients.
Having your own car will enable you meet your clients quickly and easily.
You have freed yourself from the 8-5 jail, now fire your landlord by owning your home. Make sure you have a topnotch home office in it.
To increase your creativity and remain motivated, you will need time away from work. That calls for traveling, time with friends and family.
All these work together if you are able to meet the needs of your client. That’s how the two lists marry.
Once you have listed your sub-goals down, state how much each will cost. There is a price for everything; some need Time, others Money, others need both. This will determine how long it will take you to put down money for each item before you can get it. State that clearly,
“I will save 20% of all my freelance earning to buy myself a new laptop”
(Coffee on me!)
Ensure that you have a list of all your overheads and their cost factored in first. This will help you focus on saving for the laptop as a matter of priority. Don’t forget to start with things that are vital; those that drive other sub-goals.
(You are free to sip your coffee now)
This list should be stuck on a wall where you are able to see them daily. The top of the list should read; “Do you want to become the most wanted freelancer today?”
This question should help you analyze the list of sub-goals and see what you have achieved on a daily basis. This doesn’t mean you get stuck staring at the list, No!
You could however keep in mind that freelancers can succeed or fail. So:
2. Enrich your mind and body with adequate breaks
Your desire to become the most wanted freelancer could drive you to taking up loads of work. This means you will have lots of research to do for weeks and weeks. You might even find yourself sleeping for only two hours because you have this deadline or the other to keep up with. That habit leads to the road to misery.
Overworking yourself will not translate to fruitfulness. Instead, you plan every day’s workload with inspiring breaks slotted in.
After every 40 minutes of focused work, rise up from your desk and stretch.
Challenge your brain to a puzzle, go for a swim, call a friend or even take a walk to nowhere in particular. This will help you relax and generate new thoughts.
Don’t worry if you find yourself demolishing a project that kind of looked good after such a break. Normally, when your brain relaxes, you are able to see the same thing from a totally different angle!
Freakish but true.
Do not forget to incorporate healthy snacks in your breaks. If you have to take coffee, try chewing roasted groundnuts along with it. Take your health seriously by eating fruits rich in vitamin C such as oranges, grapes and kiwi. This will increase the production of neurotransmitters that affect your mood. You will see your brain begin to function efficiently and effectively! Did you know that?
If you really want to be the most wanted freelancer, consider healthy breaks as a matter of priority. Note down the foods and exercises that you will observe daily for your mind and body.
3. Keep learning
Once you get the hang of your thing, you might find yourself losing interest in learning new ways of doing it. This is disastrous. Don’t let pride push you to posting e-placards stating “The MOST WANTED FREELANCER is here”. Instead, consider constantly seeking new ways of meeting your clients’ needs. Challenge yourself to innovate or better still venture on a side niche as a by the way.
“If you are a freelance writer, learn graphic design as your side niche.”
The more you are able to rescue your client from muddy portions in his venture, the more they will grow. This means more trust and more cash for you; oh thee of great help!
4. Meet like-minded people and build a network
Not everyone will encourage you to venture out as a freelancer; you need not to hate them. They simply don’t understand. This calls for you to have a keen eye to identify those who know what it means to be one.
Most of those big construction companies you see today belong to once-upon-a-time freelancers. The case of a freelance plumber doing his thing, met a freelance architect; the duo that will put up a house for you.
The main call here is to ensure that you not only meet the people but that you build a network. You may not currently have a designated meeting point in your locale, but as you get to meet them link them up. Using technology, you have the power to create a network for such like minds. Keep asking each one of those you meet if they would like to join your growing network.
Next, you need to sustain that network. The most effective way to keep a network alive is through sharing jobs. The rule of ‘thou shall not eat alone’ should be running through your veins as you grow in freelancing. Do not be afraid to refer another freelancer to your client especially if you can’t do the job. Look for the expert in the network and give them the opportunity to serve. Save a brother or a sister.
One more thing, just because you are the pro in your field doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t share jobs with others. That is stupidity of the highest order. Stay away from it.
Freelancing can be so lonely; don’t embrace that loneliness.
5. Be the guru and train somebody
You are bound to feel threatened if a friend asks you to train them what you do. This should not be the case. While it is wise not to disclose who your clients are, there is no harm in training someone in your field. This could also help you build a network that will benefit you in future; a team that you can depend on.
Think of any guy who trained you in a thing you really needed to know. Don’t you think of him as the guru?
Don’t make this mistake:
One grave mistake you see in social media is when someone openly seeks help in a certain field. Those who have been in that field and have since left will claim that it was difficult for them too. When you follow up further, they will proudly say that they made lots of money in the field and moved on; proud fools! If they were really that good, why didn’t they step up and give the needed help?
You can be different; step up and train somebody. You might even find yourself creating a tutorial or an e-book in your niche. Wouldn’t this add into your income? This is one step closer to your ultimate goal of becoming the most wanted freelancer!
6. Ditch jealousy and all its relatives
Being a freelancer comes with moments of rain and shine; this you ought to know by now. If you really want to be the most wanted freelancer today, beware of envy.
There are times your clients will choose someone else to serve them in your place. Even if the other person is in your network, you need not to fight about it. Instead, learn the lesson. Could you have failed the client or they left on their own accord? What if they are testing a new hand in the job?
“Train yourself to celebrate other people’s success, even if it means your loss.”
Assist them where you can when they are down and share whenever possible. Remember, with the same measure that you give, so shall you receive.
7. Love yourself
One of the greatest downfalls for freelancers is lack of self-love.
While you could be great at serving others, you might find that you don’t take time to make yourself better. Consider these 10 commandments:
- Before you sign an agreement; read it
- If your client says that the work is not complete; redo it
- If you can’t meet the client’s need; admit it
- When you take a break; mean it
- On grooming yourself; intend it
- When you learn something new; practice it
- You will lose, fail and get hurt; forgive it
- When you ace that job or sub-goal; celebrate it
- You need stay healthy so as to serve; protect it
- You will begin with one skill but to be an entrepreneur; grow it
It is your responsibility to know your needs and act on them. If you wear yourself out in the name of making a client happy; you will lose them instead. So, be at your best, give the best and mind YOU always.