Freelancing continues on the rise. It is a lifestyle which has expanded over the last few years and shows an increasing growth rhythm.
This has been possible mostly thanks to the pros and cons balance that it involves.
Some of these conclusions have been gathered by The Balance portal, a website dedicated to the analysis and follow-up of business trends, oriented to financial independence of workers.
There, Ryan Duermyer, one of its noted writers, says that some of the most interesting benefits of remote work have to do with the possibility of choosing your clients and deciding on your own schedule based on what you prefer or what you find more suitable. He also mentions as an advantage setting your own fees according to different personal considerations, with no need of agreements on policies or corporate specifications.
Besides, he refers to how cost-effective freelancing might be, as you don’t need to invest on large equipments, resources or workspace for your main working instrument is yourself.
Now, the same people from The Balance, on another article about freelancing, made further research on the performance of this working market, in numbers, focused on the USA, the world’s first economy according to the International Monetary Fund.
This review exhibits a contrast between 2005, with just 10.3 million freelancers in the country, and 2014, with around 53 million who have somehow started into this workstyle. And for 2018 the growth projection was over 30%.
Moreover, it is shown through a survey that 50% of the active freelancers have found projects within 3 days by means of the online platforms, or even social networks. Meanwhile, a quarter of the population reports finding projects within the first 24 hours by using remote working portals like Workana.
Ideally, try to commit yourself to large projects, so as to keep busy on the long term and to avoid the uncertainty of the freelance world as much as possible.
You have to go for long-lasting working relationships, which in time will grant you a steady income and a strengthened credibility as a freelancer, preparing you for even larger future projects and gaining more experience.
It is precisely at this point, in search of a steady freelancing lifestyle, that in this article we’ll tackle two “secrets” which will be of great help along this process. But before that, let’s start by some basic rules to become a remarkable freelancer.
The keys to becoming a successful freelancer at Workana
If we were asked to put the success of a freelancer into one single word, it’d probably be “self-discipline”. Successful freelancers go for routines, as they are aware that their work requires lots of planning and is not just staying at home and sitting in front of the computer.
As a result, it is necessary to set very clear working rules, for yourself and for your clients. You’ll have to define your scope of work, your methodology, and how you’ll face the tasks appointed to you.
Within this same area, you’ll have to become familiar with how much your work is worth. You need to acknowledge that every moment you do something connected to your clients, projects or negotiations, counts.
That is why you must be honest with your working schedule, so as not to allocate overtime or fall short of time. Besides, do not forget to be down-to-earth and consistent with the fees you set for your skills. Don’t give away your work, don’t go beyond reality either.
The importance of building stable relationships with clients is also mentioned, as well as the possibility of keeping long-term projects with them. Skipping from one client to the next might be messy and result in instability.
Though, what is actually important, almost as much as self-discipline, is the quality of service. The contact with clients, the assistance you provide, your efficacy, but mostly, the guarantee you offer about your final product, are key points.
You can’t promise things you can’t do, or limit yourself just to a couple of skills. You need to be well prepared, to develop in your area and to be ready to learn and get feedback from those who work with you.
With this in mind, you’ll achieve one of the most important objectives of a freelancer: fixed contracts, long-term projects and close relationships with clients.
Something that few freelancers know is that in Workana there are two types of services you can offer and will help you get more long-term projects with your clients.
Two services you can offer your clients in order to build long-term relationships with them
Workana gives you the chance to use different working methods with your clients. It’s not just making bids for posted projects, or getting hired -you can also offer your clients other working methods that might be convenient for both parties.
Let’s discuss two of them that you’ll find really useful:
1. Hourly projects
One of the hiring methods on the platform is hourly projects. In this case, the freelancer sets an average time required weekly to work on the project, and the fees based on work progress. The freelancer will then report them as worked hours.
Once you make progress on your project assignments, you have to log the worked hours in your Work Journal, where you describe which parts of the project were completed.
As from that point, the client can check the journal daily and see everything you’ve uploaded. That is why it’s really important to be very specific about how you’ve performed and used the time on your assignment, as the client will be empowered to approve these hours or not.
Once approved, these hours will be automatically uploaded to your credit balance and also to your profile, where you’ll see how many hours you’ve spent on working on these types of projects.
Even when the client can ask for this working methodology, one of the best ways to win the project over is by suggesting it yourself, as there are many clients who don’t know this is possible at Workana.
Working on hourly projects is one of the most stable working methodologies of the platform, as you receive a payment for a bunch of worked hours, which ensures a long-term project with the client.
This is the case of many virtual assistants and community managers, for instance, who agree on working 3 or 4 hours a day on a given project and over that period of time they work just for that client. It is also very common among graphic designers and programmers.
However, this methodology is open to all type of profiles and projects. The best that you can do to start implementing it is letting your regular clients know about it. Working on hourly projects with them will it make easier to get recurring payments with no need to post a new project every time they want to hire you.
Extensions are a way to develop projects even more complete than what they seemed at the very beginning, introducing some ideas that might have arisen on the go or improving what you’ve already done. Basically it is about “extending” the project you’ve been working on by making a deal on a new total fee to be paid for a new assignment.
Through this methodology you can develop other parts of the project still related to the same objective -perhaps some improvement areas that the client might not have seen earlier.
Clients themselves can ask for an extension, though you can suggest it too. Sometimes, their ideas can change after exchanging words with you, since your vision to develop the project might include other parts.
One of the key points of this working methodology is that the client does not feel compelled to create a new project for the development of this missing parts. This prevents them to get new bids and avoids the annoying process of turning them down if they want to work directly with you.
In your case, it is not necessary to make a new bid for a project, which skips this process and allows you to work directly on what has been agreed, as it’s almost a natural extension.
Freelancing, more than tricks or secrets, is full of commitment, engagement, training and, above everything else, quality of service. The level of professionalism when you assist a client, make a deal or focus on your projects will be the actual key to moving forward.
However, there are some habits and tools that can help you along the path. These will let you enhance your clients’ experience, building long-term working relationships and ensuring a steady income thanks to the work you do through Workana.