When your clients don’t get what they want, don’t see the results you have promised, this is a sign that you are being ineffective. And who does want to be told they are ineffective? Not one in his sane mind would desire to hear these words. But they do come, sometimes subtly. Let’s face it, you’ve (actually we’ve) messed up with one or two of our projects in the past. Whether it’s bigtime or not, we’ve had our days when we are ineffective and complacent. It’s not a secret. And being on this page is a proof why you want to know the 10 ways to freelance effectively. So before history repeats itself with your next client, it’s high time to get some freshening and tidying up.
Why is there a need to be an effective freelancer?
Ecclesiastes 9:10 says it better: Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might for there is no work nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave whither thou goest. The thing with freelancing is, a single instance of a bad output or a messed up project can spell the last thing you’ll ever hear from that client again. The lifeblood of successful and thriving freelance career is word of mouth. If people only hear how bad you work, you will never go far enough. You will either find yourself diving with your rate just to be able to get some work. Else, you’ll be deserting this profession with a not so graceful exit.
If you want to be able to demand good pay rate, keep your clients happy. If you want to benefit from free advertising through word of mouth, be an effective freelancer. Bottom line is, if you want to keep a job for a long time, be an effective freelancer!
Challenges to becoming effective
There are various reasons why we are ineffective in what we do. Based on my observations and personal experience they include:
2. Doubts in what you can do or achieve, skills, education etc.
3. Communication breakdown – when we stop communicating with
4. Greed – [Tweet “If it's all about money that you think of and not your client's needs, you're bound for an epic FAIL”]
5. Procrastination – need i say more about this?
So How do we become effective?
Tips to Effective Freelancing
1. Keep the focus – multi tasking is a practice not many will be good at. Being focus is still the best way to go. But does this mean that I’ll only take one client at a time? Not necessarily, focus simply means devoting a specific time for a specific client.
2. Nurture the existing – I’ve been taught in my call center training that retention is better than acquiring new customers and it’s still the same principle with freelancing. If you have a way of keeping the existing clients. After all, when their business grows and they've seen your dedication, you will eventually reap the rewards of your loyalty.
3. Pray – this may be new to your ears, but prayer has been a secret weapon in my work as a freelancer. I do not have a college degree. But I must say that by prayer, I've learned things I never imagined I could do if I only relied on my own.
4. Stay Connected (communication) – Business is all about connections. The better connected you are the better chances of opportunities coming your way. There are so many social media platforms that you can use to stay connected. Twitter and Facebook, as well as blog commenting have been my primary choices in networking and the effort and time investment has paid off well.
5. Keep on learning – every search you make on Google or Bing or Yahoo is a step to learning new things. All major how-to’s that can pull you through the tech stuff is just a click away. All we have to do is to be diligent in finding them. Learn from you connections. The people around you, no matter how different their line of business or work can give you a big step towards learning new ideas that you can implement sooner or later in your freelancing.
6. Learn from mistakes – We don’t necessarily have to learn just from our mistakes but from other’s experiences as well. But I have proven that going through the situation is the most effective form of learning (at least for my experience) When you have a personal, first hand experience of a problem, you are better off at solving it than those who just read it in books or seen it on TV. So don’t frustrate when you commit mistakes, cherish them and keep them always in mind.
7. Maximize time – You can’t borrow from the past to make up for tomorrow’s lack. Use the time you have “now” for the things that needs to be done “NOW”. Think like a sprint runner or an F1 racer. A split second can mean a whole lot. When you work, every micro second counts. Make sure you don’t waste their time because you certainly wouldn't want to waste yours too! Punctuality is not only about being on time, it’s all about character.
8. Honesty at all times – honesty is about setting the right expectation and delivering what you promised.
9. Get some feedback – there is no better way of knowing if you are being effective or not than asking the clients who you work for. That is why it is imperative to get a feedback from your clients. It would be ideal if you can create a list of questions to provide to them that focuses on certain criteria that you would like to evaluate, such as: deadlines, communication, language (are thoughts and ideas properly communicated?), etc. This will also help you better understand their needs and personalize your approach in providing your service.
10. Enjoy the privilege – Be happy you have a job. [Tweet “Be grateful you have a job! There are millions who are unemployed who would love to take on your job. #freelance”] When you are happy with what you do and appreciate the privilege you have been granted, it's easy to be effective. No matter how small or big your project is, learn to take it as a privilege and not a right.