Finding freelance jobs is not the easiest thing in the world, but if you take enough time to work on your craft, and put yourself in the best position to succeed, you will prosper. Still, everyone needs a good place to start, and we recommend Upwork as the ideal proving grounds.
Merging from Odesk and Elance, they have quickly become one of the top freelance websites in the world. With a huge number of job offerings every day, it can be your road to success. In this article, we will do our best to explain what you need to do in order to make an honest living out of it. Stick around, you might learn something useful.
Complete your profile
Although this might seem like common sense, you’d be surprised to see just how many people fall on this first obstacle. Before you even set out to find your ideal job posting, make sure that your biography is on point. Also, it’s always a good idea to spend a couple of bucks on a professional photographer for your profile picture. It might seem like a crazy investment to make, but you want to get every edge you can on the competition.
When describing your previous working experience, make sure that your text is grammatically spotless. While it’s not a necessity, a few good-quality portfolio items will be more than welcome. Tests are also a fantastic way to showcase your ability, so make sure you complete a few. Don’t worry, if you aren’t satisfied with the results, you can hide them from your profile page. Furthermore, you can re-do all of these exams every two weeks.
Perfect deals don’t come around all that often, but once they do, you should be ready. Upwork support team does a great job of sending out invitations for certain jobs that might interest you, so be sure to check them out as soon as possible. Even if you decline the proposal, your response time will remain top notch, and the deals will keep coming your way. More importantly, possible clients will get another hint that you’re a reliable person they can count on in every situation. Similarly, having a good communication with your current clients is vital as well, as it may lead to a long-term cooperation which will be mutually beneficial. In case you travel a lot, install the Upwork app on your mobile phone, which will ensure that you remain active at all times.
Take baby steps
I cannot tell you how many friends of mine tried Upwork, only to bail after a couple of weeks. Sometimes even days. What was the common denominator? They all shot for the stars way too early. Sure, there are plenty of success stories out there, telling you to follow your dreams, and that you’ll eventually make it big, but let me tell you something else, it takes a lot of hard work to get to the top. Watching all those top ranked profiles, where people earn insane amounts of cash can be very deceiving. You see, their portfolio and work history allowed them to achieve those figures, and sure, sometimes luck probably played a huge factor, but in most cases, you have to pay your dues at the very start. This can mean that you’ll be working for $200 per month in the beginning, but that’s where the best ones persevere. Heck, even Donald Trump filed for bankruptcy once or twice, and look at him now.
Select a niche
With so many job postings, we know that it can be hard to select the best one for you. Still, by narrowing your focus, you greatly improve chances of finding a job that fits you perfectly. For example, let’s say that you selected writing to be your base. Even there, you can narrow it further. Some individuals prefer writing articles and blog posts, while others would much rather focus their attention on technical writing, and that’s fine. Remember, this can turn into a long term commitment, so choose wisely.
Don’t be afraid to experiment
Although this statement might seem contradictory to the one above, stick around for a second and let me explain. Sticking to your niche is fantastic, but what happens when there are simply no jobs on the horizon? One thing’s for sure, those bills certainly won’t stop coming really fast. In that situation, you might be forced to step outside of your comfort zone and go for the kill. One piece of advice that we’d like to give out is not to go overboard. Taking on five miserable jobs at a time can bring some money your way, but it will make you hate Upwork. Furthermore, if you get so involved in different jobs that aren’t to your liking, you’re far more inclined to miss the one you truly desired from the start.
Naturally, taking one difficult gig on the side can not only bring all that important cash to the table, it can also help you mature in your line of work, and perhaps even improve yourself by learning a thing or two on the go. All things considered, this doesn’t have to be all that terrible, you just have to achieve the right balance, but these things come over time.
Learn how to sell your product
It doesn’t matter if you’re a writer, graphic designer or a software developer, we all share one thing in common: we need to learn how to become great salesman. Just because you might be the most qualified person for the job, it doesn’t have to mean you’re necessarily gonna get it. This skill isn’t all that easy, and it takes time to master it, but there are some techniques which will get you on the right path.
To start, when you’re writing your bid, look at the job from a client’s perspective. The fact that you graduated from Harward plays little factor to his project. Don’t get us wrong, having good recommendations is pretty important, but you should explain why the business in question would prosper the most from your services, and perhaps provide an insight on how you plan to get there. At the end of the day, actions speak louder than words.
How to find the right client
First of all, here’s a free tip right off the bat. You want to avoid clients that have no previous working history. Although you’d be missing out on a lot of good deals, this is the best way to protect your profile from people who won't be professional and won’t have the best intentions. Instead, go for the ones which already have a couple of successful job postings under their belt. Find out how they treat their freelancers, and make your judgement then. At the end of the day, getting a huge deal is awesome, but if it results in a bad review, it can mess up your future plans. Protect yourself in advance and there will be no problems.
Writing the perfect job proposal
After you’ve completed all of the previous steps, it’s now finally time to send your first offer. The cover letter may be the thing that makes or breaks you, so be sure to spend some extra time here. Avoid getting into patterns and sending the same proposal over and over again. Furthermore, the last thing you’d want is to sound boring or pretentious to your client. Spice it up, make a few jokes here and there, or do something else to stand out. Certain freelancers even go as far as shooting a promo video specifically for the job they’re applying to, and although I never personally tried this move, it does seem rather interesting. If you send the same boring offer each and every time, don’t be surprised with the negative outcome. A little effort goes a long way.
Negotiating the best deal
In case you’re reading this, chances are you’re relatively new to freelancing. Naturally, we all want to have the highest rates possible immediately, but that’s not how things work around here. Before you prove your worth, make sure to complete a couple of projects at affordable prices, get a couple of positive reviews going, and then move in for the kill. Trust me, it pays off eventually. Follow these basic tips, work hard, and you’ll be on your way to achieve your dreams. Good luck!