For freelancers, the only thing worse than not finding a paying client is having too many of them. Once you’ve got one or more clients on your plate, it’s time to figure out how to manage all your work while still making sure that both you and your client are happy.
Here are five tips for mastering the art of freelancing in a way that will turn you into a true professional:
Tell a Good Story
What’s your elevator pitch? For developers, the term “elevator pitch” could also be replaced with “customer development process”. This is a way for you to quickly introduce yourself and your services in a short manner that makes it easy for clients both to understand what you do and grasp why they should hire you to do it.
Be a Lifelong Learner
The Internet is full of resources for developers and freelancers, and learning how to use them (and when) will make you an invaluable asset to your clients. Make sure that you’re always adding new skills or knowledge points to your belt by taking online courses, reading books or blogs, or attending meetups about your field of work.
Don’t Skimp on the Small Things
It’s easy to make a good first impression with clients when you can focus on delivering quick, high-quality solutions for them. But if you don’t take the time to do the small things—the pre-sales inquiries, the follow-up after a deadline is met—that great first impression won’t carry you very far.
Let Your Work Speak for Itself
If your client asks why they should hire you over their other bidders, simply ask them for a link to the portfolio of work that those developers have created for them. If the work is great, your client will tell you. If it’s not, well, do you really need them to tell you why they’re going with someone else?
Only Hire Other Freelancers
This tip may sound a little crazy, but hear us out: don’t hire employees unless it’s essential. While there are certainly plenty of moments where you’ll need employees to scale your business, new freelancers must learn how to manage themselves before they hire others to do their work for them. This will also save you a ton on payroll taxes!