What are the skills that freelancers need to have in order to build a sustainable business (on top of the skills you actually have -- like the services you sell? It's not as easy as you might think.
It takes a special type of person to succeed at freelancing and keep it going for long.
There are many abilities that freelancers should possess in order to be successful at what they do.
Here are some necessary abilities freelancers should have, and how each one can help you generate more revenue while building a sustainable freelancing business. 👇
Selling Freelance services
The first necessary ability for building a sustainable freelancing business is the skill to sell freelance services.
Most freelancers seem to think that if their work is awesome, clients will come breaking through the door and shout "take my money now".
Nah, Nah. Won't happen. This thinking is the reason why most freelancers fail.
Even if it does seem to happen for a while, it won't last. You want a sustainable freelancing business; not just a passing fad that'll last exactly 3 months.
This may not seem like an important thing, but it's actually one of the most crucial abilities that people need in order to make money from their work.
Without this skill you might be able to do great work, but when you have no clients to even deliver the work for, why are we even talking about your skills in the first place?
The ability to sell your services is the single most important skill you'll have to develop.
No sales. No clients.
No clients. No revenue.
No revenue. There's nothing to write home about.
Respecting yourself as a freelancer
Consider this: just because you sell something doesn't mean you have to stoop low, sacrifice your soul, and do things you don't like.
You don't have to tolerate bullshit and you certainly don't have to work for peanuts (only monkeys do that).
In the name of the dollar, don't sacrifice your worth and self-respect. Stand your ground.
Put out terms and conditions and let clients know that you are the boss, that you know what you are doing, and ask them to politely backoff (if they want to be hands-on and a pain in the backside).
There are three approaches to handling the clients you take on.
Do whatever comes your way. Work with anyone you can find. Deliver work for clients regardless of how the project is, how the client treats you, and regardless of your "feelings, ego, and values". In this case, you just survive. Work on meagre earnings. Before you know it, you'll crash, burn, and exit. Sooner or later, you'll find something else to do (no guarantees on how well you'll manage that "shiny new thing" since you really didn't change much or learn anything at all).
While providing maximum value and delivering the best possible work that you can, you'll maintain a strict code of conduct with them (i.e., don't work for less than $X/hour, etc.), no phone calls during weekends, and this is the exact work I'll deliver. It's great if you can do that but not all clients (especially clients looking for cheap work) will be able or willing to adhere to these standards all the time.
You call the shots. You are the boss. Lead clients on to a path that's best for them. You do this from a point of authority (and not as a service provider). Leading from expertise, knowledge, confidence, and absolute conviction, you'll make your clients follow you.
Points 2 and 3 are great. If ever, you'll want to reach that stage sooner (than later). If you have to do freelancing for a long period of time, these are the stages you should be at.
I'll be willing to bet though, that most freelancers in the entire world are still stuck doing point 1.
Not all clients are built equal. You'll even get some clients from hell. The ability to manage clients well is so important for your freelancing success that it's only next to your "ability to get freelancing clients".
If you have non-interfering, trusting, and friendly clients you'd love to work for, you can skip this completely (don't read).
Most freelancers don't have the luxury. You never know what kind of clients you'll land.
When you do land "asshole clients" (and this will be more frequent than you think it'll be), there's just one thing you should do ASAP:
Run and don't look back.
Find other clients.
No client from hell is worth working for even for a second.
Managing yourself, staying motivated, and surviving the gig economy
No one said freelancing is easy. Freelancers have a lot to worry about, such as overhead costs, finding new clients and projects.
The challenge is even greater when you consider the gig economy - an economy where freelancing has become so prevalent that it's hard for many people (freelancers or not) to find stability in their lives because they can't afford things like benefits (especially true for freelancers in United States, Canada, and other places).
Healthcare costs are rising, freelancers are still left to manage everything for themselves.
So be it.
That doesn't change a thing. This is how freelancing (and any business really) has always been.
You are in charge. Managing yourself is of paramount importance to maintain your business, your sanity, and your well-being.
As for motivation, you'll have to find it within you. Derive strength from the advantages of freelancing (which are still true).
Understand that nothing is perfect anyway (so the big Bitcoin chase, trading in stocks, starting another business, or getting a job -- none of them provide you with immunity against the harsh realities of life anyway).
You got to do what you got to do.
Do what you should do to survive. Be smart about it.
Freelancing Routine and Powerful habits
Reading books has been one of the most common habits found among some of the most successful people in the world?
The question then: Do you read enough?
Continuous learning is truly empowering: Do you constantly learn?
Your habits define you. Waking up early mornings, following a powerful and productive freelancing routine, the ability to say "no" more often than you say yes, and this little habit of standing your ground.
So, what kind of habits do you have?
Develop powerful and successful habits while maintaining your freelancing routine and success is almost always guaranteed (this applies to every business, career path, investing, getting wealthy, healthy workouts, reversing diabetes, and possibly everything else under the sun.
What kind of routine do you have as a freelancer? Doing 3 hours a day isn't going to get you anywhere.
Which of these necessary abilities do you have as a freelancer? What are you going to do to give yourself an edge? Tell me about it.
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