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Is online freelancing all it's cracked up to be?
We all want to be millionaires, we all want to do very little work, but not many of the people out there will actually invest themselves into their freelancing to do this. Freelancing gets seen as an easy way to build a side income or even a full-time income that allows you to quit your day job. I'm here to let you know that freelancing is just like any other job and it takes discipline, it actually takes more discipline because no one is telling you when to wake up and work.
Yes, online freelancing is a great job to have if you can get enough clients and actually be good at what you're doing. If you aren't a pro at something, you won't last long as a freelancer because you'll have a lot of rejected orders and possibly chargebacks. If you can persevere through hard times, you'll likely see the light at the end of the tunnel and start to figure out where you fit in this crazy online freelancing world. When I started out I was selling SEO to clients, but I quickly started to dislike it due to the number of people who didn't know what they were buying from me would still make a purchase, then they would complain they weren't ranked #1 in a few weeks for extremely competitive keywords. I started consulting, and that's where I started to fall back in love with my passion of freelancing, and I can do this from home by just talking to someone over the phone or video chat if I really wanted to
In this discussion, I'll be going over a few things to remember when you want to get into online freelancing. If you can overcome some difficulties, you might just be cut out for this crazy job style and turn a profit sooner than most
It's actually a tough job
When I started out, I wasn't thinking of when I would work, because I was doing 16 hour days and I would just work until I was tired and then I would go to bed. I would then wake up and start working again lol. It's not an easy thing to do in the beginning, so you'll need to push yourself even if you feel like you're going to crack. Remember, the more you put into your business in the beginning, the bigger it can be later on.
You need to keep everyone happy
- Avoid procrastination
If you want to be successful in online freelancing, you need to push procrastination to the side and get everything done for your clients as soon as possible. If you're writing content, get it done ahead of schedule and make sure it's the best damn article they've ever ordered. If you're doing web design, code up the prettiest thing the client has ever seen and make sure you charge less than your competitors. If you can do this, you'll be successful.
- Find the perfect niche for you
Not every field in online freelancing is the same, a lot of people think "I will just work online and make money!" but that could mean you're a writer, blogger, SEO specialist, affiliate marketer, etc. Figure out what works for you and stick with it.
- You're the employee, manager, and boss
No one is going to tell you to get back to work. Do you think I like working long hours to get paid the same amount as if I were to work a 9 to 5? I actually do! It's because I don't have a boss and no one is telling me what to do, but I have discipline and am consistent with my work. I've built a client list, I talk with them like they're actual people, and then continually come back to me. Now, I didn't get to this point by sitting on my butt and hoping I'd be successful, I went out and got it.
When you're a freelancer, it's the same as running a brick and mortar business, because reviews follow your username. The more you've built up your clientele, the better your reviews will look, but you need to remember that negative reviews can hurt more than just a little. Keep everyone happy and watch the 5-star reviews flow in lol.
You can't always help people along their own journey
- Delayed responses don't usually close deals
When you're taking 2 or 3 days to respond to an email, ticket, or chat notification you won't usually seal that deal because the potential client likely already signed up with your competitor. You need to answer as quick as possible, almost immediately if you can, and you will see your freelance career flourish.
- People will always try to get something for free
It's no surprise that people like free handouts and steeply discounted products, but you can't always give those out. If someone is asking for a handout, you can always say no, but you'll need to say it in a way like "Sorry, I've already given out a bunch of (your service) this month and can't afford to do anymore ). You shouldn't worry about losing that sale anyway, they likely won't purchase from you even if you gave them something for free. You need to have a thicker skin than normal when being a freelancer because you need to say NO but in a polite manner.
I preach that helping others will make you successful, but there are times when you have to focus on you and that means you have to avoid helping others at certain points. If you're doing web design, SEO, writing, etc. and someone asks you for help, you can certainly help them out but you need to know when to stop. You can't do everything for them, because that's money coming out of your pocket.
You need to be good at something
- You need to make money
No one became a millionaire in online freelancing by giving away all of their services for free. I've tried giving away a free backlink service just to help others out, gave away 3,000 packages, and do you know how many of those people contacted me afterward to sign up for something else I offer? None, not a single person. I didn't mind doing this because it was automated and just ran the software on a server of mine, but it did cost me server time.
- Your time is limited, so use it wisely
Time is money, and if you're helping people out all of the time and not focusing on your craft, you won't last long in this industry. Online freelancing can be distracting because you want to help someone with their problems, but you need to know when to say no.
If you're jumping into online freelancing and you don't know any of the skills needed to be successful, you're not going to get anywhere. You can always build up your skills over time, but you need to be good at something before people start to get attracted to your services, products or websites. If you can do that, you're good to go in this field
- If your skills aren't honed, you will have a tough time getting positive reviews
One of the worst things you can do is sell a service and be nowhere near as good as an average seller or freelancer on the platform you're trying to get clients on. Get down and dirty, set up some of your own websites and burn them to the ground with bad SEO or garbage content, it's a learning process and you need to hone your skills to a point where you know what NOT to do.
- It takes time to build a client list
You won't have recurring clients from day one, you need to build your list over months or even years in order to build a healthy recurring income. Talk to your clients, contact them after a month and see how they're doing without pitching to them, if you can stay in the back of the mind of your clients or potential clients, you will thrive in the online freelancing platform.
Online freelancing isn't an easy thing to do because no one will tell you to do and there is no schedule made for you. You need to push yourself towards your goals, set up your own schedule, wake up and attack your jobs. If you can push yourself towards success, without breaking yourself, you will be profitable as an online freelancer!
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