In an attempt to help more people become successful freelancers I have found that there is no one blueprint of tasks to complete to make that happen. There are, of course, a series of actions that when done help pretty much everyone freelancing (i.e. brand yourself, market your skills, do great work and manage client relationships, etc.). This list alone is not a silver bullet, because every one of us is unique in our personalities and experiences.
Personality IS Our Calling Card
The way we are is as important as a freelancer as the skills we market, our personality defines how we will communicate with our clients and the types of projects that will light our fire. Understanding who we are as a human and how we tick is the ultimate key to our success, in my humble opinion. I’ve seen the smartest people you’ll ever meet not be able to make a dollar for themselves, because marketing and customer support was not their forte. On top of that, I’ve seen the most amazingly creative and outgoing people not be able to manage their workload because they attract tons of projects and fail at implementation.
It doesn’t take much to see how these two different personalities are a huge asset to each other. It doesn’t stop there … look at the type of project or work you love to do, and then how amazing would it be to have people in your back pocket to take on the project work you do not enjoy?
(The answer to that last question is: utterly amazing!)
What’s Art and What’s Science?
art. ärt | noun the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination
sci·ence ˈsīəns | noun the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment
The science part of freelancing is the tasks and actions you take that you simply know you have to do and can learn efficiencies through watching others:
- Get Work
- Do Work
- Check email every day
- Invoice for work done
- Track mileage, expenses
- Pay bills
- etc … the list goes on.
The art part of freelancing is the nuance of knowing yourself, finding counterparts that you can work with effortlessly, knowing what part of the freelance business you want to take on (and not) and learning how YOU will find and attract work. I personally make relationships with people that love to have that face-to-face interaction with clients but don’t want to do the day-to-day stuff. I have a special rate for these connections and they can bid an entire project out and reach out to me for my part. They manage all the client interaction, I get to do what I love and we are both ridiculously happy.
Finding what works for you in a freelance business is nothing but art, there is no predefined guidebook. The best thing you do is engage in your local, or online, community of freelancers. This right here is why #FREECON is creating our own online community for attendees, in all my years of freelancing nothing has helped me more than my peers.
NOTE: It can take a few frogs before you find your “perfect” matches, don’t give up, remember it’s an art. Each connection is a work in progress, and so are you. There is something to learn about yourself and your freelance business in every project.