How to start a successful career as a freelancer

Are you tired of working for the man? Or perhaps you’re just looking for a little extra coin. Well, if you choose to become a freelancer, then New York-based company Fiverr has designed an infographic that details ways to successfully start a career that way.

To maximize your time and talent, especially if you’re just starting out, read the infographic below.

Becoming a freelancer

Get experience

This one may seem like a no-brainer. However, if you have to build up your résumé and/or portfolio, you may need to get some low or unpaid jobs under your belt before you get paid gigs. Find out what clients want to see in your portfolio.

To build up your portfolio:

  • Offer your services to friends and family
  • Use your relevant school projects in your portfolio when you first start out
  • Contact a local non-profit and see if they need any design help
  • Find out if there are any titles or certifications held by professionals in your field
  • Practice, practice, practice. Never stop honing your craft.

Price yourself wisely

Once you’ve got some experience and built up a solid portfolio, you’ll be ready to start finding paid gigs. While there’s no shortage of work available on the Internet, a lot of it is extremely low paying. Unless you’re building a portfolio or freelancing for fun, don’t work for pennies.

Value your time: decide how much you’re worth per hour.

Be flexible: according to your clients needs.

Do some research: get a good idea of what is reasonable and fair. Check out this online tool for pricing jobs.

Take jobs that you feel confident about and that you can complete in a reasonable amount of time. Instead of taking on huge projects, set yourself apart by:

  • Delivering a unique, high-quality product
  • Offering lightning-fast turnaround times
  • Specialize in a particular niche and get creative with it

Communicate with your client

Your clients are your greatest resource. It’s essential to form good, longstanding relationships with them:

  • Keep them in the loop with frequent updates on the progress of the work
  • Respond to emails and phone calls promptly
  • Send them a draft to look over before the final product
  • Be amenable to editing your work (within reason) to keep them smiling

Ask for feedback. Positive feedback and great references are what’s going to set you apart and even start raising your prices. Testimonials from happy clients will also show future clients you’ve got what it takes. Feedback is even better when you can show it off. Be sure to ask if you can publish your client’s name and testimonial.

Get the word out. Don’t keep your burgeoning freelancer career a secret. Tell your friends and family – anyone who’ll listen. The more people who know you’re freelancing, the better! Having those first few references will help you start building your reputation. Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth.

For more tips on becoming a freelancer, check out how to write an about me page that’ll get you hired.