How to get your first job as a freelancer and maintain a steady flow of work
Getting the first job for some freelancers is an obstacle, and even a rock on which their dreams and careers will be shattered, because some of them think of retreating or giving up and before they even start, and this may be due to the wrong start and lack of patience.
But it is worth making it clear that it is already a great challenge for freelancers, and to win the challenge, you must follow some steps, which we explain to you in today's article.
How do you know that this project is right for you?
It is very important before you start applying for any project that you check whether the project is suitable for you or not, as once you accept work on a project you will have to finish it.
Withdrawing from a project even from its beginning will not be in your interest, and you may end up getting a bad evaluation by the client that will make it difficult for him and it may be impossible to get another job (especially if you work through a freelance site ).
So be sure to take the time to study the details of the project, and do not hesitate to ask the client about any details you would like to clarify.
Here are the important questions to ask yourself when considering taking on a project:
1. Is this project compatible with my skills and capabilities? (Read the project description carefully).
Do I have all the skills required to implement the project for the client exactly as he wants? Do I have experience in implementing the project with the required quality and efficiency? Do I have the necessary tools to implement the project?
All of these are questions that you must answer to ensure your ability and capabilities to implement the project you want to work on.
2. Do I have time to complete this project?
The element of time is a very important element in the field of self-employment , and you, as a freelancer , have to make sure of your ability to complete projects in the required time, as this is a very important aspect of your success.
Do not start applying for a project because it is attractive or represents an opportunity for you, but you do not have the time to complete it properly. Also, it is important to keep in mind any circumstances that prevent you from doing your work at the time.
3. Does this project interest me?
If you are a writer, you do not have to apply for any work in the field of writing, but you must apply to companies or websites specialized in areas of interest to you.
This also applies to you as a translator, designer, website developer, etc. There I advise you to make sure that you have sufficient interest in the project you wish to apply to work on.
Your answers to these questions will help you determine whether the project in front of you is a good fit for you to undertake.
Now that you have found the right project, the next step is to write a professional proposal in order to win that project
How do you write a professional job offer?
A job offer is what convinces the client to give you the job or not! Because a strong job offer is so important, be sure to allow plenty of time to write each job offer carefully and appropriately to the requirements of each project.
Over time, you'll rush to write it down once you know what works to add in your job offer, and it's best to save a template… This way you can just change the details and save time with each job offer you submit.
Any job offer must include:
- the summery of project
- Expected project cost
- Schedule for each project task
- What will you provide to complete the project?
- Your contact information
Tips for writing a professional job offer
- Read the project description carefully in terms of the tasks to be performed and the skills it needs.
- Ensure that you are well suited to undertake the project.
- Find out from the project description what the client really needs for you to include in your job offer.
- Show that you care about the customer's problem and be specific and clear about how to solve it.
- Submit similar samples of your work.
- Make your business presentation look good and readable by using correct paragraphs and punctuation.
Steps to write professional job offers
If you are feeling a little confused and still don't know how to do it, here are steps and examples to present professional work:
1. First, introduce yourself in a professional manner that fits the job offer
Here's an example:
“I work as a writer with 10 years of experience in writing scientific articles. I also translate all theses and scientific researches from English into Arabic while satisfying my passion and love for learning different sciences such as physics and chemistry.”
2. Tell the customer why he needs you and your services
“I have the ability to simplify complex scientific terms and formulate them in an attractive way that transforms boring science words into an enjoyable journey for your readers that makes them yearn for more and more. I can also create scientific material for children that is similar to their favorite stories and depends on interaction and response from them with the teacher.”
3. Attach a previous work form
“Below are some of my previous articles for you to see some examples of my work.”
4. Describe in detail your fee
“I charge $75 for an article with a thousand words and $100 for an article with a thousand and five hundred words, and the time it takes to finish one article is two days.”
5. Finish the presentation in a professional manner
Finally, thank you for taking the time to read my job offer.
If your job offer is well received by the employer, he will contact you for the work, then you should be ready to have a professional business conversation in addition to answering all the client's questions clearly.
Now let's move on to another very important point for you as a freelancer looking for work:
11 Most Common Questions Clients Ask Freelancers Before Starting a Business
1. How did it start? A client might ask you about your beginnings as a freelancer, or inquire about your strengths or what people like most about working with you.
2. Can you show me samples of similar work to you? The question might come in a slightly different form, such as "Have you done something like this before?"
or “What is your experience with this type of project?” The customer wants the reassurance that you know what you're doing, either by seeing samples or by detailing a similar work experience.
3. How is your business going? The client wants to understand how your business is going and when you'll be available to answer questions or respond to requests, and they may also be looking forward to hearing that you're willing to accept constructive criticism.
4. How much do you charge? An obvious question, you just need to answer frankly and clearly, and don't underestimate yourself or reduce your prices for the client's budget.
5. How dedicated are you to the project? The client wants to know when you can start working the soonest, and how much time you can allocate during the week for the project.
6. What kind of projects do you usually work on? The client wants to know more about your experience in the field.
7. How long have you been working as a freelancer? Why are you working as a freelancer? Clients ask these questions to verify that you have experience as a freelancer, and that you take your business seriously.
And to make sure you don't get stuck in the middle of a project, many clients fear that you're working independently just to pass the time or temporarily until you get a better job.
8. What is the best way to contact you? A customer wants to know the easiest way to reach you. When they have a question, they may also ask you about your time zone so they know the best times to contact you.
On the other hand, there are some illogical questions, and the following are three common questions that are asked to all freelancers from time to time:
9. Can I get a free trial or free sample? of course not! You do not get free electricity service and the same applies to independent services, you cannot get free services from him.
So as a freelancer be sure to decline politely and don't be afraid of losing a client, you deserve to be paid for your services because you are not running a charity.
10. Can you make my company's logo or brand look exactly like Company X? Here you need to politely remind the customer that this is a violation of copyright, trademark and intellectual property laws.
Here tell him that you will make what he wants and better than Company X.
11. Can you tell what's on my mind? Of course, clients won't usually ask this directly, but they will most likely expect you to deliver the results they dream of without fully explaining what they have in mind.
Just feel free to ask for more information about what the client wants so that you have a complete picture of how the work will look, as it will show how much you really care about the project and want to do the best job possible.
It can be hard to find work when you have little experience or no customer reviews yet, but these tips may make it easier:
Tips for getting your first job as a freelancer
1. If you have many experiences in many fields, start with one field, and instead of applying for many jobs in different fields.
You need to focus your efforts in one area, in order to prove yourself in it by getting high customer ratings and recommendations from them, and thus gain the trust of customers who may come back to work with you again, but this time when you start in another field.
2. Study your field well and know its capabilities. Is this field witnessing intense competition as you come across a lot of freelancers who are looking for the same job?
Is this field always in demand in the labor market? What is the average wage in this field and is it sufficient for your needs?
3. Constantly search for work by browsing new jobs posted on freelance platforms .
4. Review your profile on the freelance platforms you work with and make it stand out using the tips provided in our previous article “ 3 essential aspects to ensure your success as a freelancer ”
5. Create a business model portfolio that showcases your capabilities, even if it consists of just training projects for work.
6. Make sure you read the project description carefully, understand if the job interests you, and make sure that the project matches you and your skills as we have explained above.
7. Prepare your job offer correctly and professionally, as it is the first contact between you and the customer through which you try to sell your services.
Avoid using ready-made templates, instead always write unique content that shows that the offer was written specifically for the customer, and remember to keep your proposal short and direct around 300 characters.
8. Don't underprice yourself. Know your self-worth and be confident in your negotiations with the client. Your rates can be lower than what more experienced freelancers charge, but if you accept paltry sums less than what people in your expertise might charge, you won't be taken for granted. Grandpa.
9. Be patient, it can take weeks and sometimes a few months to get your first job, so don't lose hope too soon and keep working hard on your search.
Keep in mind that all your efforts will pay off sooner or later, so be optimistic and feel that your skills are required and important, don't give up halfway and you will succeed, yes, you can do it.
10. Build your reputation through new relationships in real life with freelancers in your area or city, and also attending various social events for your family, friends, classmates and work will help you expand your circle of acquaintances.
As well as staying active and active in online discussion circles related to your industry in various social media platforms and beyond, this can be an effective way to promote yourself and build a reputation in the freelancing world, as well as an opportunity to get good advice from more experienced freelancers.
11. Write educational articles related to your field and share them with relevant sites, and you can even profit from those articles, and include them in your business models file as you make writing articles an additional business alongside your primary business
12. Create a Linkedin Profile If you don't already have one, take the time to create one and to complete your entire profile, speak professionally, but be careful not to overdo it.
And remember that Linkedin is a professional work platform with very strong job opportunities, as well as a selection of professional freelancers who want to have a place among them and connect
13. Constantly follow what is new in your field, and make sure to appear and participate in any events and activities related to it, as you can meet there many clients or companies looking for freelancers.
14. Volunteer to work for well-known charities, with family and friends, or on non-profit projects in exchange for adding works to your portfolio of business models.
15. Don't pretend you have more experience than you really have. If your business model portfolio doesn't contain much, tell the client why, highlight your strengths, your passion for success, and your desire to prove yourself.
16. Offer a free service, I know it doesn't sound fun, especially if you really need some money, but it's an easy and foolproof way to get a job, it's hard to turn down free work, and what you get in return is worth.
17. There is a smart technique that you can do as well, which is to choose a project and complete one of its tasks for free and attach it to the job offer that you will send to the client. The free sample is the best proof for the client that you can accomplish what he requires and he will be surprised that you have come a long way even before starting the work.
Sure, getting your first job is the hardest, but as a freelancer, you can never stop looking for more work, so here are a few tips for finding work consistently.
Tips for maintaining a steady flow of freelance work
- Ask customers to leave positive comments on your profile page.
- Ask clients to recommend you to colleagues and acquaintances.
- Ask clients to write you a recommendation that you can share as part of your future job offers or on your website.
- Stay in touch with previous clients and ask if they need more work (but don't be too urgent!).
Long-term projects or small projects, which is better? A common question among freelancers, especially beginners, and there is no “wrong” answer to this question, it depends entirely on what you prefer.
Advantages and disadvantages of both long-term and short-term projects
Advantages of working on long-term projects
- More stability and financial security - you will receive a regular salary throughout the period of work on the project.
- You can build a close working relationship with the client, which increases the likelihood that you will get more work from them in the future.
- With time, you will be able to understand the customer and their needs, enabling you to do a better job for them.
- You have the opportunity to establish social relations with colleagues from the work team in the company.
Disadvantages of working on long-term projects
- If you don't get along with the client and your relationship worsens, you will have to stop and leave before the project is finished.
- You don't have time flexibility, so you won't be able to work on other projects.
- If the client doesn't pay, you lose a lot more than if you were working on a small project.
- Your work will become less diverse and can become boring.
Advantages of working on short-term projects
- Your time will be more flexible, as you can easily accommodate more projects or increase workloads when necessary.
- Clients will know they can count on you, because you will always be available for a quick project or business.
- You will have diversity in your business.
Disadvantages of working on short-term projects
- You will spend more time searching for job opportunities and writing job offers.
- It will be difficult to predict your workload.
- Your income will be unstable.
Projects that are not accepted at all
When you start working as a freelancer, your biggest concern is that you won't be able to get a job, which gives you the feeling that you must accept any project that is offered to you, or that you must submit an offer to any project that meets you, so that you do not have to spend weeks and months without work, but the problem is The truth is that you end up with inappropriate projects.
It may sound strange, but if you want to succeed as a freelancer, you will have to turn down some opportunities and accept others that are a perfect fit for your skills or might level up.
If you accept projects, but are not confident about choosing them or feel hesitant about them, you may end up feeling dissatisfied with your work and frustrated by it because you are doing work that does not suit you.
Here is a list of those projects that deserve an outright rejection
1. Low-paid projects: If the project’s budget is very low and does not match its requirements, you will lose twice: the first is that you do not get a good reward, and the second is that you miss out on better job opportunities and high-quality projects because you are busy completing this project.
2. Projects that go against your principles: You will feel stressed and uncomfortable all the time while doing these projects, which can make it difficult to achieve good results.
3. Projects that don't fit your skills If you think your skills don't fit the requirements of the project, don't take the job.
4. Projects that do not interest you: Sometimes you may come across a project that you find boring and does not interest you. Even if the project is useful, relevant to your skills or might add to them, it may be best to walk away because you probably won't do a good job if you're bored.
5. Projects that do not feel comfortable dealing with their owners: If the client’s method or style is not appropriate to work, such as being unclear about his requests for the project, or its price, or using an inappropriate tone…
Then quit immediately before starting any business, because the whole business will be a nightmare for you every time you need to communicate with a client.
In the end, I hope that my article was useful for every beginner Freelancer who wants to get job opportunities in the freelance market