10 Tips How to Become a Successful Freelancer

How to become a freelancer? Probably the most frequently asked questions from our readers.

So let’s take a little bit of history.

Freelance was originally two words, “free” and “lance”. Which means free men with a lance (spear) offered their services to wealthy landowners.

In other words, they are private armies who would fight on their lord’s behalf against other groups loyal to their noblemen.

We are so glad that this kind of freelancing no longer exists.

Later on, the term “freelance” was recognized as a verb by the Oxford English Dictionary in 1903,

And then has passed into the everyday vocabulary as a noun, adjective, and adverb.

That’s it for the history of the word “freelance”.

Today, freelance refers to a person who is self-employed and is not necessarily committed to a particular employer or a long-term job.

Now, let’s go back to our main topic on how to become a freelancer.

It is so easy to say that, “I want to work online” or “I want to become a freelancer.”

But the reality is, it’s so hard to find an online job, especially when you don’t have the in demand skills.

So I have gathered some great tips from “Successful Freelancers” who have been working as an online freelance for several years.

how to become a freelancer copy

Some of them already made millions, and some of them were already on the road to earning their first million.

Here’s the question that I raised, “If you can give at least 3 tips to freelancer newbies out there, what would it be?

How to Become a Freelancer: 10 Tips From Successful Freelancers

I received a ton of responses from professional Freelancers, and I would like to summarize it for you.

But still I will give  you the screenshots of our actual conversation.

These tips are coming from Successful Freelancers which I gathered through Freelance Facebook Groups.

Some of them I personally chatted just to get the best advice for you.

#1 Tip: Be Resourceful

It’s like finding the best possible solution to a problem. Don’t limit yourself on what you think is right.

Do some research and find the supreme answer.

Mr. Google would be your best friend (BFF) for this.

#2 Tip: Master Your Skills

If you know what you are doing, then you don’t have to be afraid of anything.

And if you are in a war, your skills are your finest weapon. Don’t go in a battle without a weapon as you will surely be dead.

So take time to master your skills to get the job you want.

#3 Tip: Upgrade Your Skills

Mastering your skills is sometimes not enough. Why?

What if your skill is outdated? That means no job for you is waiting out there since your skill is no longer needed.

As technology rises, you also need to upgrade your skills. Don’t let your skill be stagnant.

Though I must admit that there are some skills that really last long.

But still, it is not a good reason not to learn new skills.

More skills mean more jobs, and more opportunities.

#4 Tip: Improve Your Proposal and Profile

Your proposal is your first communication with the client, so make sure you create an impression.

Provide a brief and concise information, but always follow the instruction in submitting your proposal.

And it should be sufficient enough to make the client check your profile.

On your profile give all the best you have and what you can do.

Your skills to offer, the tools you have familiarized, then your assurance for client to make them hire you.

You may want to read this to improve your proposal and profile:

#5 Tip: Follow Instructions

There are clients who want you to think out of the box, but some just want you to follow their simple instruction.

So why is that?

They just want you to come after their instruction because their ways are already proven to work.

And they don’t want to change anything about it.

My advice?

Wait until the client asks what you think about the process, then you can speak out your ideas.

Just don’t over do it.

Remember what position you are applying for.

Know the difference between the assistant and a consultant.

#6 Tip: Be Honest

There are times that you tend to impress the client as if you know everything.

This is totally wrong.

The client doesn’t expect you to know everything, but he wants you to learn it if you don’t know it.

Just be honest, and don’t over promise.

#7 Tip: Be Patient

Always have patience. You can’t always get what you want in an instant.

If your skill is your weapon, then your “Patience” would be your indestructible shield.

From what attacks?

Discouragement, hopelessness, disappointment, and more.

Sometimes it just takes time, so always be positive.

#8 Tip: Exceed Expectation

Getting your first client would be so hard. As they have always said, “Every beginning is difficult”.

But once you made it through, it will be much more easier.

So if ever you will find your very first client, make them impressed by exceeding their expectations.

Let’s take for example, they want to finish the task tomorrow, but you send it today.

There many ways how to impress the client depending on their needs.

So always make a way to create an impact to the client.

#9 Tip: Be Passionate

Don’t just work because you are required to, but work because you love to.

You will never be successful if you don’t love your work. All it will give to you is, stress and despair.

So if you don’t like your work today, you have an option to quit.

Find the work where your passion lies.

#10 Tip: Never Give Up

I think I don’t have to explain this.

But I will just give you a piece of advice, the game will just be over if you give up.

So, never give up even when all the odds are against you.

Contributors and actual responses:

As promised, here are the screenshots of the actual conversations from successful freelancers.

1. Christine Everth Dela Cruz-Artetahow to become a freelancer tip 1
2. Yhey Garciahow to become a freelancer tip 2
3. Edsel Acuñahow to become a freelancer tip 3
4. Jen Vinuyahow to become a freelancer tip 4
5. Romel Agunos Andoy
6. Anna D. Sorianohow to become a freelancer tip 6
7. Alissa Maghopoyhow to become a freelancer tip 7
8. Jeramie Miranda Hohow to become a freelancer tip 8
9. Iya Acostahow to become a freelancer tip 9
10. Mathew Nepomucenohow to become a freelancer tip 10
11. Randy Martinhow to become a freelancer tip 11
12. Anna Liza Bonifaciohow to become a freelancer tip 12
13. Jemmy Liz Pohino Indoloshow to become a freelancer tip 13
14. Pao Eduhow to become a freelancer tip 14
15. Ann Abalo
  1. Always set a time for learning/studying, whether you’re still in the job hunting stage or currently working for a client. The worst thing you can do in this business is believing that what you currently know is enough for you to land a job. Freelancing industry is competitive and your job can be taken away from you if you get too complacent.
  2. When writing your proposal, always put your client’s need first and how you can help them. Don’t aim to just work for the money, but instead be intentional in helping your client succeed with their business. They can feel your sincerity just by reading your proposal.
  3. If after months of sending tons of proposal and you get no response, don’t think that it’s the end of your career. Challenge yourself to do better and always believe in the power of positivity – “If you can see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hands”. A shift to a positive mindset does the trick, and of course coupled with meaningful actions.

I am actually saving the best for last, and this advice is coming from Jason Dulay. He is the founder of WFHR.IO (Work From Home Roadmap) which help tons of freelancer find their first job.

So if you are serious about becoming a full-time freelancer and want a coach, I would recommend registering for his FREE course, especially if you are a Filipino.

16. Jason Dulay
  1.  Stand out from the crowd – most freelancers all look the same. Same title, same description, same profile overview, same skills. That means that for a client to hire you, you have to get lucky. Instead of trying to fit in with everyone else, be different so that clients have a reason to hire you over everyone else.
  2.  Learn how to sell yourself – what no one tells you about freelancing is that you need to sell. Not products or services, but yourself – and your ability to do the work. Sales is an entire skill to learn, but it will greatly increase your earnings as a freelancer.
  3.  Be patient – freelancing takes time to learn. You didn’t learn how to do math in a day or a week or even a month – freelancing is an entirely different and new area for you to learn, it will take time, you will fail the first few times – but keep at it and keep learning and improving. Be patient and it will be worth it.

My personal advice?

Well, it seems they already said it all.

So I am only down to one, “Conquer Your Fears“.

The only thing that is stopping your dreams to come true, is your fear of failing.

And you need to stop this.

You need to stop thinking that you can’t do anything.

Think positively starting today, think that you can do anything, everything, and nothing can stop you from fulfilling your dreams.

If there’s a need for you to take a risk, then take the chances.

Besides, failing doesn’t mean that you are already a failure.

The only way you will be tagged as a “Failure” is by giving up.

So if you fall 8 times, then you need to stand up 9 times and so on.

Freelancer Guide

Now that you have heard some of the tips from successful freelancers, let me guide you to the next step.

So your next question would be…

  • How can I start?
  • Where can I find jobs?
  • What do I need to do?

Here are the few steps you need to take next:

  • Step 1. Select a Payment Method
  • Step 2. Register on Upwork as Freelancer
  • Step 3. Creating Your Profile
  • Step 4. Tools to Familiarize
  • Step 5. How to Create a Winning Cover Letter
  • Step 6. Getting Your First Job
  • Step 7. How to Withdraw Your Earnings

And you will know more about these steps by reading our Freelancer Tutorial.

But if you think that Upwork doesn’t work for you, you can also check out our Upwork Alternatives.

Now it’s time for me to ask you…

Who and what tips do you like most? Comment your answers below.

And if you think there are still lacking, feel free to add.

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