8 steps to success that freelancers need to take

8 steps to success that freelancers need to take

How to start the new year to prepare a solid foundation for future good results? What is the first thing a freelancer needs to do to get more clients and interesting tasks? How to ensure comfort and improve performance?

We described 8 steps that every freelancer should take to make this year successful.

Step 1: Review the prices for your services

Every freelancer, regardless of the field of activity, should regularly change the prices for their services. Prices should increase in proportion to how the market develops and your professional level grows. If you’ve learned new skills over the course of the year that you can use to benefit your clients, consider how they add value to you.

Why would a freelancer periodically increase the price of his work? Firstly, it brings more money, and with it more opportunities. In addition, a regular increase in the price is simply necessary for a freelancer in order to:

  • don’t burn out;
  • have inspiration to move deeper into the profession;
  • feel professional growth;
  • have enough motivation for learning and advanced training;
  • feel comfortable in the face of inflation and other stress factors.

The beginning of the year is the time to review the cost of your services.

For more details on how to raise prices so as not to lose customers, read the article:

10 tips on how to increase prices and not lose customers

In the article we talk about 10 ways to minimize the risks of losing regular customers after increasing prices for services on the Freelancehunt service.

Step 2: Update Your Portfolio

Like prices, the portfolio also requires regular updating. Let’s be honest: during the year, when we are busy with new projects, we don’t always think about it. Over this year, your level of professionalism has definitely increased, which means the quality of your work has also changed. Supplement your portfolio with new cases from the last 3-6 months.

Highlight your strengths and show how you have developed over the past year. Delete old, irrelevant works and cases in areas in which you no longer want to work. Replace them with projects that interest you and with which you plan to connect the future.

Remember that a properly designed portfolio helps attract potential clients and get 20% more new projects.

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Step 3: Update your profile information

Update your profile information. Perhaps you have new skills and abilities that you want to tell customers about. Add this information to your profile to increase your value to potential clients.

We remind you that you can fill out your resume in 4 languages ​​available on the service. Why is it important? The customer will see the resume in the language he uses in his profile. For example, if your resume is in Ukrainian, but the customer is from Poland and his language is Polish, then he does not see it. And if the customer has selected Ukrainian localization, then he will be able to familiarize himself with it.

Also, do not forget that the better and more complete the profile is filled out, the better it affects the perception of your candidacy by a potential customer.

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Step 4: Remind yourself to customers with whom you have successfully collaborated before

Leave the impression of a professional who values ​​his clients. Write to all customers with whom you successfully collaborated last year. Thank them for working together and express your willingness to consider new projects. Agree that working with old clients is always a pleasure. The project is familiar to you, the customer’s expectations are also familiar, you don’t need to find an approach to a new person.

All you need to do is write a short message and thank the overall project. This will remind customers of you and refresh contact, as well as enhance the good impression of cooperation. Write in a message:

  • what we worked on together,
  • what projects are you currently working on?
  • what areas are relevant to you.

An approximate text might look like this:

Good afternoon, [ім’я замовника]!

Let me sincerely thank you for our successful cooperation last year. It was a pleasure to work on [назва проєкту] and other interesting tasks with you. I’m interested in doing new projects.

Now I’m doing:
[послуга 1].
[послуга 2].
[послуга 3].

You can check out my updated portfolio on my profile. I would be grateful for the opportunity to discuss new projects and mutually beneficial conditions for our cooperation. Thank you for your trust.

If someone you know is looking for a specialist in [ваша галузь/послуга]I will be glad to receive a recommendation

Best wishes,
[ваше ім’я].

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Step 5: Plan your vacation for the next 3-6 months

It’s important to take a break every now and then to regain your energy and avoid burnout. A tired person becomes less attentive, works slower, and finds it more difficult to recall the necessary information in his memory. Accordingly, productivity decreases.

Indicate vacation dates on the calendar and notify customers if necessary. This will allow you to set up your work schedule and prepare clients for your absence.

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Step 6: Provide a comfortable workspace

Your productivity depends on the convenience of your workplace, and create a space where you can work effectively. If necessary, update the necessary equipment and create an atmosphere conducive to concentration.

A few simple rules on how to arrange the space around you for health benefits:

  • Choose a comfortable orthopedic chair, because you will spend all your working time in it. Sitting on a stool is not only undesirable, but also dangerous. In this case, there is no support for your back, and very soon you will feel tired and uncomfortable.
  • To avoid unnecessary strain on your body, ensure that your computer, keyboard, and mouse are positioned correctly. Also, consider the height of the table and chair to ensure comfortable seating and back support.
  • The light should illuminate the workspace evenly and not fall directly on the monitor, otherwise you will have to constantly strain your eyes. If you work in the dark, it is important to ensure sufficient light levels and correct monitor brightness settings. Under no circumstances should you work in complete darkness.
  • Make sure your workplace is equipped with reliable technology. Update your computer and software to avoid delays and run efficiently.
  • Don’t forget to ventilate the room, otherwise without oxygen your brain will refuse to help you. For the same purpose, purchase unpretentious indoor plants that are easy to care for, for example, dracaena, chlorophytum, sansevieria, spathiphyllum, monstera.

Pay special attention to mental health. Now this is very important for all of us.

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Step 7: Develop a Self-Development Plan

You’ve probably worked on different projects throughout the year. Perhaps you liked any of them more than others? Or did you work in a technology or area that interested you more?

The New Year is a good time to think about the direction in which you want to develop. Choose the skills you want to develop and set a regular learning schedule: how much time and on what days you will devote to gaining knowledge. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses annually, and then determine what new skills, technologies, or techniques could improve your effectiveness.

Develop a self-development plan, include reading professional literature, participating in webinars and courses, and obtaining new certificates.

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Step 8: Take care of financial security

Develop a budget and plan your finances for the next year. Determine income and expenses, create a reserve fund for unexpected expenses. Financial stability allows you to work more calmly and concentrate on professional development.

What a freelancer needs to take care of:

  • Create a realistic minimum and desired budget per month. The minimum includes only mandatory payments, the desired – additional expenses for unforeseen events (repairs, vacations, various force majeure, etc.).
  • Save 10% of your monthly income. If possible, deduct 20-30% of your income.
  • Accumulate funds equivalent to 3-6 monthly family budgets, taking into account loan payments. This will become a reliable reserve in case of interruption in projects or other financial difficulties.
  • Set up automatic transfers to your financial cushion on a monthly basis. This will ensure that your financial reserve grows regularly, even if you forget about it.
  • Plan your income. If they are not enough, make a table with possible options for increasing the budget.
  • Analyze every drop in income levels and improve your skills.
  • Think about options for additional passive income, even if small, so that it becomes a stable source of finance for the coming years and in the future.

How can a freelancer calculate the cost of his services?

There are several methods for determining the fair value of your work. We talk about them and the procedure for increasing prices in the price list in this article.

Bottom line

Regularly updating knowledge, updating profile data, reminding former clients about yourself, taking care of physical and mental health, managing finances correctly – these steps can turn into permanent habits that will help freelancers succeed. Take a little time to complete the items on our list and the results will surprise you.

Share in the comments what steps you plan to take this year, and what you have already completed.

We wish you productive work on the service and many new orders!

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