You know you should be working but you want to watch just one more episode of your favourite TV show. We’ve all been there at some point, where procrastination builds a wall around you and you can’t get out.
Self-discipline is saying no to Netflix and working on your business even when you don’t feel like it. It is key to becoming a successful freelancer because you have no one to answer to or motivate you but yourself. There is no other way around it. You need to learn a little self-discipline in order to achieve your goals.
Make yourself a schedule. No social media, no watching TV, no chatting while you work. Instead of letting procrastination steal all of your time, make sure you give yourself time to do what you want. Schedule this for after you’ve done your work, not before, or you’ll never do it. Use Netflix as a reward system instead of a time waster.
You need to be organised or you’ll either be overwhelmed by piles of work or see no work at all. You need to be able to organise your day and manage all your different projects in a way where you won’t forget things. You need good time management too so that you know how long projects are likely to take and can balance them with others.
Ability to sell
As a freelancer you are solely responsible for generating work for yourself. In order to do that you must be able to market yourself confidently. You need to be aware of your skills and what you can offer people. Clients want someone confident because confidence implies success. You need to convince clients not only that you can do the work but also that they should pay your rates.
Great communication skills are crucial in order to build your business. Once you’ve got clients on board, you need to be able to build a good working relationship with them. The key to this is clear communication. You should be able to explain things simply and also understand the needs of your client. Good communication between you and the client will leave them happy and more likely to return to give you more work.
You need to be persistent if you hope to build a freelance business. Get used to rejection, especially in the beginning while you’re pitching and trying to build up a client list. You’re going to have to go out and find clients, don’t expect them to come to you. With a lot of rejection you might reach a point where you feel like giving up. Successful freelancers push through this and keep on going.
Ability to delegate
Sometimes it’s impossible to do everything yourself unless you’re the kind of person who doesn’t need to sleep. Though it can be difficult to let go of some control you should probably hire an accountant. It’s generally seen as a tedious necessity and most people would be happy to let go of that responsibility. It is another business expense but so is spending time on things not directly related to growing your business. Instead of doing your accounts you could spend your time doing your actual work, the work that makes you money. So by taking time out to do your finances, you are still paying for it, not just with time but also with the mental effort of wrapping your head around taxes and bookkeeping.
Chances are research is going to be important in your freelance business whether it’s part of the work you do or not. A good freelancer researches clients before pitching to increase the chances of being hired. Whatever industry you work in, it’s a good idea to keep up to date with new trends or technologies in your industry. You should definitely think about starting a blog as part of your online presence and you will need research skills to come up with quality blog posts.
What other qualities do you feel are important for freelancing? Let us know in the comments