Sunday, 4 April 2021

How To Become A Successful Freelancer For Beginners

Today, I want to talk to you about success and particularly about how to become a successful freelancer and this is because I am hearing a lot of people believing and thinking that they don't have what it takes or they don't get the opportunity that others are getting or they are not lucky enough to be successful and if you're one of those people, then make sure you read till the end because I'm gonna share with you the seven-step formula that I have been using for the past 15 years and it has always led me to success, no matter if that meant in my corporate career or in my career as a freelancer or as an entrepreneur. 

This is a formula that I have been using for the past 15 years, and in fairness, it was not a formula at the beginning, it was just something I was doing and it only crystallized itself into a formula a bit later on. However, it has always led me to success and this is because I personally believe that success is a matter of choice and not a matter of chance, or of coincidences. I believe that each one of us is responsible for the level of success that we reach, and usually, if we're not successful, it's because we are failing to take action in one of these seven areas. So without further ado, let's get straight into the seven steps of my success formula that I hope will help you as well. 

1. Know Your Why

What's your true motivation, what is the driver that pulls you forward or that moves you forward and makes sure that you don't give up at the first challenge you will be facing, because trust me, you will face a lot of challenges, but unless you are very clear on your true motivation, you will not be able to go beyond that first proposal that gets rejected or that first difficult customer that doesn't necessarily see the value that you could bring them. So I've been using several different frameworks to figure out my true motivation, but the one that usually is the most effective is the seven levels of why, and this is something that has been initially started by Toyota and usually, they use a five-level system, however, different schools of thought believe you need to go a little bit deeper and get to your seven levels of why to figure out what is your true motivation.

1. What Are Your Key Assets?

Let's talk about skills now, because the next thing that you need to do is be very honest in assessing your key assets. You need to understand what are your true strengths and what are some of the areas where you need to improve on because unless you are very good at what you're planning to offer, it'll be very hard for you to land more customers because sooner rather than later, they'll figure out that the level of quality they're getting from you, they could get from somebody paying a lot less or for the same money, they could get a lot higher quality. 

So if you want to be successful, you really need to get very good at what you're planning to do and to offer as a service. And to do that, you need to understand your skills and to really put in the work and the effort to learn new ones. The bottom line though is you really need to put in the work and you really need to understand the concept of skill stacking, and what I mean by skill stacking is you want to maintain or develop and maintain if you don't feel you have that already, a growth mindset based on which you commit to learning throughout your life. And as you learn and as you develop and master new skills, you will be stacking skills on top of each other, which will give you an edge or a different value proposition that you can bring to your customers.

3. Your Value Proposition Is Key

I think the most important thing here is to realize that you are serving your customer, regardless of whether you are a freelancer or really if you are in a corporate job, you are still serving your customer. You are bringing value to somebody. And understanding this early on will really give you an advantage over the others, because it will push you to understand what is the need that you are trying to solve, understanding what is your customer's pain point, and figuring out how what you are offering can really solve that problem will certainly give you an edge, and unless you figure this one out, you will not be able to differentiate yourself in the ocean, really, the ocean of different similar offerings that exist in the market, because let's be honest, unless you are somebody that is really, really into innovating and coming up with really cutting edge solutions, chances are that what you are offering has already been done. 

So what you really need to understand is how are you differentiating from the others? What is it that makes you unique, and how can you best serve your customers' needs and do that a lot better than the others? So to do that, you will want to understand what is your unique value proposition, and I have seen so many people getting stuck at this point because either they just offer your usual vanilla type of service offering, which ultimately leads them to not landing that many jobs or they don't even end up offering anything because they cannot figure out what is unique about their offering so that customers are more interested in working with them rather than with other freelancers. 

So you really want to figure this out before you go into launching your services on whatever channel you will choose and we're gonna talk about that next. 

4. Commitment

Before we go and speak about the channels, let me get to the next point, which is also so crucial, and that is your commitment. Unless you have the right habits and the right level of determination to make that work, it'll be very hard for you to succeed. Your commitment and your level of determination and the level of habits that you implement in your life will be critical, and among this, another aspect that you really want to look into is your level of comfort with uncomfortable situations, because being a freelancer or being an entrepreneur will lead you to several uncomfortable situations. You will need to do things that you have not done before and by that, I mean you'll need to figure out problems and figure out solutions to problems pretty much every day and unless you become quite comfortable being in uncomfortable situations and trying out new things and learning as you go, you will not be able to succeed or at least not get to the level of success that you certainly deserve. 

5. Channels

Which I mentioned just a little bit earlier and what I mean by this is, you really need to understand where you're going to find your ideal customer. You need to understand how you're gonna reach them and what are the best channels to reach your ideal customer. Not only that, but you need to figure out what are the best ways to generate leads. So let me break that down. 

What I mean by channel is either you going and creating your webpage where you're going to offer your services, but then you need to figure out how are you gonna drive traffic to your webpage and convert that traffic into leads, or you need to master some of the platforms that already exist out there with already warm-ish leads that you could tap into. Obviously, another way that you could reach your target audience is through social media. You can either create an Instagram or a Facebook account or even a YouTube account and try and reach your ideal customer and your target audience that way as well. 

The bottom line is once you figure out that you want to become a freelancer and what kind of services you are going to offer, you figure out your value proposition and you make sure you have the right skills, you need to figure out how you're gonna reach your customer and the bottom line is, unless you figure out the right channel to reach your audience, it's gonna be really hard for you to generate leads and then convert those into actual sales, so you end up making money and getting to the level of success that you deserve. 

6. Your Growth

Are you focused on short-term goals or are you building a long-term strategy, because while those short-term wins might help you get off the ground and get you started and gain some confidence, they will not help you in the long term? Unless you have a long-term vision and you put in place the right strategy to get you there, you will not be able to reach the level of success that you deserve. 

So one thing that you also need to think about is your growth, and do you have the right level of ambition and the right vision, and the long-term strategy that will get you there. 

7. Balance

What I mean by balance is not only finding the right work-life balance but also identifying your right pace, your right rhythm. And what that means is really figuring out what is the speed that you should be progressing at? Because I see a lot of people that are delaying their progress or delaying taking steps towards their vision, because they don't feel ready and they delay getting started, and what that does is it only keeps you further away from reaching and achieving your dream and reaching the level of success that you deserve. 

So having a too slow pace will not pay off. Also, if you have too fast a pace, it will lead to burnout, so you need to understand what is the right rhythm and the right pace that you feel most balanced in, and that will allow you to really play this game in the long term.


The bottom line is, you need to start before you're ready, you need to have faith and courage, and you need to go after your dreams

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