From freelance hobby, to freelance career. 

When starting off freelancing it’s always the initial growing pains:

  • “This project is too small”
  • “My clients keep abandoning me!”
  • “I need long-term gigs…”
  • “How do I get bigger clients??”

It’s safe to say most successful freelancers experienced all these pain points. So how do you begin to move past these issues? By taking one step at a time!

Here are some tips that worked well for me.

Small projects: These may be nice at first to get your feet wet but, at long-term I found them to be more of a headache. Simply put,  I avoid them. The time you spend on communication time alone could be spent finding ideal clients.

Abandoning clients: Reading clients is a skill. You don’t need to accept every client that comes your way. Here are some of my big red flags:

  • Look for a quick turnaround time. Planning went wrong somewhere to need rush work, better not get involved.
  • Alluding to any sign of micromanagement (a freelancer is not an employee)
  • Bad communication. Lots of phone tag? Days waiting for a response? Not good at explaining their needs? Nope, move along, highly doubt that would improve.

I can go on and on,  but you get the idea. Feel them out first!

Long-term gigs:

  • Get in on the ground floor. Look for new projects where you can build an amazing working relationship.
  • Do great work (cliche right?), but works! The trick is to make sure they’re aware of that great work. A lot of amazing work can (and it does…) go unnoticed if it’s not communicated. I’d say it’s OK to over-communicate in this case.
  • Set a minimum. Tell them upfront that you’re looking for something long-term and expecting to build a relationship. Something like “I’m looking to allocate my time for the next 4 months and hopefully within that time build a great working relationship. How does that work for you?”

These first few steps should help in the process of going from hobbyist to pro!

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