How to succeed as an online freelancer
When I tell people that I work from home, they all go like, “girl you must be lucky to work from the comfort of your home.” Well, I ain’t complaining, but far from it, there is neither luck nor comfort parse’. Working from home or in an office is all the same except for the environment. You see, online jobs are less like 8-5 jobs. Only great part is that you are your own boss, well, except that your clients will always act like your bosses. Plus you also get to choose your own working schedule.
The first time I ventured full time into working online, I was super excited that I forgot I had to work extra hard to pay my bills. I remember I was so late for rent that my landlord called. Having just come from 8-5 which is actually 6-8 when you put in the hours spent in traffic, I was overwhelmed by the freedom and flexibility. I would wake up at 10 am and binge all day on movies instead of getting work done. That call from the landlord was a wakeup call. I realized that work is work regardless of the environment.
How to succeed
To succeed as an online freelancer, you must be very disciplined. No one is there to boss you around so you must boss yourself around to ensure that work is done and the client is happy. Your main aim is to keep the client satisfied so that you have a constant workflow. You will know you are disciplined when you receive an email or message alert coming in and you don’t check until you have finished the task at hand.
You must be good at time management. The saying ‘time is money’ has never been so real like when you are working online. All jobs have deadlines that are super strict; failure to meet the deadlines warrants you no future engagements with the client. Competition is super stiff. It’s up to you to plan your time in such a way that you can still afford a social life and time for personal growth. Online freelancing can make you introverted. Planning your time well will assist you achieve so much yet living a normal life.
Purpose to network online. Just like we attend events to network, so do online workers. We participate in social groups and virtual forums where we network to keep ourselves updated about our industry as well as look for jobs.
You must have great typing skills. One of your greatest tools will be a keyboard hence knowing how to use it to your advantage is key. Luckily there are a couple of sites that you can train and improve your typing skills for free.
Technology is ever evolving, and so you cannot afford to be static. This is from diversifying to learning new skills to increase your skill set, and finding better and smarter ways to produce high-quality work. Learning is continuous as they say; it’s the only way to stay ahead in the competition. There are very good and countless resources online that you can use to enhance your skills, most of them are freely available.
Commitment and Consistency
I cannot stress enough how consistency is critical in the quality of work. Be committed to your hustle, your clients and above all be committed to success and success will be your portion.
You must have successful people that you look up to in this industry, and not necessarily monetary success. Read about them, follow them on social media platforms, subscribe to their emails and newsletters, and watch their podcasts and YouTube channels; follow every bit of their lives. There is so much you can learn from them without even physically meeting them or even contacting them. Most successful freelance writers I know are always happy to share their success journeys.
As you see, being your own boss requires so much sacrifice especially in the beginning. It is not a walk in the park as it seems. Yes, the money is there in plenty, but the dollars come at a price. When you don’t see me hanging out as often as I used to know it’s the price of dollars that am paying. You see, working for yourself is so addictive because you get motivated by the fact that you earn all that you toil for. No splitting of profits and no overheads besides internet and electricity bills. You also get to save so much because you are indoors all week so no spending on transport and lunch, which weighs so much on employed people.
But yes, the freedom is there. You dictate when to take time off and vacations. Like recently I took a maternity leave of 8 months! Who in the world will give you such a long maternity leave?
Daisy Chepkoech is a Freelance writer, Transcriber and Trainer. She is also the Marketing Director at Dake Business Solutions . Daisy holds a Bachelors degree in Communication and Media Technology from Maseno University.