“DIRECTION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SPEED. We are so busy looking at our speedometers that we often forget the milestone”
Step into the corporate world and you’ll be amazed by the turmoil and hullabaloos that come with it. The job rules are often unsaid and unexplained. You make mistakes, learn from them, and if you are lucky, you get an awesome mentor to guide you.
But what if your faith isn’t with you? You come HERE. Yes, I am not scaring you by telling these harsh realities but just making my words more impactful. So, you are here because either you want to start as a freelancer or you end up here because you think it’s the best start. You have a desire to be independent, being your own boss or building a personal brand.
This seems attractive but one has to fight and work tirelessly for it. You may often think that being a freelancer at your home client will come right away to your door. But, remember ‘freelancing job is also a job’, there’s nothing fancy about it until you make it. You have to take up few steps to climb the stairs to reach the freelancing platform.
ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR SKILLS
For far too long you have blamed the college, the companies, the government, the society, the fate, and the neighbor’s dog as reasons for you still not finding a stream; maybe it’s time for a little introspection and checks, if you yourself have some blame to share. This is the most important part.
You first need to acknowledge your skills and your knowledge and interests and if you don’t find any interest, develop one. This responsibility is you alone to shoulder. You need to acquire skills in whatever field you choose. Now the time is to research in the desired field, build projects, work with the people associated with it, work with your peers, friends other organization and gain some REAL knowledge of the desired field.
Confused about your true passion? Projects or small internships will help you find a lobster. I do not think there is any other quality so essential to the success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature. – John D. Rockefeller
Like most field, freelancing is all about networking, now this isn’t a technical term but it simply refers to reaching out your contacts, professional networks, discussing things with the people who you think will have any knowledge of the stream.
“Do not announce your move until you make it”, but this simply doesn’t mean that you do not even take the pain to know if your move is in the desired direction or not! . Unlike the popular notion of “Burning Bridges“, you’ve to nurture your professional network. Don’t be surprised if your first job as freelancer comes from your previous employer or the college head of the department. This job, In that case, can be your classroom and work as a foundation for your career.
You can find a mentor in the network; ask them to review the work/ dummy projects and give feedbacks.
Now that you have skills and network you’re closer to work as a freelancer.
BEING THE BRAND
The best thing about being a freelancer is:
‘Your Identity is Your Brand’
You need to create an online presence which will help your potential clients to reach out. Make sure they’re aware of what you’re offering and what is the best that is yours and that you can offer them. You need to update all the social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora etc accordingly. Provide a contact information, a website or a blog with your portfolio. Add few references that can help. Get your business cards and be ready to talk about the work you do and yourself more often.
Learn some basic marketing and accounting skills, talk to friends who are already making money through freelancing.
Start with a tiny project and the best time to start is NOW !!.
“Making and selling things is quite hard. You can’t just show up and win; you need to ramp up slowly.” – Justin Jackson
THE ADVENTURE RIDE
Now that the Brand is ready, start looking out for jobs. This might be a slow-moving process, instead of getting stressed introspect your offers. At first work on project/job expecting limited or no money at all. This is to just make connection sharpen your skills and showcase your talent.In a time when your age is 19 and the market demands work experience of 20 years, it becomes important that you gain some experience before stepping into the market as a finished product.
These resources might be helpful to start off:
Once you have built a quality portfolio and demonstrated your work it’s time to hunt bug offers. Serve the clients with generosity, build a rapport. Businesses will start taking you seriously about your specialization. Your career will see a boost. In the long run, you can either be choosy about your project or take projects in volumes, both are keys to success. With time, you’ll be able to create a Brand which clients and businesses will look up to.