Where can you find a freelancing job online here is my favorite Freelancing website
Building a successful freelancing career requires patience. You need to have clear goals, determination to learn new things, improve and dedication to achieve those goals. Every freelancer has their own unique goals, some want to make extra cash on the side and others want to make a full-time career out of it, whatever your goals are you have to understand that freelancing is not a get rich quick scheme, where one day you decide to freelance and end up with lots of money! That will not happen with freelancing.
Patience is the key to a successful Freelancing Career
Yes, it gives you the freedom to be your own boss, set your own work schedule or take a day off whenever you want to, but it also requires you to have a good work ethic, daily work routine, good attitude when communicating with clients and be consistently on the lookout for new projects. This is where many people struggle when they start freelancing, they get the wrong ideas from the very few people who achieved instant success and forget the fact that those people spent their whole life arming themselves with the necessary knowledge that makes it easier for them to acquire a client & deliver on projects. Sometimes it’s also not easy to land the first project with all the knowledge and skills you have, it takes time to get noticed and showcase your expertise. That’s why it’s very important to combine freelancing and full-time job when you are starting out, you have to wait patiently until you make enough connections & client base.
Don’t make the mistake of quitting your full-time job to early, I did that! And I remember struggling to support my self as a freelancer, which tested my patience and even tried to look for a nine to five job at some point. That’s when I realized that in order to have a freelancing career & be happy, you have to have something else that’s important for you, which can take your mind off from all the free time you will have. Unless you are very lucky to land enough projects every week, you will have a lot of free time on your hands and you should do whatever you can not to be idle. Working on a full-time job with a comfortable work environment, steady & safe income will definitely help you build a better freelancing career.
Research, test, and stick to the one that works for you
There are many ways that you could freelance, you can work with local clients & build a reputation, or make a work connection with international clients over the internet, create a blog or eCommerce store, on this article I want to focus on freelancing through a freelancing platform – which are a marketplace where businesses, employers & freelance workers meet. Simply they are websites that make it easier for you to connect with employers and they make money by taking a cut from both the client & the freelancer. You should take some time to research which platform to focus on, every freelancing platform has its own business model, pricing plan, terms & conditions, contract type, and withdrawal methods, you have to take these into consideration before deciding on a platform that fits your income & client expectations. Here is my favorite Freelancing platform that I have had the chance to test for my self.
Upwork, formerly Elance – oDesk
The first time I heard about oDesk, I was skeptical. In fact, it took me over a year before I focused all of my energy to complete my profile and apply for projects. I remember signing up on oDesk website and taking a test called readiness test – which I managed to pass thanks to online free test answers. Then they require you to take skill tests to complete your profile, back then I was so naive that all I wanted to do was join the platform & start working. I found all the testing & profile completion steps daunting, adding to that I wasn’t able to successfully set up a payment method, which made me decide freelancing was not for me. After a year things were not good with my full-time job & I was determined to try every freelancing opportunity I could find, I studied for the skill test, applied for an online payment method – Payoneer and completed my profile within weeks. I was able to land a very small translation project for 5 USD and to this day I don’t think there is a better Freelancing platform than oDesk – which merged with Elance(another freelancing website) to form Upwork. I loved the design, simplicity and easy features of oDesk, Upwork is somehow similar to that old website, but I still prefer the oDesk. Around the same time, I found out about Elance which at that time was a platform with better-paying projects & clients. As a startup freelancer, I did great with both oDesk and Elance, till they were rebranded as Upwrok in 2015.
Here is what I like about Upwork;
- Escrow protection – according to Upwork, escrow is a neutral holding place where they put money aside until the project, or piece of the project, is done. This is a great thing to have when freelancing online, you have to be confident that you are going to get paid for a job done, without it you have to put your trust in the client’s will to pay. The protection ads a level of security to the payment processing for both fixed-price & hourly jobs and helps you focus on delivering a quality execution to the project by not worrying about getting paid.
- Tracks all of your projects & Payments – You might think it’s easy to manage freelancing projects and track your payment from clients, but it’s not that hard for it to get out of hand. You only appreciate this feature when you work with translation companies, they have a 60 days payment policy after final submission and if you work with multiple clients, you have to keep track of which company you have worked with, prepare payment request & send reminder emails to finance department, which consumes energy & time. With Upwork, you will apply for a job, if the client wants to work with you they will send you a contract, you will accept and then the system does the rest.
- Earning withdrawal Options – You can have high paying projects or clients, but if you can’t withdraw your earnings to a convenient payment method freelancing on a platform is worthless. On Upwork there are many withdrawal options, recently they have also added withdrawal to a local bank account, personally I like to use online payment methods like Paypal & Payoneer. Setting up these payment options on Upwork is very easy as long as the accounts are registered to your name.
Nowadays, Upwork is making it difficult for new freelancers to join in, which I believe is a downside to the platform. If they were doing the reviews to make sure that only the best freelancers are joining and improve the hourly & fixed rates, it would have been a great decision, but the site has already too many freelancers & rates are very low on categories where there is fierce competition. If you are skilled and can outshine, Upwork is the perfect freelancer for you.
How to build a successful Freelancing career with Upwork
The first rule to succeed in Upwork is not to think of it as a hit and run opportunity. You have to plan for the long term, build a reputation and acquire decent client feedback, review & execution rate. As soon as you join the platform you should take the time to create a professional profile & portfolio that clearly showcases your skills & expertise. I strongly advise you to give extra attention to your title and overview, which will help you capture the attention of potential clients. And when applying to a job, you should read the clients’ instructions & descriptions of the job thoroughly, which will help you write a better application letter, clients on Upwork respond to a well written, on-point application. And you have to understand that it’s okay to offer lower hourly & fixed price rate when you are starting out on Upwork, there are already too many freelancers in every category and you have a slim chance of getting noticed by a client for an interview, so lowering a rate for the first couple of projects is not a bad idea. Always respond promptly to a clients message, there were instance that I lost a project to another freelancer because I wasn’t able to reply on time; some clients will wait to receive application or messages from every freelancer before they assign the task, but others don’t have the patience to wait, so they will assign the project to the fast replying freelancer available. Promptness is also necessary when applying for a project, submitting your application for a job within the first hour of the client post will definitely increase your chances of getting hired. The best way to get notified when a client posts a project in your category is to set up a job alert notification, there are many ways you can achieve this, you can make a search for a job & Save that search then go to Settings > Notifications settings and configure your email notification, in addition to that you can install the Upwork mobile app which will send a push notification in your phone, but the best option for me is to use RSS feed reader services, RSS is a web feed which allows users and applications to access updates to websites in a standardized, computer-readable format. Overall you will need to be dependable and have a strong attitude towards quality, for me working for a 5 star than the money helped me focus more on the quality of my deliveries – which in turn helped me acquire new clients. But you should also consider the type of service you provide in Upwork, I am a top-rated freelancer with 100% execution rate in the platform, but since my service is a translation my 5-star ratings or badge doesn’t make me stand out or land high paying projects. There are certain services that have a low bar for a new entry, Translation is one of them, there is no such thing as an experienced translator – at least on the eyes of Upwork clients. It’s a trend that I am seeing in every freelancing platform, clients want to get work done fast and they don’t really care for the quality as long as it’s quick & less costly, so focusing on a service that requires higher threshold for new entrants will help you create a long term successful freelancing career. The thing about freelancing is that it gives you the freedom to learn an entirely different skill from what you already know, try to research high paying services on Upwork and signup for online classes or learn it through Youtube, as long as you are able to acquire the necessary skill no client will ask you to provide a certificate or recommendations – the possibilities are limitless, all you need to have is the dedication & courage to try new things.
I hope you find this article useful and you can use the information to build a successful or satisfactory freelancing career, on the other hand, you have to understand that freelancing is not for everyone and it’s okay if it’s not for you. Yes! it’s important to try out opportunities, but you don’t need to squander your precious time looking for the next big opportunity, just focus on whatever you are doing, work hard and success will come. I actually believe success is on behalf of the beholder! I mean many successful Upwork freelancers will laugh at my profile if they compare my earnings to theirs, some freelancers make a ridiculous amount of money on the platform and their goals are very different from mine, for me whenever I receive a 5-star rating it just feels Christmas! I feel successful and proud of my profile, but it will not be the same for other freelancers or even for you. So you have to set your own goals, have to have a clear vision about what you want to achieve on the platform or any other freelancing platform. If you find this article useful please feel free to leave your feedback, and you can use the comment section below or Contact Us page to send your inquiries, I will try to respond to them within a reasonable time frame.