The internet has changed everything when it comes to employment as it has no boundaries. Every time I hear someone on TV complaining that there are no jobs in their town I think “why are you not on the internet?” because there is a real demand for freelancers at all skill levels online. How much you can make will obviously depend on your skills and reputation and it could take a while to make “real money” but isn’t that time better spent than hanging around waiting for a traditional job?
If you’re not familiar with freelancing essentially job sites like freelancer.com or elance connect companies who need a job completed with workers who have that skill. The main point is that they don’t care where you are located and you can get started straight away from your own home. There is a wide range of jobs from the simple like writing an article or blog post to high level asp.net programming. But how can you make the most from this opportunity? Here are a few tips to help.
Stand out from the crowd
There can sometimes be more than 50+ freelancers applying for the same job, but that doesn’t mean they are all qualified. One of the main qualities employers look for is effective communication, so if you are a native English speaker mention this at the very beginning of the application. Also if they have specific points they want you to mention in the application then you need to follow that exactly, I would say at least 50% of applicants don’t even read the job description properly as they’re just applying for everything, differentiate yourself from this crowd.
The real money is in repeat business
As you can probably tell already the bidding process to get jobs can be quite time-consuming and frustrating. So when you do get a job your No1 aim should be to get repeat business from this employer because it’s the only way to make real money. If you’re spending all of your time finding and bidding on $40 projects that’s not time you’re getting paid for, so put in the time to over-deliver on any project where there is a chance of repeat business.
A real skill lifts you above everyone else
Even though there are thousands of other workers on these freelance sites there’s big difference in skill-set between many of them, and obviously you will make more for certain skills. I’m not saying you need to learn to program in #c to make more money often you can just improve upon what you do already. For example if you’re a standard content writer your competing with plenty of others who are willing to write for 1c per word, but if you can write magazine quality articles with real insight your services will be in demand year round.
Be on time & communicate
There’s nothing worse for an employer than a freelancer who doesn’t deliver on time and if you want repeat business you must avoid lateness. It’s true that sometimes unforeseen circumstances may delay you but at a minimum you should communicate to your employer what is happening and when you expect to be done. It’s important to realise that your employer may have deadlines too and your lack of time-keeping can seriously mess up their schedule.
Freelancing can be a bit intimidating at the start when you see how many other workers you are going up against. However I feel that there are many ways to stand out from the crowd like those listed above. For me the most exciting aspect though is that this is a legitimate way to make money on the web today and it’s not dependant on your location, with the right clients freelancing could be the answer to your financial issues.
About the author: Pablo is the internet marketer and web designer who runs EMO, a blog dedicated to making money online through blogging.