So you want to be a freelance online worker? great! You should, however, be ready for the challenges that almost every newbie has to go through, clinching that first client. Many people have started and had their freelancing career stagnate at this stage. I come bearing good news! You do not have to stick at zero jobs! Here is a simple guide to help you bid and clinch that first vital client.
It is always good to remember that potential clients want just one thing from a freelancer: the ability to deliver. If you are able to prove that not only can you do a great job, but can also stick to deadlines and bring in a touch of creativity, people are more likely to hire you. Follow these six simple steps to help you land your first job:
First things first! Create an outstanding Profile
Just registering yourself on a freelancing site is not enough these days. Prospective clients want to see evidence of your ability to deliver. In fact, this is why newbies lose out to more established freelancers 90 percent of the time.
However, once in a while a client will take the time to research freelancers who have offered to do the job at a lower price. This is your one chance to impress the client, and the best way to do so is by having a top-notch online profile.
Your profile is your online face. Make it as attractive as possible. We earlier had a comprehensive article on this. Click here for the article on creating an outstanding profile
Choose your bids wisely
At first, newbie freelancers either try to bid on every job they see or go straight for the big projects.
However, for beginners, it is advisable to
· Read the qualifications and job description thoroughly before you bid.
Please first ensure that you qualify for the job before bidding. Do not waste your time or connects or credits bidding for a job where you will definitely be rejected. For example, some clients categorically request for experienced people, if you are not qualified, avoid such a job. In writing, some clients ask for native speakers of a particular language, if you are not a native speaker of the language, avoid the job.
Also read the job description thoroughly. Do not take on a job that you cannot do, or a job that you will not be comfortable doing. It would be very bad to later send apologies to your first client after landing the job. The client might post some negative remarks that will ruin your chances of ever getting another client.
· Go for projects with less competition
Newbies have to realize that they are not very marketable. As such, it is good to bid for jobs that do not attract a lot of competition. This includes avoiding high paying jobs or ‘comfortable’ jobs that many people want to go for. Clients offering lower pay are likely to be less choosy with inexperienced freelancers.
· Avoid complex or advanced projects
As a newbie, it is unlikely that a client will award you a job that is complex unless you can prove in some other way that you are competent enough. This could be through providing samples of work done from other platforms or from private clients. A client will hardly trust a newbie to do a good job on a complex task.
It is also wise for you as a newbie to avoid such jobs. Failure on the first job is very bad. Get some experience first before venturing into complex assignments.
· Look out for projects where newbies are welcomed.
Many clients welcome newbies to bid for their jobs. These are usually clients who have a low budget. They might pay lower but they will help you get some experience. They are also known for giving very good reviews that will help you attract better clients in future.
· AVOID projects where the client is not verified.
Many online platforms help freelancers identify credible clients by showing clients that are verified and those that are not. It is advisable to avoid jobs from unverified clients. You might waste your time and credits bidding for a job only to realize later that the client is a con. Some of these cons have very flowery or enticing job offers, eg clients advertising very easy jobs at very good rates.
Some clients will ask you to do an unpaid test first, which is okay. However, avoid jobs where the client is asking you to do a test that will be very demanding.
Also be careful with clients who say they will pay for the test if they accept it. Do not do a test that looks like it is the main work. A test should just be a small sample that will not take much time.
· Ask relevant questions
Clients look for a freelancer in part to make their lives more convenient. Do not waste their time by asking too many general questions about the project. Instead, read through the project description very carefully and send all relevant questions at one go. This shows you are intelligent, well organized, and knowledgeable.
Learn from your mistakes
Every bid you lose should teach you how to refine your pitch message or profile. Depending on the freelancing site you are on, you may be able to see just what the winning bidder did differently that landed them the job. Then, adopt those lessons to make your bids better.