Without further ado…
Tips I Wish Someone Told Me When I Started Out As a New Freelancer
– If you’re going to accept jobs up to a year in advance, please quote a price that you think you’d quote a year later. Why? This is because you don’t want to kick yourself for having quoted low, when your skills or (camera) expenses grew much bigger and better over that time.
– If the customer asks straight out “How much?” without really looking at what you can do, that usually means they are price-shopping and out to get the best for the cheapest. Beware!
– ALWAYS get something in black and white. NEVER accept anything based on a handshake or spoken agreement. Things will never go well for you like that.
– Prepare a list of deliverables. Advise that there will be extra charges if they want more things than what was agreed on.
– Get a 50% deposit before you start the job. This will “lock” them into the contract with you, and they cannot suddenly tell you that they don’t need you anymore… And make you a fool by having started work on their stuff already.
– Ask for testimonials especially if they say they like your work. Do it as soon as they say that. Cus fuzzy feelings don’t last forever, and they may get lazy to give you one. Testimonials are important because it’s what potential clients will want to read to find out if they should deal with you.
– Learn to reject work. It’s really ok to. Sometimes, work or money from a lousy client can really give you low morale, especially if they are more trouble than they’re worth.
– Some work, you can see if you want to do it cheap or free. But only do it if it’s for a really good friend, or someone who can recommend you to another you’ve been eyeing, or if you just want to add that kind of work to your portfolio.
Another tip or two, which I hope will be useful for fellow freelancers, in terms of getting sales…
While you’re trying to win the sale or deal, think and appeal more to your client’s wants and present to him the benefits of hiring you. Don’t sell what you want to sell to him. Sell him what he needs, and you’ll sell better.
Almost everybody, including you and me, will think “What’s in it for me?” if I:
– Hire you?
– Get you as my bf/gf?
– Let you work on it for me instead of my friend/relative?
– Sponsor your uni event with either goods or cash-in-kind?
– etc etc
Determine what your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is. Being expensive is a USP (like Apple). Being cheap is also a USP, but I’m not sure how long you’ll be able to survive that way…
Having phones with exploding batteries is also a USP… But probably not in the way of getting sales. *cough*
Maybe even having a website that loads slowly is also a USP. It might leave you with people who urgently want to fulfil a need that only your website can provide. But I don’t really advocate a slow website though… We’re already used to (spoilt?) on fast loading stuff. And people run out of patience after 3 seconds.
Having a USP helps prevent you from being another me-too business.
In your messages or sales letters to potential clients, count how many times “you” (including words like “yourself”, “your”) is used inside. If there aren’t many, your message will feel very cold and impersonal.
Remember, you’re a person selling to another person!
Just count how many “you” words I used in my earlier comment to get the message across.
Did it speak to you? Leave a comment!
To a better life for you,