Working freelance is quite an attractive option for those who are tired of being stuck in that “9 to 5 cycle” and are not very fond of working under anybody else’ supervision. However, there are a number of stigmas attached with freelance work as well, for example work life balance, but more importantly, the freelancers are found complaining of not earning as much as they expected to earn.
In the following article you will find some tips that will help you get your hands on good projects in your freelancing career.
Let your resume do the talking
A good resume is the first step towards getting better offers. Even if you don’t have enough qualification, your portfolio, set of skills, interests and distinctions can make your resume stand out. Figure out what are you best at, and make sure that your resume and skill set is in line with the current trends. Even when you are adding your hobbies, don’t put “playing football” or “gardening” in there, instead think of something related to the nature of job. Highlight your strengths, if you don’t have high sounding degrees, start from your work experience, or vice versa.
Work on your Portfolio
Majority of the employers, before hiring freelancers, will ask for some samples of the work that you have done in the past. You should be having a carefully compiled portfolio ready for this. Not spending enough time on your portfolio can spoil it for you. Many freelancers lose some very fine deals just because they think that samples and tests are mere formalities. Once you’ve passed the stage of proving yourself, you will be on stronger grounds to negotiate, because now the employer will realize that losing you would mean losing a source who knows his stuff.
Once your resume and portfolio are fixed, you’ll move on to step two, where you will have to negotiate with the employer. Following are some negotiation tips.
1. Money matters
Negotiating with your employer is one of those times when you don’t need to be humble (though you still need to be practical), you have got to be a little ruthless instead of trying to be gracious. Remember that money matters, and it happens to be the biggest motivation, so when you agree to a less than justified payment, you will actually find yourself compromising on the quality of the work. So don’t be shy while negotiating. Those who are apprehensive about discussing the payment are often underpaid. If you wish to be as happy, satisfied and well paid as a freelancer, you’ve got be more confident about your demand.
2. Hold your Bids
Try not to give your expected rate before knowing what the employer is willing to pay. It is hard to figure out the right amount for a particular project, more often than not, you will end up giving a low expected amount than what the employer might have offered, just because you are desperate for the project. If you know what the employer is ready to pay, you would be in a better position to know if the mentioned amount suits you or not.
3. Keep your emotions out:
Negotiation is not about stating a fixed rate and sticking to that, at times, the employer might start with a ridiculously low salary, that doesn’t mean you should stop responding. Remember that just like you, employer will be trying his best to protect his interest and save as much as they can. Keeping it on a friendly note is a must. Losing a job is not as bad as losing your temper. Things may not workout eventually between the two parties but if you were friendly, the employer may contact you in future for another project with a better rate.
4. Know your worth
Don’t under or overestimate your skills, you must be having an idea of what’s the market price for the skill set you possess. No employer would do you the favour of paying more than what you deserve. You can start from a higher amount but you should keep the average rate in mind, and once the employer agrees to pay that much, you should consider taking the project.
5. Act indifferent
During negotiating process, it is important that you maintain a neutral expression, showing that the deal matters a lot for you will give the employer room for some exploitation. Negotiation is a game of nerve and who ever has patience, will win the deal.
Authored by Susan Smith
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