How to Evolve and Grow as a Successful Freelancer

How to Evolve and Grow as a Successful Freelancer

This is a guest post by Tony Solomon.

Freelancing has become a go-to option for many people who are looking to cash in on their knowledge without having to commit to an office environment.

Being self-employed means an amount of freedom that no other type of employment can offer. You get to choose the amount of work that you do. You can be picky about the projects that you do and also about the time frame that you’re going to do it in.

But to get to that point, you need to go through various stages of evolution and become a top-dog freelancer in your industry. This guide will offer some of the best tips for you to grow as a freelancer and become successful at what you do.

Set up Your Work Hours.

The most common problem most freelancers face is that they work too little on some days and too much on other.

It might seem like it is killing the purpose of freelancing. But setting up your work hours will go a long way to ensure you’re both efficient and not overworked. Because, whatever you think of it, freelancing is a job.

You can still be flexible about your work hours if you need it. However, the best freelancers out there know how to respect their free time. Knowing exactly how much time you are committing to your work on a daily basis will also ensure that you know which projects you can take and which ones you will have to skip.

Down Payment is Your Friend.

Not getting paid is one of the biggest issues any freelancer faces during his career. A simple solution for this problem is to always request a down payment for any project you take on.

Most freelancers will ask for 50% of the total fee, but you can go lower than that if your portfolio doesn’t speak for itself. Any potential clients that have a problem with a down payment, you should treat as unreliable. Carefully consider if you are going to work on their project or not.

Keep in mind that getting paid for your work isn’t only about getting the money. It’s also about keeping your reputation intact. Believe it or not, most clients will think of you as a more competent professional if you ask them for a down payment.

Don’t Hesitate to Turn Down a Project.

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It might be difficult to say ‘no’ at times, but you will have to do it anyway. Overloading yourself with work is one of the best ways to get you frustrated enough to quit the freelancing career altogether.

Having enough on your plate is not the only reason to turn someone down. If you find the job too difficult for what you are getting out of it, you should also consider just skipping it.

Sometimes you will recognize a project that is way too hard but for an excellent client that you want to keep. In these situations, you should probably consider taking the job, or at least explain why you are turning it down. Retaining good clients is extremely important for any freelancer.

Adapt as You Grow.

By growing as a freelancer, you will inevitably attract more clients. Once you start getting more and more work, you might find it difficult to keep up with the pace. This is because you probably did not invest enough time and effort to make things easier for you.

Here are some of the tips to make things easier for you to keep up with the pace.

Adapt Your Home Office.

Maybe you have pulled it off with a simple desk in the corner in the start. Now that you’re starting to grow, though, you might need to adapt your room to match your current requirements.

This usually means getting a professional desk, a top-notch computer, DisplayMe glass whiteboards to better organize yourself, good lighting, plants to keep the room fresh etc.

Organizational Tools.

Project management, finance management, time-tracking… There are a lot of things you need to keep track of when you start to grow as a freelancer. Doing all of this manually would take up much of your valuable time. Which is why you need to start using a wide range of tools to help you stay organized.

Conclusion

Being self-employed has its ups and downs but it gives you a chance to really get successful with your work.

As someone who has been a company employer for a long time, I can tell you that many times you will not get recognized for your work. As a freelancer, you will get to build up your portfolio with each project that you do and get recognition for your hard work. However, working hard may take a toll on your private life, which is often a reason for people to give up on freelancing.

If you listen to our tips, you will make sure to create a perfect balance between your work and private time. All while staying organized and becoming more and more successful in what you do.

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Becoming an Online Merchant: 4 Tips to Find the Perfect Product to Sell

Becoming an Online Merchant: 4 Tips to Find the Perfect Product to Sell

E-commerce is a booming industry and will only continue to grow in the coming years. That’s why it’s not so surprising that there are plenty of people who want even just a small slice of the proverbial pie.

But whether or not you are looking to establish a full-blown online store or would simply want to supplement your income by buying and selling items on the side, you have to pick a product to sell that would, well, sell.

With the right marketing strategy, one can argue that anything and everything can be sold online. However, the real challenge is finding a product that is conducive to success. How do you find that product? Here are a few pointers.

Finding The Ideal Product to Sell

1. Target Hobbyists and Collectors

You’ll be surprised by just how much money hobbyists and collectors are willing to spend to fuel their passions.

If you have a knack for finding rare items, you’ll be a big hit with collectors. Whether they’re interested in action figures and toys, lapel pins, first edition books, stickers, sports cards, or even antique dinnerware. Just make sure that everything is legitimate.

Meanwhile, there is no shortage of hobbies on which people willingly invest their time and money.

Some of the more popular ones include biking, fishing, knitting and crocheting, calligraphy, model building (including radio-controlled vehicles), and handicrafts. Look for a leisure pursuit where you can act as the product-based solution and you’ll easily enamor yourself to these customers.

2. Something Hard to Find or Can’t be Bought Locally

There are some things that can be easily found in a local grocery store or a specialty shop — say gardening or baking supplies. But what about specialty foods, magician’s accessories, eco-friendly products, and fandom items?

Most likely, people will go online to find these. You can enlist the help of Google Trends and Google Keyword Tool to get a glimpse of what kinds of products people are searching for online and use the results as a guide to pick a niche product to sell.

You can also try to sell products that can’t be bought or difficult to procure locally, like Japanese Kitkats, the “three-story” alfajor Oreos, or Asian beauty products. The latter, in particular, is a good place to start since a lot of products are only available in select countries or regions but are available through wholesale Asian cosmetics websites. Do the hard work of sourcing these products (and offer them at reasonable prices) and see just how much your customers will love you.

3. Star with The Accessories Before The Big-Ticket Items

When people buy big-ticket items such as 4K TVs, high-end smartphones, and gaming laptops, they buy them only once. Their next purchase of these kinds of products will probably be in the next two to three years.

These are big investments, after all, and people are much more reluctant to spend huge amounts so often. However, accessories are much more common purchases and people are relatively more agreeable to spending more often on these items. Especially when they’re meant to increase the performance or ensure the longer life of the bigger product.

Think about HDMI cables and switchers for TVs, charging cables and power banks as well as cases and protectors for smartphones, and gaming accessories like a mouse, a keyboard, and a good pair of headphones.

If you already sell the big-ticket items, then it’s a wise decision to add the accessories to your online catalog. If you’ve yet to choose what to sell on your online shop and/or you have a limited capital, you should consider selling these kinds of accessories first.

4. Consumables Mean Customers That Keep Coming Back

Consumables mean that you will have a steady customer base and a rather reliable revenue stream. What’s more, when people need to order products from you regularly, it’s much easier to build a loyal customer base.

Think about specialty cooking ingredients (Himalayan pink salt, anyone?), supplies for arts and crafts, and even cosmetics. Just make sure you’re able to deliver each and every time, since you don’t know when your customers will run out of their stock or order in bulk in advance.

Of course, choosing which product to sell is just one part of a thriving online business, since you should also take into consideration the demand, potential competition, and reliable suppliers, among others. However, it’s also undeniable that finding a saleable item is a huge contributor to your business success. Good luck on your journey as an online entrepreneur!

If you're into ecommerce, you might be wondering what product to sell on your online store. Here are 4 great ideas that are sure to make you money and bring you loyal customers: #ecommerce #onlinestore #makemoneyonline #sidehustle