How to turn 2017 into your best freelancing year yet

02.01.2017

Freelancing is definitely not niche anymore. More than a third of the workforce in the US alone is freelancing – a trend that keeps going up. In most corporations and companies, nobody will bat an eye at the idea of getting some external help. So it’s safe to say that 2017 can definitely be your best year. It’s up to you if it does. Here are four strategies, essential to success.


 

1) Make SMART plans


The start of a new year is the right time to start making plans. But it’s not just about making any plans. Instead of making promises, drawing up vague ideas and suffering under the disappointment of your own false expectations, make the right plans:

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound – in short, SMART. If you follow these criteria, you will know exactly what you’ve planned, how to achieve it and when it should be done. And you can track your progress.
 

2) Set the right price and stick to it


Knowing how your competition works, what sets you apart from it and how much your work is worth are all aspects of determining your price rates. And getting that right is often the difference between success and failure. Don’t forget that you, as a freelancer, are part of a growing market that is in demand. So set a realistic, but fair place – for both sides.

Once you have determined a suitable rate, sticking to it can prove harder than it sounds. Some clients still have a misguided concept about freelancing and try to get you to work for cheap or for free for the sake of exposure. The freelancing market is exposed enough as it is, you can make it work and earn money while you’re at it. Other clients will straight up try to underpay you – they might think that every penny they save on you is another penny in their pockets. But sensible clients know that being cheap won’t get them quality. Remind them in case they forget.
 

3) Start collaborating


With the market growing as it is, freelancing is no longer necessarily an undertaking for the lone wolf. The idea of the lonely freelancer tipping away at their keyboard at home is one that shouldn’t determine your lifestyle if you don’t want it to. In fact, collaborating is easier than ever. Coworking spaces are on the rise, countless communities are swarming with life and great ideas and more and more freelancers are working in teams.

Collaborating is part of the future of freelancing. The biggest, most interesting and most important projects can only be taken on by great teams. And, increasingly, these teams work externally, because companies value a new perspective.
 

4) Never stop learning


Finally, freelancing is a job that demands lifelong learning. This is why many of us love it. It’s a game with ever-changing rules and no definite endpoint. It’s a journey of self-improvement. So don’t get complacent. You should always be on the lookout for new trends in your market and be willing to explore them. And don’t forget to take a look outside of your filter bubble, too. The willingness to add new skillsets to your arsenal and look at how passionate people handle problems outside of your expertise is what makes a good freelancer great.


How do you plan to tackle 2017? Let us know in the comment section below this article.

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