The successful freelancers have certain characteristics, qualities and an approach to freelancing that is so different than not so successful freelancers.
Have you ever wondered why some freelancers are more successful whereas others struggle to breakeven?
I have met some of the best individual freelancers as well as not so successful ones and has interacted with each of such freelancers at a various point in their freelancing careers. The successful freelancers have certain characteristics, qualities and an approach to freelancing that is so different than the not so successful freelancers.
So here are 10 qualities of freelancers that I found makes them a successful development freelancer.
1. Listen to Clients
For any business, to success, one should listen to the customer and see what are the major pain points of the customers. Freelancing is no difference.
I see freelancers like to make a suggestion very early to clients but the most successful of freelancers are more happy to listen to their clients in detail before making a suggestion.
It helps them understand the pain points of their clients in a much better way. Treat client as important and build the expertise by listening to them.
2. Problem-Solving Capabilities
As a developer freelancer, if you wish to continue programming, you need to have the problem-solving capabilities. If you are stuck at a point, you should be able to find a solution or at least a work around the problem.
The problems may not be all related to programming. So one should be ready to deal with those non-programming problems like related to accounting, taxation or even installation of some tricky software.
3. Creative Thinking
There is no denying fact the technology space and more so for the programming expertise is fastly disruptive in nature.
Hardly anyone knew about some of the popular JS based frameworks a few years ago. You have to keep the creative thinking on and be prepared for the needed changes in your expertise to be able to be a freelancer over an elongated period of time.
4. Long-Term Vision
In an hourly pricing structure, the more a freelancer works the more money he can make. If one doesn’t have the right vision, one can end up taking a lot of work to be able to make extra money.
He may not say no to any of the work thrown at him or he may not work towards increasing his value by enhancing his expertise and only work towards the short term benefit of making more money now.
5. Negotiation Skills
Negotiation is one skill every freelancer has to develop over time and if he doesn’t he may end up getting paid too little for his time.
It is one skill that every freelancer develops over time but successful freelancers make sure it doesn’t take too long to have the right mix of negotiation skills.
6. Communication Skills
The better a freelancer can communicate in emails and proposals, there are higher chances of winning more clients.
If you are able to communicate your expertise in a proposal easily, you have higher chances of winning the client’s trust and win projects.
Communication and command over the English language can give the much-needed edge for a freelancer.
7. Open for Delegation
Even if you are the best person to get something done, it is not all about getting things done yourself. Taking help from others to get it done either via outsourcing or hiring can be the difference between break even freelancers and ultra-successful freelancers.
Apart from getting things done, a freelancer is good at, one should also look to delegate work to complement services to provide a much larger set of services. A web developer can delegate web design aspect and vice versa.
8. Focuses on Self-Education
Self-education is the most important aspect of being a so-so freelancer or an ultra-successful freelancer. You need to keep up with the learning curve and often take a step or two back to take the big leap forward.
Self-education can help you achieve it. So it is important a freelancer allocate the right amount of time and right kind of efforts to self-education.
As a freelancer, unlike jobs where you may be paid even for taking the training, you have to learn without getting paid and this is when most freelancers make a mistake and aren’t ready to take one step back for a leap forward.
9. Passion for Freelancing
Freelancing doesn’t mean working all the time nor it means you can be too laid back either. You have to keep the balance of work and personal life and plan towards the long-term vision.
So it is important that one enjoy working from home.
10. Has Developed an USP
Last but the most important aspect is, don’t be “yet another” person who does the same thing as every other freelancer does. Over time look to develop your unique part of being a freelancer.
As a developer, after a certain point, you won’t be hired only for your programming expertise but also for a better communicator, attitude, problem-solving capabilities and more for the clients like working with you.
You are unique on this planet and so make sure your services also has the unique combination of all skills put together that very few of the other freelancers can provide. It becomes your unique selling proposition.
Further Reading …