Become a Successful Freelancer

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If you’re still working, could you do some of your work from home? If you’ve stopped working and are staying at home with your kids, did you leave your employer on good terms? Or could you pick up more work elsewhere?
Plenty of stay at home moms do contract or freelance work here and there. Maybe you like to write-so you publish a small article in a local paper and earn $50. From that success, you search for freelancing opportunities on the web and you begin making a freelance income.

Perhaps you used to be a software engineer and were downsized. You email all of the people you know, and someone offers you a part-time, work-from-home contract doing technical support.

If you worked in day care or as an elementary school teacher, consider babysitting part-time for some extra income. Or open an in-home day care, managing child care part-or full-time. A friend of mine does this for schoolteachers-and she gets the summers off too! Think about what you USED to do for pay, and find a way to work a few hours here and there.

Here’s the glitch: YOU HAVE TO ASK FOR THE WORK. The work doesn’t come to you (unless you’re very, very lucky). If you don’t ask, you don’t get. And women in our culture are very shy about asking for work. We’re trained from a young age to be less aggressive and less assertive, and so we lose out on opportunities.
What’s the worst thing that happens if you email forty former colleagues to let them know you’re available to be a virtual assistant, working from home. No one emails you back? Then you know they don’t need your services.

But what if you get one response? More than one? Then you’ve used “networking” to your advantage. Networking is a fancy word for asking the people you know for opportunities. That’s it. But if you never ask, you’ll never receive.

If you get too many responses, then it’s a mixed blessing. On the one hand, you want to take on everything. On the other hand, you might have limited time, and you always want to produce quality work for people you know.

What do you do?

Price accordingly.

This means raising your prices according to the complexity of the job. If there’s a job that’s been pitched to you that you really don’t want, price it as high as possible. One of two things will happen: the client will say no, or they’ll say yes and you’ll earn more than you’d ever dreamed for the job. Sometimes the pain of a job you don’t want is worth a very high pay rate.

The biggest mistake you can make, though, is to price your jobs low and take on too much. A good freelancer never makes this mistake. Once you’ve found the leads, be certain to balance quality vs. quantity vs. earnings, and you’re on the road to a healthy freelancing career.

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