As a Librarian, Information Scientist, Search Engine Optimizer, Freelancer, and a Blogger, I’ve done a lot of wrongs online.
I’ve learnt and walked on to the next phase of learning, which ultimately is applying what I’ve learnt from my past failures over again.
If I fail again, it wouldn’t matter.
I can try over and over again.
And so can you.
Freelancing is becoming more and more popular today.
A lot of freelancing companies are kicking into place and there are millions of freelancers on the Internet looking for one same thing – projects.
As a freelancer today, there are things you ought to know and do to stand out.
If you don’t, you might fade into the dark and lurk forever.
To thrive in the business of freelancing, you have to be better.
But how do you become a better freelancer?
How to Become a Successful Freelance Writer in Nigeria
Here are six (6) ways to become a better freelancer and to boost your productivity as a freelancer.
With these tips, you should be able to thrive fast, get more projects, and become a pro in no time…
1. Desire to Learn More and Get Better
You must desire to be better at whatever you do in anyway, unless you’re planning to fade out of business.
As a freelancer, you must have a desire to be current and learn all that you can.
There must be a desire to improve and get better.
Firstly, there are tools to make your work as a freelancer easy.
Get acquainted with these tools.
Even if you don’t get to use all of them, or become an expert in all of these tools, know their basic uses and how to use them.
Tech solutions are born by the day, and there are several other things you’ll need to learn, but it’s a daily process.
One at a time.
To become a better freelancer in Nigeria, you’ll need to harness tools that will increase your productivity in general.
Stay informed and be open to learn new things.
How Do I Become a Successful Freelancer By Learning More?
By always carrying out researches and surfing the Internet, there’s a ton of information you can assimilate in one day.
The Internet is full of both junk and quality information.
You’ll have to filter the good ones by fact checking information items or content, and by comparing the information you get from several sources.
Do not ignore something, or anything you seem to know nothing about as a freelancer.
On a second note, you can learn from freelance friends who share same idea as you.
From these set of colleagues, you’ll be able to know what tools are best use, and for what purpose.
You would want to be friends with freelancers that are into your type of service.
For example, as a writer, you wouldn’t want to make friends with freelance programmers or web designers.
Although you could learn bits of new stuff, but when you make friends with freelance writers, there would be a lot to talk about and a lot to learn.
2. Be Professional
To eventually get to becoming a better freelancer in Nigeria, you need to be professional.
You, and maybe your clients, know you’re working from home.
But it shouldn’t be a yardstick to be unprofessional in every way.
You should have a good portfolio, and this is one of those things that earn you respect from your clients.
Your deliveries should at least be standardized, and neat. Make every project count, like it’s the last one.
Do your best to not disappointed your clients with excuses and delivery errors.
Your choice of words also make a lot of difference here, but that will be something for another point.
The higher your ratings are, the better for you, and your professionalism, coupled with a neat portfolio adds up to boost this.
Do not speak of quality you can’t present. Let your words be as you say them so you don’t raise the hopes of your clients, and leave them disappointed.
3. Be Confident
There’s a huge need for confidence as a freelancer.
You must always show confidence whenever you approach buyers or have a discussion with them. Buyers are able to spot lack of confidence even in your write-ups.
Old customers come back to patronize your services because they have seen your abilities and are assured of your quality, you get new customers because you are able to convince them of your abilities.
And in order to convince a buyer of your abilities, you must show every glimpse of confidence while bidding for jobs.
As a freelancer in Nigeria, there’s every need to be confident.
If you’re not confident, you may not get old customers to come back and give you more projects.
Confident leads to loyalty, and when you’re not confidence, it takes forever to convince your clients to patronize you more.
When clients are made to write reviews about you, it is your confidence in yourself and the quality of your service that they describe.
Confident freelancers get more ratings, and appear to be more professional.
If indeed you know what you do, and you’re sure of your quality, why on earth would you not be confident?
While you bid for jobs, your confidence also reflects in your bidding rates.
You don’t bid $140 when the budget is $1350.
It is your confidence that determines how you approach your customers, convince them, and get them to talk about you in a positive standing. Be confident.
4. Build Your Customer Service Quality
Freelancing is done between humans, and wrong things are bound to happen.
Sometimes, even the best freelancers get into hot trouble with their buyers, and most times, the newer guys in freelancing have their necks tied with client complications.
As a freelancer, there will be times when you don’t do the best job for clients and misunderstanding step in.
You should learn to resolve issues with care and not just cut out your client.
This will result in bad ratings for you.
Building customer service quality is one attribute that is very important to every freelancer.
You will challenges and may encounter some troublesome clients who by every means would try and earn you bad ratings.
Carefully taking care of the situation may avoid a lot of trouble on your side.
For example, you have a project from a client which would earn you $3,000 dollar in a week.
This project could be writing an E-Book with two characters, or professionally administering and optimizing a product fan page on social media.
If you end up doing things wrong, it leads to a problem.
Doing things wrong isn’t always the fault of the freelancer.
You’ll have to carefully explain to your employer without creating further problems.
If you’re the one at fault, rendering apologies and offering to do a better job would be best.
If you’re not at fault, let the client know and give him enough reasons to believe the fault is not on your side.
There could be faults arising from miscommunication/bridge in communication between you and the client, or arising from personal complications.
Again, some clients may threaten to rate you negatively as a way to make you work more.
This should be related and handled through the right procedures made available for situations as this.
5. Never Sell Yourself Cheap
To make good sales on any freelance company, you’re gonna bid the lowest, right?
With so much freelancers getting into the game of freelancing online, it’s getting more and more difficult for newborns to make their first sales.
Out of desperation, they become down-to-earth cheap. But being cheap doesn’t guarantee a first sale.
Do not devalue the quality of the services you render just because you’re desperate to get your first freelance project done and earn your first bucks.
Sometimes, clients run away from cheap freelancers who bid the lowest.
Like consumables and durable products, the more expensive a bid looks, the more quality that comes with it’s delivery.
The top professional freelancers don’t go cheap. Why should you.
Although, some clients may find it very pleasing to contact you based on low bid and low budget in hand (for the clients).
Sometimes other clients go for the top stars, with the highest bids.
Bottom Line: Don’t compromise on your quality, and value.
It doesn’t make things look good in the long run, and short run.
Maintain your quality, and the sales will come. Opportunities will come your way, don’t sell yourself low, or cheap.
6. Develop Good Communication Skills
Communication is the bond of life.
It is generally the sharing of ideas, messages, content of all sorts between people and getting different responses or reactions.
As a freelancer, developing a good communication skill is very pertinent.
You must not just learn and master good communication skills, you must learn how to communicate positively.
What is Positive Communication?
Positive Communication is the transfer or transmission of information content to one or more persons in such a way that positive reaction or response is expected.
This depends on your use of words, and the emotional state of the person or respondent of your message.
It also happens that you send positive information to someone and they react negatively because of their emotional state.
What is Negative Communication?
Unlike positive communication, negative communication has a lot to do with the transmission of information content to one or more persons in a way that triggers a negative response or reaction.
Catalysts of negative communication are basically negative information content, and poor mode of transmission or poor attitude in transmission.
You can pass a positive and accurate information to someone in a negative way, thereby trigger a negative reaction or response.
How Can You Improve Communication Skills?
You can increase your communication skills by:
1. Listening More
When you listen often, you become more intelligent by noting every little piece of information one has to say or pass across.
Become a good listener.
It will help you receive information clearly, process them, and most times give the best answers.
2. Thinking Intelligently
In communicating, don’t be quick to give answers.
Let your mind walk through and process a lot of facts and details before you spit it out.
3. Making the Right Choice and Use of Words
Don’t stress it.
Jargons don’t help at all. Using all the grammar you know in conveying a simple message will leave people in the dark.
At the end of the day, you’re communicating with no one.
Read through this blog, I make sure I’m not using words that will make people run to their dictionaries.
Write and speak in a way that a 5-year old can easily understand.
Here’s a quite outline of the 6 tips to becoming a better Freelancer in Nigeria today:
- Desire to learn more and get better
- Be professional
- Be confident
- Build your customer service quality
- Never sell yourself cheap
- Develop good communication skills