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Freelancing can be a great way to build multiple revenue streams, to stay employed and happy at your work, but it can also be difficult. Freelancers face specific challenges in building a business, creating business processes like advertising and billing, and generally doing all of those things necessary to get and keep clients, stay organized and remain successful. Here are three big areas where freelancers can improve their businesses.
Have a Financial System
One big problem with freelancing is getting paid by clients. Many freelancers have a wide variety of clients, and sporadic work that comes in unpredictable waves. That makes the work difficult to track, and adds other challenges. Most freelancers need a versatile and consistent invoicing and billing system and other ways to track finances, both short-term and long-term. Get more ideas about the best financial tools, such as Mint.com for financial tracking, from pages like this one at DoubleYourFreelancing.com, and build more efficient processes, so that you can focus more on your core work.
Show Off Your Skills
This is another major part of success in almost any freelancing job. Potential clients or customers won't know what you can do unless you show them.
One easy way to do this is with an online portfolio. Portfolios collect past work for former clients and present it in a way that's easy to access and evaluate. Today, lots of hiring managers are attracted to portfolios because they save time in choosing the right freelance candidates. Look for portfolio tips from this resource at Freelancer’s Union.
Other ways to show your skills include building a freelance web site displaying prior work, skills and experience, or networking within an industry, for example, at public events. Some physical networking can be extremely helpful in getting your name out there and getting more “brand visibility” in a particular community, when you desperately need it.
Lots of freelancers like to cast a wide net, thinking that they will get more work that way. However, some experts are now suggesting that it makes more sense for lots of freelance workers to specialize in one segment of an industry.
One rationale is that if you don't specialize, clients are likely to pass you over for the kinds of specialized quality jobs that, in many industries, constitute the best of what freelancers are trying to get. For example, if you are ‘just a designer,’ clients can choose someone else who specializes in a particular type of design.
Freelancers don't have to settle for just one specialization, but often, differentiating a portfolio from other more general or generic ones can get better results. Get more on the benefits of specialization, including better work flows and easier research, from Productive Writers.
Big moves like these separate freelance writing careers that just limp along from those that shine. Invest time and energy in a freelance job to get beyond some of the biggest hurdles that freelancers face.
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