It takes a certain kind of person to succeed as a freelancer, and if you’re a webmaster you know the competition is fierce. Not only do you have to keep up with deadlines and client requests, you also have to make time to search for new gigs and keep your skills updated. The most successful freelancers work well over 40 hours a week but will tell you it’s worth it. They can cherry pick their projects, work whenever and wherever they want, and have freedoms the nine to fivers can only dream about.
That being said, it’s not all roses as a freelance webmaster. Sometimes you’ll get stuck with a gig that’s not worth the trouble or get frustrated when you’re working on Thanksgiving because your highest paying client isn’t in the US. However, there are some tactics you can use to improve both the quality and quantity of your work. Here’s how to get started.
1. Take the lower paying gigs
There are many ways you can get compensated and “experience” really does count at times, but be careful with this. If you want to learn more about search engine optimization because you know that’s where the money’s at, you have to start from the bottom. Take increasingly difficult SEO gigs where you can learn on the job. It might not pay what you’d like, but you’re essentially getting paid something to learn a marketable skill.
2. Start networking
This means having business cards on you at all times, engaging in LinkedIn communities, and maybe starting a WordPress blog. There are more ways to network now than ever before, so go both traditional and virtual. Attend local networking events or check out a conference geared towards your industry. As a freelancer, those travel costs are a write-off as long as it’s business related.
3. Search and apply for gigs every single day
Even if you have a full plate, there’s no telling when you might go dry. Research the best places for your industry, scour them every day, and apply for anything that matches your needs. You never know when you’ll find the next great client.
4. Take at least one rest day
There should be at least one day per week (preferably two) where you don’t work at all. No checking your email or finishing “Just one last detail.” If you’re not rested, you won’t do your best work and your clients can tell.