If you’ve finally taken the plunge and launched your freelancing career, then there’s probably a lot of different things weighing on your mind. The uncertainty of leaving a full-time job is going to be one of them. After that, there’s countless factors which are going to be integral to your success you’ll need to worry about. One of the most important things for any freelancer is to maintain a certain degree of professionalism. Here’s a few valuable tips on this.
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One of the most basic things you can do for your professional image, which a lot of freelancers unfortunately neglect, is running a very tight ship when it comes to your social media presence. While social media has done a lot of great things, it’s also made privacy a little hard to assure. After entering your name into Google, pretty much anyone can find out all about the person you are outside of your professional life. Yes, that keg stand may have been impressive, almost as impressive as the time you stage-dived headlong into a mosh pit. However, if your prospective clients see these things, they’re not going to be convinced of your skill or professionalism. Be sure to set up a separate social media presence for your freelancing work, and be very careful about what you post on your personal one.
Another important move to maintain your professionalism is to keep certain standards for whenever you’re interacting with clients. When you’re liaising with an established or prospective client, and whether that’s in a skyscraper or your own home office, you need to have certain standards that you won’t compromise on. Make sure you look presentable, and have no distractions going on in the background, even if it’s just a video conference. When you’re discussing a job, have a set of questions you ask and options you offer consistently. Even if you never see the client again, consistency is very important for professionalism. You may even want to consider investing in outsourced services like a registered office address. What is a registered office address? That’s a subject to fill a whole other post.
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Another smart move to improve your professionalism is to try and grind down the negative stereotypes which a lot of people fix to creative freelancers. Being creative is bad enough, let alone trying to go self-employed! A lot of people perceive freelancers as being lazy; unwilling to work full-time and treading water to resist getting a “real” job. Even after hiring you, some clients may hold onto these unfair assumptions, so prove them wrong! Make sure you’re always on the mark for deadlines, and make sure you’re available to be contacted throughout the course of every project. If you set yourself lunch hours, then tell your clients about them. You should also be firm about the amount of changes your clients are allowed to order. A freelancer who never puts their foot down is hard to respect.
Take this advice, and your professional image will work wonders for you!