Building a Successful Freelance Career: Tips for Self-employment

5 min readJun 30, 2023

Freelancing is a type of self-employment where the person or individual earns by working for themselves rather than for a company or another person. Thus, a freelancer is a self-employed person running a one-man business. To further explain, a freelancer provides services to customers or clients on a contract or project basis.

Being a freelancer has many benefits, such as taking on numerous projects with multiple clients and choosing their own work schedule, working from any location (most freelance jobs are online), asserting their own prices, etc. There are also a few disadvantages like paying their own taxes, health insurance, pension, etc., solving problems by themselves, covering their own leave and sick pay, and possibly getting irregular payments.

Freelancing is not an easy occupation choice, but it can be extremely beneficial if you put in the right amount of effort to succeed. There are numerous ways to successfully build a career in freelancing, some of which in this article will be covered.

Choose your niche/target audience

As a freelancer, it is important that the services being provided to your clients are specific. This is because it helps you provide exceptional services to your client that could lead to you getting referenced by them to other potential clients.

It also helps your target audience identify your services and brand and recognize that your services relate to or suits their needs.

Practice your skills as often as possible

The demands and patronage from clients will always be present because of the level of skill you have invested in the services you have offered them. In order to keep that same quality, they enjoy about your service — you must practice your skills as often as you can and upskill on less demanding days.

This will make your clients more interested in your services and attract more clients from your target audience. It is also a good idea to keep yourself up to date on the worldwide advancements in your field or even negative trends that could possibly impact you and your business.

Get the right tools

You couldn’t be a one-man business if you didn’t have the tools needed to provide the services you hope to assure your clients you can deliver. Whether it’s a laptop, a strong internet connection, a good camera, applications, or electricity, it is important that you get the right and useful tools essential to support the start of your freelancing career.

This is not some advice to encourage you to borrow or take loans to start because there are making factors that will determine your success and ability to earn well immediately. As long as you prioritize the essentials first, that will enable you to deliver a stellar service; you are doing it right.

Market yourself

Remember that you are your own boss as a freelancer, meaning it’s up to you to put yourself out there, attract and reach to clients, gain an audience knowledgeable about your services, connect with other people in your field, provide services that lead to you earning from the jobs you take.

There are several ways to do this: Create a blog, write about topics related to the niche you offer services for, and post about them on social media or professional platforms like LinkedIn, email marketing, and so on.

Draft your freelance contract

Regardless of the type of service you choose to provide, a freelance contract is extremely useful and needed to legally cover whatever has been agreed on by yourself and your clients.

Your contract should protect you from non-payments, potential legal problems, among other liabilities. You can find several templates online that you could use to draft your own business contract.

Join freelancing platforms

There are several if not numerous freelancing platforms available for you to join and find clients from, especially if you are interested in working for foreign clients. Fiverr, Upwork, and PeoplePerHour are some of the most common freelancing platforms you can join to begin your freelancing journey.

You don’t have to limit yourself to these sites either; you could check for jobs on other job posting sites like LinkedIn, Google (to get job notifications), Indeed, and MyJobMag. With both choices available, always conduct a thorough research about the client for whom you intend to work for.

Create a good work schedule

Depending on the clients you work with, some of them might not be working in the same time zone as you are, which is why it is important to create a good work schedule that helps you deliver results on time and attend to the client’s requests at the time they are available.

Make sure to set working hours and follow them. You could make use of project, task, or time management tools like Notion, Trello, Evernote, and Todoist to stay accountable.

Negotiate your pay well

Multiple clients paying for your services will eventually cover all your bills, but that shouldn’t stop you from negotiating your pay per client if your net income ultimately won’t benefit you.

Let your clients understand the value of your services so that if you need to negotiate your pay, the client isn’t put off entirely.

Build a network/audience

Just because you are your own boss doesn’t mean you need to do or know everything alone. Reach out to other freelancers that work in your niche, create an audience that knows about your work, and grow to enjoy what you do.

You get to learn and connect with others and understand what makes your brand valuable to people. This might result in a high degree of consistency, constant upskilling, and a larger audience, which leads to more recommendations and clients.

These are just some of the tips we have for building a career in freelancing. If you are interested to learn more about this topic, check out other resources on the internet and make sure to follow us to get similar content like this. We wish you well in this journey of yours. Thanks for reading!

Seun from UPFOLIO.




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