Tips for Securing High-Paying Freelance Gigs
So, you’ve ditched the office cubicle with its hum-drum atmosphere and water-cooler gossip to become a lucrative freelancer!
And as a freelancer, you envision working from home (or favorite coffee shop) and living the lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of…there’s only one problem.
How do you land high-paying freelance gigs so you can afford the life you’ve always wanted?
It’s true that the gig economy continues to grow, and the internet provides more opportunities than ever before to find high-paying freelance jobs.
Whether you’re a designer, web developer, writer, or any type of creative, you can make a good income by working as a freelancer.
However, to really secure those high-paying gigs, there are a few steps you should take to stand out from the competition.
Here are 5 tips that you need to follow in order to secure high-paying freelance gigs:
#1. Understand Your Professional Worth
One of the biggest mistakes freelance creatives make is undervaluing their work. You’re so desperate to break into the freelancing world, that you’ll take just about any job to get started.
And, for a while, that works.
You rack up a few smaller jobs here and there. Maybe you already take advantage of the best platforms for freelancers online.
You work and work, but the jobs never seem to add up to the amount of income you really need.
Your problem isn’t your work ethic. Your problem is your confidence.
You need to know what you are worth and approach potential clients with the confidence to negotiate a rate that reflects it.
If clients sense that you are nervous or unsure, they will feel nervous and unsure about hiring you or paying you a lot.
On the flip side, if you project confidence, clients will feel that you are a professional and know what you are doing. They will be more confident hiring you and paying what your expertise is really worth.
How do you build this kind of confidence?
The first step is to spend some time researching industry-standard rates for services like yours. That way, you won’t be scared to ask for the going rate.
Be sure to also keep in mind that higher-paying clients often come with more complex projects, so you may need to adjust your rates accordingly. There are a lot of different approaches to setting rates and talking to clients about money . So, do your homework and find a system that works for you.
Knowledge is power, and power builds confidence.
Remember, you can project confidence even when you don’t feel confident.
Sometimes, you fake it until you make it, and eventually, talking about money and rates will become second nature to you.
Don’t undersell yourself!
#2. Build Your Professional Network
If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know that I talk a lot about the importance of networking.
Networking is always good for your business and is a key way to attract paying clients.
Of course, you can attend meetups and make connections with people in the same field as you.
You can also actively participate in online groups and forums to help develop your professional network.
You can share your work and communicate with other freelancers to learn what works and what doesn’t.
But, how do you turn networking into a good profit?
Understanding certain tips for networking as a freelancer can make all of the difference.
When building your professional network, you need to be prepared, proactive, and professional.
That means, you’ve done your research, and you come to the table knowing your worth, ready to make a good impression, and always offering value to potential clients.
You are ready to answer these three key questions:
- Who am I?
- What do I do?
- What makes me unique?
Potential clients want to know why they should hire you as opposed to anyone else.
And, they also want to know what value you will bring to their business.
So, be ready to explain clearly why hiring you will bring value to their business.
In the meantime, don’t forget that networking is really all about building relationships and trust with people.
Take advantage of referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations, and don’t be afraid to offer to collaborate with others or take a paid gig that may be a stretch for you so you can get the experience you need to move up to those higher-paying jobs.
The more people you are able to work with, the more you’ll be able to build relationships that bring long-term, profitable results.
Just keep in mind that for networking to pay off, you will need to hustle and keep at it.
#3: Develop a Professional, Polished Portfolio
When you first start freelancing, people don’t know you. They don’t know your skill set, and they don’t know what value you can offer to them. So, why should they hire you?
In order to convince clients that you know what you’re doing and can really add value to their business, it’s essential to have a portfolio that shows off your talents and skill set.
But, how can you build a portfolio when you haven’t gotten any gigs?
One way is to offer to do a few projects pro bono, or for a reduced fee. Does a family member need an updated website for their small business? Do it for them.
Is a local organization trying to raise money for charity? Offer to help them with free marketing.
Not only will you end up with a project to include in your portfolio, but you’ll also get a true testimonial (and maybe a few referrals).
Another way is to find smaller jobs on freelancing platforms that may not require a portfolio.
Some of the best freelancing platforms are often willing to work with new freelancers and will give you a chance to gain experience and add to your portfolio.
As you work these smaller gigs, you can be building your portfolio with examples of your work as well as client testimonials.
The more jobs you successfully complete on these platforms, the more traction you will gain in the freelancing world. Soon, you’ll be attracting bigger and higher-paying clients.
No matter how you build your portfolio, keep it updated with your best work and include tangible metrics like feedback, end-client testimonials, and results.
Show potential clients that you have the experience to deliver with excellence, and make sure to use relevant, eye-catching visuals to capture their attention.
#4: Create and Maintain a Professional Website
You also need to have a professional website for potential clients to go to.
This is where you can showcase your portfolio, list your past projects, and provide more detailed descriptions of your experience and skills. You can also provide links to any online reviews or comments so that people can get a better idea of the kind of work you do.
Designing and creating a professional website takes some thought and expertise.
We’ve all clicked on those websites that are just too confusing, unorganized, or hard to navigate. And, what happens? We move on to find another option.
You don’t want that to happen when people visit your website. You want them to stay, look around, learn more about what you have to offer, and ultimately, choose you.
That’s why your website is so important when it comes to attracting and keeping clients. First impressions must impress!
It’s crucial to have a good web design so that your website accurately reflects who you are and what you have to offer.
This is vitally important when trying to attract high-paying clients. In fact, so much is riding on this that it may be worth your while (and money) to hire a professional website developer, if this is not your strong suit.
Once you see the traffic start flowing in from your website, you’ll be glad you put a little more thought and money into it.
Whether you do it yourself or find professional help to design and develop your website, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. It has to work efficiently and be easy to navigate on mobile devices and tablets. Otherwise, you’ll lose potential clients who get frustrated.
- Your website should reflect your personal brand. Branding for a freelancer is essential to attracting the clientele you want, and your website is part of building your brand.
- Don’t overkill. Keep graphics, colors, and content simple so that clients are able to focus on you, not on a flashy (and overcrowded) website. Use the “Rule of 3” to minimize distractions.
- Keep the most important information up front. What do you want clients to see and know about you immediately? Keep in mind that they may only glance at the first page before deciding whether or not to move on.
Browse other people’s websites until you find some that resonate with you. Ask yourself what you like about them and what you don’t like. Keep a list.
Then, take these ideas and begin to build your own website (or take these ideas to a professional who can build them for you).
#5: Conduct Yourself Professionally
Finally, in order to attract, impress, and keep high-paying clients, you must be able to conduct yourself professionally at all times.
This doesn’t mean you can’t relax or laugh with a client, but it does mean you need to be aware of how you conduct business.
High-paying clients expect a lot more out of you and won’t be willing to work with someone who is disorganized and unreliable.
They expect you to stay on top of communication, deadlines, and all the other details of your projects.
They expect you to be up-to-date on the newest innovations and trends in the freelancing world.
If you show up late for a meeting or forget to send an important email, your chances of keeping high-paying freelance gigs will soon disappear. After all, high-paying clients are paying you more, so of course they expect more.
So, make sure that how you are conducting business meets their expectations, and develop habits that will help you be successful as a freelancer .
In reality, you should be conducting yourself professionally no matter how much they pay you.
All clients deserve your best efforts.
If you want to make sure you’re properly taking care of your clients’ needs, find a system that develops good habits and that works for you. Then, stick to it.
By following these 5 simple tips, you can start to position yourself to secure those high-paying freelance gigs.
Most importantly, remember to set your worth and use networking to find ways to stand out from the competition.
High-paying clients won’t come to you unless you make the effort to let them know you’re available and ready to deliver.
Then, make sure you have a polished portfolio and a professional website. You may only get one shot at showing what you can do.
High-paying clients aren’t going to stick around while you try to convince them that you can deliver. That’s what your portfolio and website should do - convince them (often in a glance) that they should hire you.
Finally, develop habits that highlight how you conduct yourself professionally.
High-paying clients don’t want to waste their time and money. Show up on time, communicate effectively, and then deliver what you promise. Once you follow these 5 tips, you’ll begin to attract the types of clients and high-paying gigs that you’ve always dreamed of and you’ll be living the freelancing life you always wanted.
Thanks for reading!
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Juan Cruz Martinez
Juan has made it his mission to help aspiring developers unlock their full potential. With over two decades of hands-on programming experience, he understands the challenges and rewards of learning to code. By providing accessible and engaging educational content, Juan has cultivated a community of learners who share their passion for coding. Leveraging his expertise and empathetic teaching approach, Juan has successfully guided countless students on their journey to becoming skilled developers, transforming lives through the power of technology.