The end of the year is almost coming and, all of us, young or old, hope that their good behavior since the last Christmas was noticed and Santa Clause will offer to them beautiful gifts. This part of the year is in the opinion of a lot of people the most beautiful (honestly I beg Santa Clause to give me a year full of Christmases because in this way all people are kinder, open to other’s problems and feelings).
We are 7 billion people and all of us are different; somebody as God, Allah, Buddha (I put all these so as not to offend any religion) created each human being with individual parameters, no one is perfectly identical with another human and that is completely awesome, all of us are original, we are our own separate mini Universe. In spite of that, there are individuals with common ideas, hobbies and interests – somehow they are forming a community.
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Last year I asked Santa Clause to bring me a client or a project, I was feeling that I can’t be called a freelancer and I can’t be part of the freelancing community without it. Hopefully, Santa Clause considered that I deserved the gift requested and my wish came true; this year I am generous and I have asked Santa Clause for another thing – to inspire me to write an article for the ones in my previous situation, for the ones who want to become a freelancer but still have no clients. I am happy again, Santa Clause has inspired me to write this article, which I truly hope to help those people who need it.
Santa Clause told me that, first of all, an amateur freelancer should ask for some moral qualities in order to become successful or have clients. Not all of the next qualities are fully required, but it’s easier to fulfill your wish if you are gifted with these. Apparently, these aren’t very important in a world which is moving faster and faster, but Santa Clause has emphasized the qualities below as the bricks of a serious foundation.
The generous old man told me that only the patience of the amateurs can save them from working in vain. Any beginner should understand that the transformation from an amateur to a person who likes to do something at a professional level, which can ensure a serious income from this passion, is an enduring process which takes a lot of time and, more importantly, a huge number of hours spent working.
As your career as a freelance writer unfolds, patience is required on three dimensions:
This is a wasted day of a beginner: reading and learning new techniques and wasting time on bidding on tens of job boards; completing the portfolio with new pieces and waiting for a reply from any of the potential customers but nothing happens. This situation is repeating for weeks and months, will it become a whole year? The guy who is pushing his morale to the limit is ready to explode and abandon the course, what should he do now?
Unfortunately, only very few very talented freelancers manage to have clients instantly, most freelancers should wait for a period and, yes, it could take a long time (even a year) to get a real project. It could happen for that person to lose trust in his/her powers and have to deal with a mental problem, saying, “I am not good enough to have a project to finish, I am a loser”.
Self confidence is the single keeper against this embarrassing feeling so ask Santa Clause for it.
Santa Clause has many gifts for those people who were good but he can’t replace the hours of hard work along a day. All beginners should understand that the main advantage of a professional freelancer is the experience, which is based on work. This thing can also be seen by studying his/her own evolution: for example, in the beginning, it could take someone a few hours to write a sequence but over the year, the same sequence of code could takes only few minutes, it is all about the experience, but the fact that it is the result of the effective work is often ignored. Experience isn’t only a difference of years; it is a difference of mentality, capacity of work and how to see the big picture. My personal advice is to work hard and you will gain the experience you dream of, without waiting for a chimera from your TV set to say to you: “hey, you’ve got enough experience, take a break”.
A lot of my days start with the quote: “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. I totally agree with the most intelligent man ever born, Albert Einstein. I always pray God and ask for health and imagination, as it is the tool of every intelligent man, to complete Einstein’s idea. The actual situation favors those people who find quick and original solutions and this is all about imagination.
Being creative and having a strong imagination are the main ingredients when it comes to being original, which is a huge advantage in taking on a first project. In all your works, try to train your creativity, never prefer automatisms and quit any source of boredom. Start to be creative today and try to imagine Santa Clause in the most unexpected situation, for example.
A good design remains a good design over the years in all the regions of the world, but there are also trends, the features which are fashionable today and tomorrow are only vivid history. To obtain projects and clients you should do quality work, which should remain remarkable over the years but at the same time is both commercial and fashionable. A visionary freelancer has to understand the trends of the future so it is highly important for an amateur to have a portfolio based on the actual and future standards.
Unfortunately, a lot of clients want to be commercial and even if many web designers don’t agree, the clients are always right. A guy who wants to become a freelancer should pay attention to all the requirements of the age and of the clients to make some money.
The job boards are a real job market; here, we have an offer and a demand, in fact there is a real economy. This perspective comes from a freelancer, usually a very good specialist in something, a “semi businessman”; because he must have a financial and promotional strategy, he also should deal with many clients and know how to pay taxes. Unfortunately, no one can pay a tax without having a client and, before establishing an economic plan, it is better to have a diplomatic policy, your own way of treating customers. Diplomacy is an art which is not for all kinds of people, but practicing it can be a solution; the Internet is full with good freelancers and awesome portfolios, ready to take your clients, so be diplomatic and tolerant with any potential customers. Think that diplomacy can sometimes substitute the talent! (but don’t take it as a solution)
The problem of effective power is universal and all the people want a continuous improvement but the human nature only allows this with strong efforts. Efficiency is the virtue of a strong will and a healthy mentality based on work and continuity. I think Santa Clause should give me and you better efficiency!
Santa Clause also told me that these aren’t enough and there are other important things to do; he remarked that he will help all these guys who will try to improve some aspects like:
Regardless of the field of activity or the level reached, all freelancers need a strong and competitive portfolio, as this is the definitive element that helps any viewer make the distinction between a high quality provider and an amateur one. It is a very common idea that between a beginner and an amateur there is a relationship of equality, but this is false. A beginner is usually an amateur but there could be happy exceptions and it all comes from the existence of a strong portfolio. More precisely, the portfolio is that piece that can solve the entire puzzle; a client looks at the previous projects not at how many years you have spent on job boards or looking for various jobs.
Another key factor which Santa Clause has emphasized is the way how a beginner freelancer, but it could be generalized to all the freelancers, is presenting his/her portfolio. There are two major possibilities:
Santa Clause is helping you but you should do the same. A beginner who has a nice portfolio and good skills, but who hasn’t tried to make some buzz around him, is the one who will never have a client. Advertising is everywhere and the online medium is the best place for it. Freelancers and their clients are everywhere, there should be something which connects them and this role is played by advertising.
Any beginner must be aware of this and try to be very active. Many good freelancers have said that a very good method of becoming well known is still the word of mouth, but it implies the existence of a previous pleased client and, be sure, somehow the numbers of projects awarded are represented by an exponential function, today one small project, the next month two and after an year you have projects to refuse (considering them as being not important and unworthy). Taking a first project is a mental limit but once someone has passed it, things are seen more clearly. Maybe a solution is to email your advertising strategy to Santa Clause to check it and say what is wrong.
This point is linked to the previous but it needs special attention due to the amazing expansion of this phenomenon. Statistics reveal that more and more people pay attention to a lot of social networks and the average time spent on these is growing. Many specialists say that social media is the wager of the future and this could be translated for beginners as a new way to create a buzz and turn into a well known authority in your field.
I have let this to be the last because it is the most important factor in the equation of succeeding as freelancer; all the qualities presented or the necessary things are in vain without a solid background and good skills.
Let’s suppose that there is a beginner with all the qualities from above but with very decent skills. A client surely will be attracted by him and will give him a task; how will he succeed in finishing this? The answer is sad: he won’t manage and everyone is put in the situation of wasting time and resources, which is pretty bad, isn’t it?
On the other hand, how could a portfolio look amazing with the skills of the owner being mediocre? I am afraid it can’t be possible!
Santa Clause reveals me another fact, and he said this is not only for me, not only for beginners, not even for all the freelancers, it is for all people and we all need it: the hope and the power to remaining optimistic in all the situations. The real success isn’t represented by a huge number of projects awarded or the money received from finishing them, you are truly a specialist when people see you as an authority who knows everything and, more importantly, they are feeling that you are always their hope and their best adviser. These persons who are seen as the best in their domains aren’t truly the best and much more they aren’t perfect but they are always happy and optimistic and any impossible task for us is a good challenge for them. The message of Santa Clause is very clear: keep your way and don’t look back, you don’t have a client don’t worry, you have a nice family ready to stay with you and help overcome any problem and someday a client will ask for you. Be optimistic, never be sad, believe it or not, Santa Clause needs your smile to give you the best gifts. In fact, Santa Clause wants two things from every beginner:
I hope that you like this gift from Santa Clause and me, it will be fantastic to motivate you and give you “super powers” and if it really helped you, let a comment below, it is your gift from you to me.