Thursday, August 7, 2014

10 Ways to Stand Out As A Freelancer (Part 7)

This is now the last part of this article series. You may have started using some or most of the suggestions I have presented here. I'm saving the last two for the conclusion of this article because they require the most amount of effort for the freelancer.

Here they are:

(9.) Offer to teach your expertise to others.

Why not do another thing that will beef up your resume and add "Trainer" among your skills? You can do this by facilitating seminars or workshops where you can train aspiring freelancers, or talk about an aspect in your career in greater depth, and then charge appropriate fees to the participants.

Since you have the credentials and experience needed to offer such classes, you have the right to award certificates at the end of the seminar as proof that every participant did what was required from them.

You can come up with a variety of activities where participants will be divided equally and work as a team. But make sure to provide exercises where each one can hone their individual skills, regardless of the level of their aptitude.

The ideal size for each seminar is between 15 to a maximum of 20 students. The prerequisite to conducting a class is to do some research and see if your topic would stir up enough interest with the public so you can gain the ideal number of participants during enrollment.

(10.) Write ebooks.

More and more people these days are trading their business suits for the laid-back look they can sport anytime at home while still concentrating on their careers.

They value alternative learning more than anything else as the best way towards advancement. "Alternative learning" is merely a broad term that I will use to refer to any form of education that doesn't require the student to be confined within the four corners of a classroom. 

These people are the type that you would like to entice whenever you write and sell an ebook. If you have given authorship a serious thought, take time now and do an online search for courses that will teach you to write about a subject and present it to your audience in the form of ebooks.

Regardless of your topic or area of interest, there are specific techniques that you would need to master to make your ebook a success. In general, ebook readers are savvy with technology and have short attention spans, therefore preferring to learn through short yet frequent bursts of time.

Online courses also deal with other aspects like how to format an ebook-ready manuscript and the types of software that can be used. It's crucial to know all these things to increase your chances for success as an author. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

10 Ways to Stand Out As A Freelancer (Part 6)

(8.) Think network, not competition.

Some freelancing professionals have reached fever pitch when it comes to scoping for clients. They think it's necessary to make a lot of cold calls on most days of the week or write a ton of pitches through email, hoping to generate a few responses that would turn into clients.

Although I, for one, is an advocate of marketing one's self in order to shorten dry spells and quickly establish regular cash flow, there are several less aggressive and less subtle ways to promote your freelancing services. (Read related article for more details.)

You may think that advising you to team up with your fellow freelancers and forming a network counteracts all my other suggestions on standing out in your field. After all, if you want to land lucrative projects, why should you join and help your competitors?

The thing is, freelancing professionals differ from their salaried peers in the workplace in a sense that their salaried peers have no choice but to strive to get along with their colleagues and superiors. 

There is a positive side to this situation because they can easily get support should they be fortunate enough to have the kind of work environment that's conducive to their career growth.

But peer support is not easily made available to freelancing professionals. While we may enjoy the privileges of setting our own schedules and working at our own pace, and avoid coming across The Boss From Hell, we need to go out on our own and find freelancers like us from whom we can get tips and garner valuable lessons.

So instead of thinking about your fellow freelancers as your competitors, think about them as partners in building your business.

Friday, August 1, 2014

10 Ways to Stand Out As A Freelancer (Part 5)

The next item in this article series may require shelling out a little bit of money and setting aside a considerable amount of time. But many a freelancing professional's earning capacity has been improved just by doing this:

(7.) Be an eternal student.

Make yourself indispensable to potential clients by never running out of skills to offer. You can do this by signing up for short-term courses that award certificates, or attending one- or two-day seminars about anything that is relevant to your work as a freelancer.

You may have prepared yourself for the long haul by identifying your core competencies and turning them into marketable skills. You may have paid for training in order to be fully equipped to take on work from clients.

But our modern times have been introducing innovations here and there at break-neck speed, to the point that what you have learned just a year or two ago may no longer be relevant to potential clients today.

For example, working at home as a virtual assistant can pay up to USD900 monthly. But nowadays assisting entrepreneurs with administrative tasks go beyond filing and encoding. All virtual assistants are expected to have their own computers and Internet connection, and would need to be proficient with the use of software.

I strongly recommend updating your skills every six months, and there has to be at least a couple of hours in your working week (or the weekends, when you have more free time) when you read about news in order to keep tab about what's hot and what's not in the world of freelancing today.

Since we're not "cookie-cutter freelancers" that fit into the same mold, what may have worked for a few freelancing professionals may not have the same positive effect on you. That's why it's always good to keep your mind open to new ways or systems of doing things, yet remain discerning to tell the difference between what may or may not work for you.