One of the most exciting things to do in this day and age is freelancing. Freelancing refers to the practice of one selling their services to employers without long term contracts. Many people do not or no longer relish being full-time employees. In their quest to become independent and flexible they are turning to freelancing. Anyone can become a freelancer just so long you have a solid set of skills or expertise. Businesses or companies are increasingly becoming open to the idea of having some of their work done by freelancers. That calls for a talk on tips for freelancers when they engage businesses.

Formalise Your Operations

Businesses will tend to only settle for professional freelancers. In their eyes, they would want you to have formalized operations. This refers to things like being registered, having a traceable digital footprint, and proof of work, amongst others. Imagine being a freelancer and during or after a gig, the client requests an invoice or receipt. Some freelancers end up stuck because they would have not factored that in. As a freelancer, you must take yourself as a professional service provider or brand. By formalizing your operations you become that and you stand a good chance of winning gigs.

Build A Portfolio

In this context, I am referring to a collection of samples or past work by a creative person. As a freelancer, you are a creative person so you must build a portfolio. A portfolio here can also mean a group of complementary or supplementary products or services marketed together. So you must put together a portfolio; it is more like what a company profile would be like. This would essentially be a document that you can present to a prospective client. It will cover all the relevant details a client might want to know before making any decision. Your portfolio encapsulates your body of work that proves you have what it takes to be awarded gigs.

Have A Comprehensive Open Communication Framework

From the moment you start engaging a client you must be thorough. Some use questionnaires, whilst some use discovery calls. The whole idea behind this is to ensure you fully understand the client’s needs. It will also be for purpose of making the client understand your terms and conditions. I usually recommend the discovery call over the questionnaire. Of course, you can use both if you feel it is necessary.

Just make sure it is not a redundant or duplicative process. A discovery call can be via a voice call, a video call, or instant messaging. I tend to prefer instant messaging because it gives me more time to process information as opposed to a voice or video call. Then during the duration of the gig, you must maintain open communication channels. You would not want a scenario where you waste effort by working on the wrong thing.

Offer Free Trial Periods

In freelancing, you must come up with ways to win over your clients. Freelancing is highly competitive and as such prospective clients can easily consider other freelancers. One way to win over clients is by offering trial periods where applicable. For example, let us suppose you are a freelance social media manager. It could either be you have been approached by a business or vice versa.

To demonstrate your ability and increase your chances of being hired, you can offer a free trial period. It can be for a few weeks where you do their social media management for free. You then see to it you do an exceptional job and you most likely will win a long haul paid working arrangement. Another addition to this is being flexible with your pricing. It helps increase your chances of being hired again in the future or even getting referrals.

Work With Contractual Agreements

Not all clients are people of virtue and integrity. I know quite well you can operate as a freelancer without ever having to do contractual agreements. By contractual agreements, I mean signed contract documents that obligate what you and the client must do. In my experience, I have never had to do signed contract documents. I guess it is because I have always been blessed to work with businesses that value integrity.

However, I would not recommend you to operate that way because not all clients value honouring their obligations. Thus you must at some point before commencing any work bring in a contract agreement. It must be something that is binding and can be considered in the event legal action has to be taken.

Freelancing can, for the most part, involve virtual or online work. You have to do your due diligence to ensure the business in question exists. There have been many cases where someone did work for a client and they vanished without paying. It depends though; some freelancing areas entail mostly physical interactions with the clients. That would be the most ideal as you can put a face to the name and can ascertain their location and all. These are the tips that can help you as a freelancer when engaging businesses. There are huge prospects and lots of money to be made but never let your guard down. Lastly, do not sell yourself short; know and value your worth. It is better to turn down some gigs if the client is not willing to pay what you want.