By: Kathy Shalhoub
In celebration of nabbesh.com Beta being launched, I want to talk about freelancers today (and next week too!). It seems that finally, the day has come where we are valued as important members of society. So much so that in addition to the launch of nabbesh.com, the Dubai government now issues a permit specifically for freelancers allowing them to operate as a sole professional and to conduct business in their own name as opposed to a brand. Yay for us!
So now that we can legally operate in the UAE without being dependent on a company, spouse or sponsor, what do we need to be freelancers and how do we assure success?
What do you need to be a Freelancer?
In brief, to be a freelancer you need to have credibility and that consists of two things:
- Expertise in a very specific area
An expert is someone who has made more mistakes than other people, has learned from those mistakes, has found a solution that works and is able to replicate that solution.
It’s not as hard as it sounds. For example, I know a freelance translator whose niche was technical translation for the pharmaceutical industry. She had brushed up on the lingo, learned the jargon in Arabic, and was able to translate French and English into excellent technical Arabic. As a result, she’s in high demand and charges 150 AED per page while others are only able to charge 75 AED or less.
Why such a huge difference in fees for the same freelancing field? Why are clients willing to pay some freelancers so much more money than others? Because price is a function of perceived value!
Once you have expertise, maintain it! Keep reading, learning, participating in programs and workshops, and practicing. Develop yourself as much as you can.
- People skills
Ok, you have the expertise, now what? If a potential client contacts you through nabbesh for your services, what do you do? I say get their attention and earn their trust fast!
In the first minutes of a meeting, you need to get your message across quickly and concisely, show them that you understand their problems and earn enough trust for them to see you as the solution. That will get you the job.
Keeping the job though depends on managing the relationship. Does your client want a friendly rapport with you or are they looking for a quick efficient non-chatty business transaction? Having the ability to read your client, understanding the type of person they are and the quality of interaction they’re looking for will keep you the job and get you referrals.
In freelancing more than anywhere, the ability to relate to people, understand what they need and successfully deliver exactly what they’re asking for is how you become successful.
Blogger’s Bio: Kathy studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has a PhD in Marine Sciences from the University of Paris. She is also a writer and published her first book, Life as a Leb-neh Lover, in 2010. Kathy is fascinated by matters of the mind, self discovery, self acceptance and personal development and is currently researching these topics. Check out her blog, ‘like’ her on Facebook or follow her on twitter @Lebneh_Lover.