Every freelancer I’ve ever spoken with has usually asked me this one question, “How can I find better quality clients and win more freelance projects?”.
I’ve been working with Nabbesh.com, a freelance marketplace based in Dubai for nearly two years and believe I’ve found a formula which works almost every time for successful freelancers! Here are my top tips to make sure you drastically increase your chances of getting hired as a freelancer:
1. In your initial introduction, tell the client how you’ll solve their problem.
The client is looking for a freelancer to solve a problem. Most clients are either looking to hire a freelancer with a skill they don’t have experience with or time constraints where they need to deliver on a project urgently. When you tell them how you’ll help and show a level of expertise and confidence, you’ll be the freelancer who they compare other responses too and most likely get hired.
2. Your cover letter should be 100% job related (No canned responses)
Please stop with the “I can do the job”, “Dear Sir/Madam” and “Please review my profile”. These are always the first responses to get rejected. Try to include some specifics about the job where the client knows you have read the description and capture their attention with evidence you are the right freelancer for the job.
3. Don’t make simple spelling mistakes in your proposal, a client will judge you before he’s even reviewed your portfolio.
It juz dusnt look dat profesional wen u send a client an email that containz simple speling errors. They wil hav serius concerns about the qwality of your deliverd work.
4. Make sure you have an up-to-date portfolio that you’re proud of.
Too many times I see freelancers with bloated portfolios and it can actually hide some of that amazing work you’ve delivered in the past. You would never see Ronaldo’s top 500 goals, you see his top 10. Goals that make you go “Wow” and “That’s incredible!”. Let’s be honest, most people only care about number 3, 2 and 1, skipping to the end. It should be the same for your portfolio of work, try to include pieces of work in your chosen field where you can sit back and let those amazing projects speak for themselves. Quality over quantity, every time.
5. When building your reputation only accept jobs which you’re confident in completing successfully.
Everyone is guilty of taking on something out of their scope, pushing them to the edge. Sometimes you have to do that so you can learn and grow as a freelancer. But always make sure it’s within a field and area where you have prior experience. If you’re a developer with years of experience in E-commerce and the client is requesting a brand new plugin which you haven’t used before, but you’ve implemented something similar and understand the core principles, that’s ok. What you shouldn’t do is promise to be a freelance Wedding Photographer and ruin someones’ memories if you’ve never done it before. Obviously this is an exaggeration, but building trust and delivering what you say you will is the fastest way to getting more referrals and building a great reputation.
6. Make sure you agree a clear set of deliverables with an agreed price (Protect against scope creep).
Make sure upfront, both parties are clear with what needs to be delivered, what’s expected and what price has been agreed (Ideally in writing, not on Skype). If there is not a clear agreement in place from the beginning, the project will most likely turn into something much larger and it’s nearly impossible to end with both sides being happy. Again it’s all about setting expectations and being honest from the start.
7. Network, network, network.
Join meetups and find local groups of people who share a passion for your area of expertise. Help out other freelancers and send them leads of projects you’ve heard about which don’t fit your skill set, also recommend them if you are confident in their ability to execute on the project. A lot of freelancers will be able to get enough work through word of mouth and referrals once you’ve built up a network and reputation, the same applies across almost all industry verticals.
If you have great skills and are serious about freelancing, then sign up on Nabbesh.com and you’ll be match with jobs that suit your skills!