Freelancing is one of the most progressive industries in 21st century. Particularly in the recession hit economies, it played a vital role in the job creation and economic development. Freelancing at online job portals like oDesk and Elance are increasingly become more popular way of earning money. Just imagine, oDesk has over 350,000 users from 150 countries are engaged in corporate relationships.
Additionally, direct outsourcing businesses are also flourishing because every capable individual tries to attract the global market with unique set of ideas, products and services. However, despite the booming industry, a recent survey at Elance astonished me a lot. It showed that 61{647aec8ab64035edf0afc86209c5078c3e68e7e342959ce73efc669d6cb5b50f} freelancers are happy with their status and earnings, while other showed dismay over low-payments, uneasy clients, complex work, discontinuous workflow etc.
A shocking statistic in the recent Gulf News article was that only 11{647aec8ab64035edf0afc86209c5078c3e68e7e342959ce73efc669d6cb5b50f} of the freelancers upgrade their skills and take courses. Keeping the figures in my mind, I have prepared a very brief set of suggestions that might work for you, whether you are engaged in direct outsourcing or through some job portal.
KYN and KYC Principles:
In marketing, there is a term called KYC (know your customer) principle, in the same way, freelancing has its own KYC. Here, KYN means; know your niche; and KYC means; know your client/customers. Thus, when you are to start a freelance business, keep your focus on your strong points and market yourself appropriately at the most suitable and rational places. If you are a good web developer/designer, stick to it and keep delivering good job.
It’s important to understand that to be happy with what you do; you have to simply do what makes you happy. As experts say; you excel at what you enjoy, so don’t starting shifting niches and jobs because ultimately it doesn’t increase your happiness.
Technology and CRM Applications:
Freelancing is a client oriented business, where your client is the real king. In order to have a long-lasting and joyful relationships with clients, constant communication and delivering quality work matters a lot. In this regard, don’t restrict yourself to just email or chatting communications, because chatting may not solve many problems
In this regard, you can take advantage of internet calling services. Many prominent brands offer unlimited free calls for a minor investment. In just $100, you may get unlimited free calls for the whole year, whether your client is in New York or Mexico. VoIP can really be advantageous in terms of better client relationship. Furthermore, this service; being cheaper than landline and cellular one, enables you to reduce your telephone bills. You can even use it as alternative to landlines and also can enjoy it on your smartphones.
So, keep in touch with your clients to inform them about the work status and get their feedback too. Remember, clients are happy when you deliver them quality, and quality means work as per the expectations and specifications. If you are a web developer or a writer, your clients will have bulk of instructions and details to share with you. Having direct on-calls meetings, audio-video conferencing and voice chat can help in reducing communication barriers and improving the results.
Project Management Perspective:
One of the heavily complex jobs is managing a project, which might irritate some freelancers. A vast majority is even unable to realize the importance of the project management. Proper planning, fair pricing, designing steps and milestones, prioritizing things, delivering the work, and finally auditing, are some integral part of an online project management process.
Here, a freelancer can take benefit from many free as well as purchased project applications. Learning proper usage of Zoho project, Google docs and similar apps can not only help you manage the tasks but also improves the productivity of your team. From pricing to delivery of the work, everything comes under this domain. So, be balanced, steady and utilize the technology applications to your advantage
Sharpen the Saw:
It is really sad that only 11{647aec8ab64035edf0afc86209c5078c3e68e7e342959ce73efc669d6cb5b50f} freelancers upgrade their skills on the constant basis, as per the survey I mentioned in the beginning. According to Stephen R. Covey’s famous; 7 habits of highly successful people; sharpening your saw is highly integral for your long-terms success. This means that a freelance must devote some time for his personal development and capacity building. You can attend courses, webinars, seminars, and also participate in online trainings sessions for upgrading your skills.
One of the best tips for you is to make book reading your habit. Even in the internet era, books are the best friends. Make a routine to read something every day, even if it is a single page. Moreover, don’t restrict yourself to one field of study. Expand your thinking horizon and learn about anything that may help you be a better human being and professionally skilled service provider.
For freelancers books/articles and journals about communication, project management, e-commerce, e-banking, time management, search engines and social media can play very significant role in enhancing productivity and increasing their income as a result.

By Smiley