Many people feel a knot in their stomach when thinking about joining a freelance website. The idea of working independently from home seems promising, but the complicated administration, the fear from exposing ourselves to strangers (often on the other side of the world) and all the hustle with the application process discourages many from this new and innovative way of employment. You don’t have to worry, though, because there is nothing scary in the world of remote work management: on freelance websites, almost everything is automated and self-explanatory. Still, if you are looking for a thorough rundown on what to expect and how to begin your freelance career with a head-start, this article will tell you everything.
Proceed with Caution
There is absolutely no need to rush your freelance website membership: take some time to learn more about the different types of freelance websites and do some background-checks on their respective features. It also pays off to check our reviews and visit their official forums and social media pages, so you can discover what others have to say about a site’s reputation.
After you found a promising freelancer website and completed the registration, dive deep into the profile page and fill it up with as many details as you can. Forget dashing to take the first job that comes up during your search. Instead, pay a visit to the top-employed freelancers’ profiles and borrow ideas on how to make yours stand out from the rest and/or express professionalism. Only after you fully completed the profile customization should the hunt for an assignment begin.
Build Your Reputation
We cannot emphasize enough how important a well-versed profile is, but truth is, most clients only take a quick glance at profiles (or ignore them completely) and then move right onto checking your reputation. What we mean under the term “reputation” is a thorough investigation of your work efficiency showcased on your personal page: the number of gigs you completed; how many of your employers were satisfied with you; how often you got hired; the ratings of your work; your popularity index; and actual comments from your clients. It goes without saying that the better your reputation, the higher the chance you’ll be employed. And since we are talking about an upward-going spiral, it’s more than vital to acquire positive feedback on your earlier jobs and to remind your clients to rate you. Remember, you are the product that needs to be sold. Therefore, your career’s future depends on those good ratings.
Tracking Software Are Your Friends
When first encountering tracking software, most freelancers envision an Orwellian spy program that disables them to work the way they like. True, these kinds of desktop applications are capable of accurately tracking the amount of time you spend with a certain assignment, not to mention they occasionally take a snapshot of your screen to assure you are not doing something unproductive, like bumming around on Facebook.
Despite the obvious cons, try to think about tracking software the other way around: with these watching your back, you have actual proof that you spent a lot of effort on your work. You can also prove that meeting the employer’s demands was actually more difficult or time consuming than you previously agreed on, which could win you a dispute should something go extremely wrong for you.
Try Out Online Accounting Software
Managing the dizzying pile of paperwork left after each project is probably the worst part of a freelancer job. There are single gigs with one-time payments, projects paid by the hour, and let’s not forget about contest sites where the winner is announced (and paid) later. Furthermore, freelance websites usually charge a service fee on your earnings as well, so keeping track of the right amount of income that comes from so many sources can be a real nightmare.
However, there is a reasonable solution for the above problem: online accounting software. Such a service is not only capable of making your administration transparent and streamlined by taking care of invoicing, expense management and creating offers, it often also integrates with other tools like time trackers. By making clever use of these cloud solutions you can almost entirely automate your administration and all the virtual paperwork that gets involved with freelancing. If at some point you end up needing help with your online administration and bookkeeping, why not hire a freelance accountant to help you out?
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