Our cover story two weeks ago discussed the pros and cons of freelancing.

Our cover story two weeks ago discussed the pros and cons of freelancing.

IN our cover story a couple weeks back on “the freelance generation”, we talked about how hot freelancing is among young people today. In fact, many employers are also starting to realise the benefits on hiring freelancers (they save on employee benefits, office space, etc.).

To follow up on that, here are a few tips on how to build a successful freelance career, courtesy of Southeast Asia regional director Evan Tan.

1. Communicate clearly with your employers. Try to assess what they really need, and suggest solutions whenever possible.
Don’t assume that your employers know everything.

2. Focus on one thing you’re good at, and work on improving those skills.
That doesn’t mean you can’t learn other stuff – just make sure you (and your employer) know where your expertise lies.

3. Build and protect your reputation by ensuring you deliver on time and produce only quality output.
Be sure to showcase your best work and don’t forget to gather testimonials from satisfied clients.

4. Don’t do anything for free, and don’t let yourself be scammed! Find a platform that has an escrow system so you know you will get paid after the work is done.

5. Network with people by attending industry-related events, giving out business cards, introducing yourself via LinkedIn and socialising.
You never know when you’ll meet a future employer, or someone who can help your career. Being well-connected is always a good thing!

6. Be politely assertive. Because you’re managing your own business, you’ll need to take control of your time and resources.
Don’t say yes to every request and make sure to explain the reasons you’re declining. Do you have a better idea? Is the request being made not part of the agreement? Is it an unreasonable demand?
You need to explain it clearly and nicely. Never burn bridges, but be careful not to burn yourself out in the process.

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