If you plan on working as an online freelancer, you should understand that most clients are likely to go for someone with a solid reputation, not to mention the right skill set. Just like how a company’s standing is measured in the market, your online reputation can also be determined or affected by a number of factors. Getting more clients or jobs is not just about skills or talent. You can also be contracted based on your years of experience in the industry, the projects you've finished, and what people say about you.
You may be thinking, "I believe I have talent in this area, and therefore I will succeed." However, talent and skills will only get you so far. And, since you’ve only just begun making your mark as an online freelancer, how should you go about building your freelancing reputation?
Complete your profile
It may sound obvious, but most newbies in freelancing forget this. They sign up on freelancing websites, make their bids, and then get stupefied when most of their proposals get rejected.
Having an online presence doesn’t end when you sign up for an account. First, check out your profile. Is it complete? Have you made your profile palatable to potential clients? You see, your profile serves as an instant CV for clients to check out. They'll check your education, skills, and other information through your profile. It will also greatly help if you provide a professional photo as your profile pic; that selfie grabbed from Facebook just won't do.
Build a portfolio
Some time ago, you only hear ‘portfolio’ during discussions around financial investments or the art industry. Nowadays, portfolios have evolved to include a number of other industries, from the folder of rough sketches by an artist to maintaining a blog site for a struggling writer.
Having both an offline and online portfolio can greatly help. That summer when your uncle the baker asked you to do some marketing materials for the neighbors? Spin it into your projects folder. Or how about that time a contribution was posted on a local magazine? Make them see that some of your works have been published.
Also, it would be a big plus for you to maintain a blog site. Websites such as Wordpress offer click-and-drag ways to put up a website and showcase your talents and specialization without the need for a website development background.
Don’t limit yourself and just bid on that freelancer website. Approach every potential client, big or small, and offer your services. Explore every nook and cranny for that possible project – aside from reinforcing your freelance income, these will also help get the word out that you are for hire.
Make clients work for you
Aside from getting paid, one of the perks of completing that project is the feedback you’ll likely get, and this is the motivation for freelancers to do their job well. A satisfied client will go a long way not just for repeat projects, but in doing your networking for you.
Ask your client how satisfied they were with your work, and if enthusiastic, have them ready a spectacular endorsement. Add their testimonials to your blog or online portfolio, and you can even share them on social media. The more client recommendations you can get, the higher your chances to make yourself known.