Get Professional: 20 Ways to Step Up Your Freelancing Career

20 ways step up freelancing

It’s the start of the new year and you’re ready to do some spring cleaning. You’ve worked hard on your freelancing career—looking for clients, landing freelance work, building your reputation as a solo professional—for the last 12 months, so it’s time to do some prepping up to get your freelance biz rolling strong.

Why do so? Taking time to do a year-end review will help you determine what needs to be done to raise the bar higher.

You want to establish yourself as a professional. You are serious in improving your freelancing career. If you are all the above, these tips will help you move towards all that.

Online

  • Update your contractor profiles on oDesk, Elance, Freelancer, etc. Change or add information that you think is outdated, incorrect, or that would fit in nicely with your online presence.
  • Create your very own freelance website. If you have one, take a look and see what needs improvement—if it needs a redesign, if it’s missing a few pages, or if the copy is effective enough to deliver your message.
  • twitter finding clientsAre your social networks professional enough? You can create a custom background featuring your freelance business, a new header to complement it, or change your username (e.g. Twitter handle) from @sparkypancakes to your name or brand.
  • Have a LinkedIn account? Spend some time cleaning it up and adding useful information for potential clients to see. They’re out there, trust me.
  • In line with this, ask your connections for recommendations and endorsements. These will really help boost your LinkedIn presence and your authority as a freelancing professional.
  • Think over the purpose of your blog. Is it a tool to establish your presence as a freelancer, or your personal outlet? Clarify its purpose and take steps to either integrate it to your freelance business or separate it entirely.
  • Forums and online groups are a great way to network online, but you may want to focus on active communities that house professionals and like-minded individuals. Leave the spammy ones and focus your efforts on groups that make a difference.
  • Change your profile picture into a nice, professional, and decent-looking portrait. Clients will notice the difference.
  • If your bank of choice allows clients to open an online account (e.g. BPI Express Online) for viewing and handling your funds, open one for yourself.
  • Start the year strong with web apps and tools to help you freelance productively and effectively. Look for useful tools for time tracking, project management, invoicing, and team collaboration.

Offline

  • broken-computerBeen using the same old hardware that you’ve spent hundreds of pesos on repair and upgrades? It may be time to buy some new peripherals.
  • Buy a more comfortable office chair and a good table lamp. Your back and eyes will thank you for it.
  • Dedicate this year to saving up. Cut down on your credit card consumption and focus on building up your savings and emergency funds.
  • De-clutter and live minimalist. Sell or donate old stuff to either make room for new stuff or to add more space to your home office.
  • Sign up for events and conferences where you’ll meet other freelancers, potential clients, and people with the same interests and passions.
  • Need some fresh air? Get yourself a pocket wifi/dongle and take freelancing to your favorite outdoor spot. If you prefer free wifi, a coffee shop or small resto would be nice.
  • Get cracking on those business cards. There’s an enormous untouched client base out there that you can tap into.
  • Check out books that can teach you new skills, improve old ones, and that increase your value as a freelancer.
  • Think it’s time for a real vacation? Every freelancer needs some time off. Plan your vacation and prep up your freelance business for when you’re off traveling.
  • Get yourself a planner to take with you wherever you go. Note down important dates, deadlines, client notes, project notes, etc.

Finally, continue working towards a stellar freelancing career. Work hard, offer solutions for your clients, and aim high.

What else can you do to prepare yourself and your freelance biz for the new year? How else can you establish yourself as a professional? Leave your ideas in the comments!

Photo credits: tokerud and stuffwelike