To be successful in the freelancing business and become a capable freelancer, one of the most important skill you should have is the art of applying for projects and jobs. Yes, friends, applying for projects on freelancing sites and convincing the clients to hire you from thousands of other freelancers is the most important and toughest thing to do. This is the reason why so many people don’t want to get into freelancing. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are and how much experience you have. What really matters is how well you are able to apply for different jobs and projects.
For many freelancers this is a big hurdle. When you are a beginner in the freelancing business, you don’t have a clear idea or experience about the correct procedure of applying/bidding. What to write in your Job proposal? How to decide a price for your skills etc? Almost 90% freelancers face this problem. But those freelancers who research what is freelancing, practice on it and improve their writing and presentation skills are the ones who get jobs and projects.
So let’s talk about the reasons why freelancers find applying for projects a difficult task:-
- Freelancing websites frequently change their policies, terms and conditions from time to time. There are several reasons behind it but the primary reason is to ensure the availability of quality clients and freelancers. This makes it harder for a new freelancer with limited experience to land projects.
- Freelancers or independent workers from all over the world are connected to these freelancing websites. Some of them are much more skilled than the others, some have more work than the others while some of them are still looking for their first project. So there is intense competition for the limited projects that are being posted. Another reason for this is that not all companies and businesses prefer posting their jobs on such freelancing sites. The trend of hiring people to work for them remotely hasn’t really caught on so the number of jobs and projects being posted are limited while the number of people applying for these limited jobs is huge. But this trend is changing steadily and within the next 2 to 3 years the freelancing market will grow exponentially. Thus we see that presently the lack of projects is creating a lot of competition and this makes it difficult for a new freelancer to get projects.
- The third reason why freelancers are not able to get projects is the lack of good communication skills while applying. I believe that having good communication skills is extremely important not just in the freelancing business but in any business or field. It is the first rung on the ladder of success. So if we talk about freelancers from the countries that have a different native language than English, or those who are not strong in English language, they will surely find it difficult to convince their client. As you must be aware, English is the most widely used language in developed countries and this is especially true when it comes to the field of Information Technology. So when a freelancer who does not have a stronghold on English tries to compete with another freelancer who has a good command on the English language, he will fail to get the client because of his poor communication skills. That’s why, you should understand how to communicate with clients.
These are the 3 main reasons why a new freelancer finds it difficult to get projects. Besides these, there are some other reasons too. Generally whenever you start a new work, when you want to succeed personally and make a mark for yourself, you will face some issues in the beginning. Problems and difficulties exist in every field but the person who turns his problems into opportunities definitely finds success sooner or later. The person who tries his best and works hard, believes in himself and his God and consistently keeps making efforts with concentration is on the right path of becoming a successful freelancer.
So let’s find out how you can turn these problems into opportunities and know the correct way to apply for a job and convince a client:-
1. Allow change- reinvent yourself with changing times
Be in sync with the latest updates, allow yourself to change and keep following the new trends. The freelancing environment is constantly changing and if you want to stay in the game, you will also have to change with it. The rules and conditions of any freelancing website are not meant to go against the freelancer. If a freelancing site does dares to do such a thing, people will start ignoring it. No matter how popular or successful a site is, if it goes against the wishes and hopes of freelancers, it will be destroyed and buried within a short time.
But we have an opportunity staring us in the eyes. Just like a freelancing website that changes its systems and processes to ensure its progress, quality and more profit, you will also have to change the way you work, improve your presentation and other skills, bring in better quality and professionalism while regularly enhancing your knowledge and skills. This way you will be able to become a thorough professional in this era of change and this will be massively beneficial for your freelancing career. Yes, the hard work will become harder but it will give you positive results that make you more professional, skilled and successful. So change according to the times.
2. Unleash your creativity
By using your creativity on freelancing websites, you can win the competition of getting the projects that many freelancers are fighting for. You must keep believing in your creativity and keep trying new and different methods to secure projects and jobs.
a) Only apply for what you can do:- Whenever you apply for projects on freelancing websites, make sure you only apply for those projects that you can finish. Don’t make the mistake of applying for a project on Content writing when your profile title is Graphic designer. The right way is to only apply for the projects that are related to your profile and you have the necessary skills and knowledge to complete them. This way you will be able to write your Job proposal/cover letter in a much better way and your chances of getting that project or job will be much higher.
b) Read the job description carefully:- It is very important to know what is the client’s exact demand. Take your time to understand the follow things:- What is the client’s point of view, how he would want his project/work to be done, what are the skills that he is looking for in a freelancer. After analyzing the job description posted by the freelancer, prepare a proposal letter that matches his expectations. So you see how the Job description contains content that needs specific attention and a suitable reply from a freelancer.
c) Explain:- How you are going to do your job step by step, according to the job you are applying for should be explained clearly. If you make websites and are applying for a project on website development, explain how you are going to do everything, including Domain registration, hosting, coding, blogging etc. in your Job proposal/Cover letter. Demonstrate clearly how you are going to provide the solution that the client is looking for.
Your Job proposal/Cover letter should be completely professional and to the point. You can read more about this on our website by visiting regularly our freelancing guide and tips or search the internet for other resources. Practice writing your Job proposal as many times as you can and use your creativity and unique approach for sending it to the client. Sometimes the client may not be interested in knowing what you have written about your skills and what you can do in the future. He just wants to know this; what you can do to satisfy my demands right now and how you can provide the solution that I want at this time? How you are going to do this better than others so I can trust you with the project? You will have to provide answers to such question if you want to get the project/job and think about such things while sending the Job proposal/cover letter. The more you practice writing customised Job proposal the better your chances of getting a project.
d) Apply soon:- Keeping the preceding points in mind, you must apply for a posted job as soon as you can. Time is money and the client may be keeping a tight deadline for things. He may start responding to freelancers immediately after posting the job so it is important that you are among the top 10 candidates that respond to his job description. The higher you are in the list of candidates, the better are your chances of being selected for an interview. So apply as fast as you can when you see an interesting job that you can do but never compromise on the quality of your cover letter/job proposal. Practice writing cover letters rapidly while maintaining quality and professionalism.
e) Upload Sample:- Send a sample if the client is asking for it while applying. There is nothing wrong with sending a sample even if he hasn’t asked for one. Upload a screenshot, a document, or even a testimonial to show what you have done, especially if you are a freelancer without work experience. This will help in convincing the client that you can do the job and he will show more interest in hiring you.
Here you can learn more about this: How to create a professional freelancing profile to get more clients
f) Call to action:- You should definitely add a call to action in the summary of your job proposal. In this you can write about the benefits of hiring you and ready solutions for the issues that may arise etc. The intention is to write something impactful so that the client is compelled to hire you.
g) Keep applying:- Keep applying for projects without doubting yourself until you get the job. Whatever changes you need to make and whatever you want to learn, keep doing it whenever you find the time during the day or night. You are a freelancer and you can divide your time according to your priorities, which is not possible in a regular office based job. Some of the projects from other countries are posted at different time so you can apply during that time or any other time as you wish. The most important thing is to understand this business in-depth and do it with complete focus and seriousness. You will definitely find success.
Helpful article regarding this: How to manage your time effectively.
Learn tips from other people and your mistakes and execute
If there is something that you need to learn in order to convince the client, do it. Being a freelancer means you have to keep learning new things and adjust to changing scenarios and varied personalities. In today’s times there are thousands of people who are teaching and thousands of tutorials being uploaded for our benefit. If you are lacking in communication skills you can also see tutorials and content on how to improve them because communications skills are more important than anything else. You can increase your confidence in yourself by learning new things and high confidence will help you find success in the freelancing business.
You must be knowing that there is one thing that is common among successful people. That is their curiosity of learning new things continuously. They are hungry for new knowledge which makes their minds more creative, imaginative and productive. Such people have existed in earlier times also and some of the most widely respected innovators like Apple founder, Steve Jobs were proof of this. They had limited resources of learning but they did it continuously with whatever sources they had. Today we have advanced resources and tools for learning at our disposal. If someone does not use these resources of learning to improve his skills and gain knowledge, then unfortunately freelancing is going to be very difficult for that person.
It takes around 6-7 months for any new freelancer to establish himself as a reliable freelancer on any platform. It takes patience and hard work to succeed in freelancing. You must have confidence in yourself and use your creativity while applying for projects on one or more freelancing websites. Present your skills in a unique way to increase the client’s interest in your profile and keep doing this until you get a project.
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Vijay Kumar is Entrepreneur, IT Career/Leadership Skills Trainer and likes to help students, freelancers, and job seekers with his personal and professional experiences and ideas. The goal of writing is to help students to grow IT related Career and Leadership Skills.
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