Tania Cheema
Tania Cheema 18 August 2015

Top Tips On Becoming A Successful Digital Freelancer

What are some of the skills and traits that make a good freelancer great!

The digital space we work in is pretty amazing. Not only is it constantly evolving, but is also full of highly passionate and talented folks who all muck in and make the wheels turn. With such a dynamic industry, comes a demand for specific skill sets - and that is where we come in.

We’re always working to provide our clients, both agencies and brands, with the right skills to match their project. Paying close attention to the client’s requirements is key, especially when looking for particular talent or skills to complete either a range of projects or a one-off digital spectacle.

This high demand for digital talent has created a buoyant freelance network, so we thought it would be good to outline a number of skills and traits that make a good freelancer great!

What Traits Make A Freelancer Successful?

As a freelancer, you exist to provide relevant experience and skills to clients to help them achieve their goals. So, it’s really important that you become someone that both recruiters and clients want to work with.

Some of the most desirable skills include being a good communicator, proactive, motivated and able to hit the ground running. If you haven’t had much of an induction or hand over – just get on with it. If you have an inquisitive nature and understand that ultimately you can deliver this project – ask the relevant questions to get going, take notes and your experience will fill in the gaps along the way.

If things aren’t going well, step back and review with an honest eye. Is it something you’re not doing well or do you need support from someone or something externally? Are there elements around the project where you could be more flexible or adaptable? Be honest and don’t brush things under the carpet. Remember, you have to uphold and deliver against your personal brand.

What Does A Client Want?

Clients are now requiring freelancers to either have a particular range of skills for a specific project or be a digital generalist who can crack on with the tasks at hand.

A client’s wish list includes some of the traits listed below:

  • - Proven and demonstrable experience of particular skills
  • - Good reputation
  • - Ability to hit the ground running
  • - Team player
  • - Someone who doesn’t brag about their day rate
  • - Helpfulness – if it’s quiet, find something else to do to keep busy!

What Does A Recruiter Want?

To help deliver on these successful partnerships, recruiters have some requirements too which help with a smooth booking process and cement a good level of trust. The first thing we ask from our freelancers is communication and honesty. We’re here to help and make people’s lives easier, so the earlier we can get all the details and paperwork sorted, the better.

We also love to hear feedback to make sure everyone is happy. If there are any issues, we want to know upfront so we can sort things out. This in your interest - you don’t want to be left with a nasty trail of feedback following you around.

To make this process easier for all parties involved, you must look into and sort out a few details your end:

  • - Are you set up correctly as a freelancer?
  • - Are your documents organised and in one place so you can access them anywhere? Speed is often key.
  • - CV/LinkedIn/Portfolio – are these up-to-date? Do you have permission to showcase particular projects if required?
  • - Be reliable and organised - keep note of where your CV is going, especially if you’re working with several recruiters and direct clients. Potential risk for cross-over could be deemed unprofessional.
  • - To maximise the right opportunities, be flexible around what you are looking for and don’t limit your market place. It’s good to push yourself in new directions.
  • - Be prepared for interviews – being articulate and confident when talking through recent and past projects is a sure winner.

You can have a look at a previous blog post to review details around insurance etc here.

Here’s a checklist of some traits that can help you get ahead as a freelancer:

  • Be Good
  • Be Nice
  • Add Value
  • Never stop learning
  • Be someone the company will want back again and again

Original Article

Find out more on the future of Business at our DLUK - Trends Briefing on the 24th September 2015

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