5 Tips for Building Your Reputation as a Freelancer
As a freelancer, one of the best things you can do for your career is to work at building your reputation. Your reputation as a freelancer can help you land more gigs – and get paid more for them.
There’s no way to have a perfect reputation all the time; there will always be haters and people who disagree with you. I’ve built a fairly solid reputation as a freelancer, but there are still people who call me “awful” and really, really don’t like me. The important thing is to build a reputation that is good enough that a few detractors won’t stop you from being successful.
Here are some ideas on where to start building your reputation as a freelancer:
1. Realize it Can Take Time
Don’t expect to have an amazing reputation in a short period of time. It can take time build your reputation as a freelancer. The best reputations represent the culmination of years of effort. You can start establishing yourself in a few months, and that can be enough of a reputation to get the next gig, but the long-term reputation is likely to take longer. Keep that in mind as you establish your freelancing business.
2. Be Professional
One of the best ways to build your reputation as a freelancer is to act in a professional manner. When you interact with clients and potential clients, be as professional as possible, including using proper grammar and spelling. I have become familiar enough with some clients that I can be a little less professional with them, but, for the most part, I try to be efficient and straightforward in my interactions. It’s a way to let others know that I’m serious about what I do – and that the work will be completed in a timely manner.
Plus, if you start doing regular work in a niche, realize that editors talk to each other. If you are a problem freelancer, it will get around, and it will be harder for you to find work.
3. Hit Your Deadlines
One of the best ways to build your reputation as a freelancer is to hit your deadlines. When you complete your work on time, you are far more likely to be trusted and recommended. If circumstance arise that prevent you from making your deadline, it’s important to communicate with your client to let him or her know that you be late. As long as you aren’t constantly missing deadlines, most clients will be understanding.
4. Turn in Work that Needs Little Editing
Editors love it when they don’t have to do a lot with your work. While I’m nowhere near perfect, I do try to turn in assignments that need little revision. Indeed, I’m rarely asked for revisions. Sometimes editors make minor adjustments to my writing, but for the most part my submissions go through without a hitch. This makes everyone happy and can help you build a reputation as a freelancer who is easy to work with. Take the time to proofread your work before you turn it in so that you are less likely to run into problems.
5. Pay it Forward
Finally, help others. I regularly recommend other writers for freelance work. I’m also willing to provide my insights (for what their worth) to those who ask. While I sometimes think I should do more, I do try to do what I can. Build your reputation as someone who helps others and is willing to go the extra mile, and you’ll feel good about what you do, as well as receive recognition from others for a job well done.