Be a Pied Piper to be Successful in Freelancing

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You aren’t successful in freelancing because:

  • you don’t have business acumen
  • you can’t understand the market
  • you don’t have any specialization

successful in freelancing

Let me point out an important thing here: the definition of being successful in freelancing differs between you and me. I define this success as:

  • having a steady stream of clientele
  • getting recognition
  • earning a lot, every month

If you can identify with my definition of being successful in freelancing and you haven’t reached there yet, here are some reasons why you are lagging behind.

The Differences between You and Pied Piper

These are no BS reasons. These are personal experiences. Learn from it.

1.    You love the mediocrity.

Unless you are willing to ‘raise the bar’, you will remain stuck in mediocrity, or maybe, you love it! Don’t kill yourself. Sticking to mediocrity means either you are afraid to excel or you are just damn lazy.

Mediocre work won’t give you $$$$, won’t give you premium clients, will leave you stagnated.

Pied Piper was never mediocre.

2.    You don’t work like Pied Piper.

What’s the best thing about the Hamelin fable, Pied Paper?

Answer – Wherever the Piper went, he had a never ending stream of followers, even if they were rats!

Apply this strategy into your freelancing business. Unless you are known by your name and work (aka branding), you will be just another freelancer who is making $3 logos, writing $1 articles and other peripherals.

Take the example of Ifham, the guy behind this blog and the owner of a successful web designing business. Now, this is a guy who is working like a Pied Piper.

‘Ifham’ & ‘web designing’ is synonymous, that is, he is successfully paving his way to build a brand.

Have no doubt; he is working his ass off to reach this status. Are you putting in that kind of effort?

3.    You keep throwing the darts in wrong direction.

In other words, you have no specialization. In other words, you are a ‘Jack of all trades and master of none’! It’s a big business spoiler.

You’re are throwing hands and legs in all direction and crying when there is no result.

I keep telling everyone, select a niche and scale it. If you have the brains, you can even ‘create’ a niche and scale it up.

Specialization is a major step to be successful in freelancing. Pied Piper knew his act well. He excelled.

4.    You are not committed full-time.

In the last 6 months, I have known 3 people who have left their full-time job and became a full-time freelancer, 2 of them took this step on my recommendation. I am proud of them and they are doing awesomely!

In early 2000, freelancing used to be a source to earn a second income; a few dollars here and there to pay bills. It’s not so anymore.

Freelancing is a full-time career, in the real sense.

Don’t expect to be successful in freelancing working an hour every day. You have to commit. You need to give it as much importance as you are giving to your full-time job. It’s tough balancing both.

Pied Piper was committed to his work and built a brand chasing rats out of a city!

5.    You are averse to networking.

Social media networking is not a complete waste of time if you know how to network. You maybe a recluse, a loner but this attitude will harm your freelancing future. Here are some quick tips to be an active networker, without compromising privacy:

PS: Optimize them according to your niche.

  • Join niche-related Facebook groups. Purpose will be to network and help other group members.
  • Join large communities like BizSugar and BlogEngage.
  • Create a portfolio to showcase your work.
  • Do some free consultation once-a-week.
  • Join niche-related forums.

Daily, spend just an hour on these communities and see the result for yourself.

6.    You don’t have a portfolio.

Questions – Are you averse to showing your work? What’s stopping you from having a portfolio?

A portfolio is the backbone for a freelancer. By not having one, you are ‘successfully’ killing the chances of becoming successful in freelancing.

There are many free online resources to teach you about portfolio building. Start one today. The first step in portfolio-based brand building will be to reserve your name as domain name. If you are ABC, get ABC.com, ABC.org or ABC.me.

Pied Piper didn’t have a portfolio, per se. His work led to mouth-to-mouth personal recommendation and it was more than enough!

7.    You really ‘suck’ at negotiation.

Negotiation skills are a primary requirement for freelancing success. Don’t be an ‘I am eager to please everyone’ kind of character. No one appreciates it, in fact, people will be eager to take advantage of you.

Negotiate with clients, if the situation demands it. Have some service benchmarks. Reducing price to score a client might make you feel good but again, you will be stuck in mediocrity, you will be among countless of invisible and client-hungry freelancers trying to bait a client with one dollar deals!

Rise above the rest. Learn to negotiate.

Ending Note

You need to rise above invisibility, rise above millions of other freelancers in your niche and become a ‘known’ face. You need to become a Pied Piper. Try really hard to be successful in freelancing.

Thus I depart with my ‘pearls’ of wisdom. I hope to have helped you. You can share your thoughts, opinions and feedback through commenting.

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4 Responses to “Be a Pied Piper to be Successful in Freelancing”
  1. Nice article Chitraparna :)
    The tips you mentioned above will help newbies to be successful in freelancing and I agree with you that Networking and Portfolio are most important in freelancing.

  2. Sumit says:

    Nice.
    I like your article.
    Thank you for sharing.

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