Have you been applying to dozens of jobs on freelance marketplaces? Sending proposals for all kinds of gigs. But you’re still not getting any freelance work?
I know how that sounds and every freelancer has been through it. Some give up during this time and go back to look for normal jobs. A handful of others choose to take it as an opportunity to learn and fix their mistakes.
Let’s face it, if you’re not getting any work on freelance platforms, you’re probably doing something wrong. Let’s find out what it is. This is all you need to know, learn and fix:
Waiting For Work to Magically Appear
Many freelancers after uploading a cool profile bio, photo and completed your profile set-up on any freelance site sit and wait for clients to magically contact them. Is that what you have been doing? That is wrong, no one is going to contact you just to offer their projects on a silver platter. You have to put in all the hard work.
The truth is, you have to work hard and seek out clients yourself. You need to learn how to write great proposals and send cold emails to good clients. That is the solution. Go out there and start winning clients.
Too Much Competition
We have too many freelancers and some of the sites are crowded. Sites like Upwork and Freelancer.com are infested with cheap freelancers who compete for low rates. Trying to win on those sites will eventually force you to fall to their level as well.
How do you win in this case? It is pretty simple, do your research, find out some of the less crowded sites with low competition and build your reputation.
How much are your charging? Is your price too high or too low? For some reason, most freelancers seem to think that lowering their price is a good way to win more clients. Clients actually see this as a desperate attempt made by amateur freelancers.
Low prices not only demeans the value you put on your experience but also exhibit low self-esteem. Forget about hourly rates. Price per project according to the amount of work and time you have to invest.
Here is how much to charge!
How is your profile set up? Is it complete? It is important to note that completing your freelance profile is the first step you take to make money online. Your profile is the page your clients come to learn about your skills and experience. Sadly, most freelancers don’t even take five minutes to complete this step.
If you want to get more jobs complete your profile with a solid bio and a front-facing picture with a smile (no selfies). Show that you’re a professional. That is what clients look at before they hire:
Not showing genuine interest
Many freelancers get it wrong here, they don't take their freelance work seriously enough. Most treat it as a side gig because they have a "real Job" and so they treat these projects like they are trying to do a client a favor.
That is wrong. To be better and get more jobs as a freelancer, take your freelancing career more seriously. Use the same vigor you have for your 9-5 job to solve clients’ problems and make them better. Learn to create value!
No matter how many projects you apply every day, you will never get accepted if you write a bad pitch. The tiniest grammatical mistake in your pitch could have your clients doubt your abilities.
This may sound a bit cruel, but here’s a sneaky trick to find how to write a good pitch: Post a fake job on a freelancing platform and see how other freelancers apply for your fake job. Take note of the pitches sent from people who’ve made big sales.
Trying To Fool Your Clients
Don't lie. That lie won't last long before it comes to light. “So, you’re 20-years-old and you already have 10-years of experience as a web designer? That is incredible. Here, please accept our project.” Said no client ever!!
Clients have experience dealing with freelancers. You can’t fool them. Be realistic and be honest about your experience and skills.
Too Late to Reply to Client Emails
You’re not the only one applying for a project posted on Upwork. Dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of other freelancers are desperately competing to win that job.
To find the right person for the job, clients often send messages with questions to many of those applicants to see who’s capable of handling their project. And then give the project to whoever replies first. Yes, it’s a true story.
Upwork has a cool feature that allows you to enable desktop notifications. Enable that to stay updated. Also enable email notifications on your phone and be ready to reply instantly to your client emails.