Freelancing is a very broad topic , but in this article I want to discuss a few ideas and techniques that hopefully will help you to be more successful.
Freelancing is not the same as running a fully fledged company, however in a sense you are effectively your business and so there is some overlap between the AV Discovery skills required such as presenting yourself and being competitive.
When you’re freelancing it can be quite difficult to get a rounded perspective of the market because you are doing projects alone, and therefore it is important to keep aware of market/industry trends, and in particular you should be considering how much you should be charging relative to your experience, skills and current market conditions.
Setting an appropriate price can be very tricky – if you overcharge, you’re likely to get less work and if you undercharge you might not be taken seriously or get overloaded with lots of work that pays little. You should consider researching appropriate rates to charge by searching on the internet and networking with other freelancers in avdiscovery.com.my/
Preparing a CV/Resume
With freelancing, the important element is to demonstrate experience and prove to potential employers that you deliver a good service consistently and reliably. Very often with freelancing you get assigned a task/target that an outsider observer could quite clearly measure you against, which gives you an excellent opportunity to fill out your CV/Resume with accomplishments.
However the downside is that, unlike being a regular employee who might be able to “dodge the bullet” in the event of a project failure, for freelancers/consultants there’s no escape; you have to take total responsibility for your work. Bear this in mind and keep trying to deliver high value (even if you get stuck with work you’re not overly keen on), as it will influence your long-term reputation and future prospects.
In your CV you should emphasise your experience. Freelancers can often find themselves professionally isolated and don’t always get the same formal training that other employees do, so highlight any on-the-job skills you’ve gained. Additionally you should point to your formal qualifications and constantly be retraining and taking additional courses throughout your career to differentiate yourself from the competition and justify your rate.
There are various online freelancing sites (such as Elance and Odesk) that can help you find work and give you lots of power over how you are represented to employers, however they come at a price. This isn’t a metaphor – because the market has opened up so widely, there is lots of competition for work, and therefore you most likely won’t get paid very much. Specifically, if you live in a relatively wealthy country, you may find yourself forced to compete with applicants from much poorer countries.
Consequently in many cases the prices has bottomed out.
How do you respond to this?
- Demonstrate the quality of your experience
- Exploit your education (especially if you live in a country with high education standards)
- Exploit your ability to speak a native language (such as English)
- Market yourself as your own brand
- Network intensively – keep your contacts open and don’t be afraid to return to old employers for leads and work.
- Refer potential employers back to people who are prepared to give you good references
Be prepared to negotiate with your client on issues like the pay, time-scale and specification. The more skills/experience you have, the better you’re going to be able to justify your position and the actions you want to take.
For each job, weigh up the benefits/experience you will get versus your short term financial needs – are you going to be able to eat today vs will you be able to enjoy three course meals at restaurants tomorrow?