Keys to Success in a Freelancing Career in 2024

  • Remote Working & Freelancing
Contra Tips
· 7 min read

In the dynamic landscape of the freelance economy, the autonomy, flexibility, and unlimited earning potential continues to attract people regardless of their background. Whether you're a seasoned freelancer or just dipping your toes into the world of self-employment, the keys to success in a freelancing career remain as relevant as ever in 2024. From utilizing freelance platforms and job boards to honing your skills and creating a strong online presence, successful freelancing requires dedication, strategy, and a willingness to adapt to ever-evolving changes.

Mindset is Everything

The first step to success in a freelancing career is embracing the freelance mindset—a mindset characterized by independence, self-discipline, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. But not like the corporate world, rather pursuing excellence because it is what you want to do and makes you happy.  Whether you're a graphic designer, web developer, copywriter, or virtual assistant, freelancing as full time employment or as a side hustle, having the mindset of a leader—someone who takes ownership of their career, sets ambitious goals, and takes proactive steps to achieve them—is essential for finding success in the world of freelancing.

Getting into the right mindset when you’re first starting out can be tricky, but once you have allowed yourself to embrace challenges and find new ways to be creative, well you’re halfway there! 

Leveraging Freelance Websites and Freelance Job Boards

There are so many online marketplaces like freelance websites and job boards that have become indispensable tools for finding freelance jobs and connecting with clients. Platforms like Contra, LinkedIn, and 99designs offer a wealth of opportunities for freelancers across a wide range of industries, from graphic design, content creators,  web development, copywriting and virtual assistance. By creating a diverse profile, showcasing your skills and experience, and actively seeking out opportunities and relevant gigs, you can put yourself on the path to success and land high-paying freelance projects.

When searching for opportunities on these freelance websites, search for niche-specific keywords to get  specialized results from industries to skill sets. This makes it easier for freelancers looking to use their expertise and charge premium rates for their services. Whether you're a content creator, marketer, or web designer, exploring niche searches on job boards and marketplaces can help you find those high-paying gigs that are specific to your niche.

Some keywords to try on platforms like LinkedIn and other job posting sites:

  • Freelance writing jobs
  • High paying writing jobs
  • Graphic designer freelance work
  • Graphic design
  • Web designer
  • Virtual assistant
  • Freelance writer
  • Content creators
  • Freelance marketer

Building an Online Portfolio

In the competitive world of freelancing, a portfolio that stands out is your ticket to success. Building a portfolio that showcases your best work, highlights your skills and expertise, shows clients exactly what you can do and why you do it well by demonstrating your ability to deliver high-quality results helps to attract clients and projects you actually want to work on.  

Your portfolio does not have to be everything you’ve ever created or worked on, you want to make it specific to the types of clients you want to work with and the type of work you want to do. When you’re first starting out, putting every project in your portfolio might help you get eyes on it, but once you’ve become more skilled, have a few clients under your belt, and have developed your style, consider highlighting the projects you’re proud of, ones you did for notable clients, or ones that showcase a unique skill you have.   

Your portfolio should include quality work that showcases your versatility and demonstrates your ability to meet client needs and exceed expectations. Whether it's a website design, a copywriting project, or a graphic design campaign, each piece in your portfolio should tell a story and provide evidence of your skills and expertise.

Contra offers easy-to-use portfolio tools to make your portfolio shine no matter the type of freelance work you do.

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Cultivating a Strong Online Presence

Having a strong online presence is essential for success in any freelancing career, as building a network of both other freelancers who can provide referrals and potential clients won’t happen without an online presence. If you have a professional website, or a portfolio on a platform like Contra, Upwork, 99designs, We Work Remotely, and you’re maintaining active profiles on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram you can showcase your work, connect with potential clients, and build your personal brand. After all, as a freelancer, you're in charge of seeking potential clients and marketing yourself, which is different when you are working full time for an employer, it’s near impossible to do that without having a social media presence. 

Your website, or portfolio - not a social media profile, but a website or portfolio site hosted on a unique domain or platform like contra - should serve as a central hub for your online presence. The goal is to provide potential clients with an overview of your services, a portfolio of your work, and testimonials from satisfied clients, this strategy works for social media too.  

Additionally, regularly updating your blog or socials with relevant content, actively engaging with people in the industry and network you are in as this helps you establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche and attract new clients and opportunities - plus you can meet some incredible people!

Honing Your Skills and Staying Relevant

The world of freelance moves quickly, staying relevant and continuously perfecting your skills is essential for long-term success. If you're a graphic designer keep up with the latest design trends, a web developer learning a new programming language, or a copywriter refining your writing skills, investing in ongoing education and professional development, just like you would in a corporate setting, is crucial for staying ahead and maintaining a competitive edge in your field of expertise. 

Fortunately, there are countless resources available to freelancers looking to expand their skill sets and stay abreast of industry trends. From online courses through individual businesses and other freelancers, LinkedIn Learning, Skillshare, Masterclass, tutorials, workshops, and webinars, there are endless opportunities to learn new skills, get certifications, and expand your skills. 

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Diversifying Your Income Streams

Diversifying your income streams can provide stability and security when the state of freelancing is always changing. Whether it's taking on multiple freelance projects simultaneously, offering additional services to existing clients, or pursuing passive income opportunities like affiliate marketing or online courses, diversifying your income streams can help you keep a steady flow of income while also building authority for your brand. 

Navigating the Challenges of Freelancing

From managing client expectations and dealing with difficult clients to the ebb and flow of opportunities and work and handling the administrative aspects of self-employment, freelancers must be prepared to overcome obstacles and adapt to change. 

This is why networking and engaging in an online space is important because there are so many resources for freelancers that can help them overcome challenges. Taxes as a freelancer might seem daunting, but there are experts online and tons of freelance finance resources that can help break it down. 

Join online communities and forums, seek mentorship from experienced freelancers, or invest in tools and software to streamline your workflow. The important part is to learn, grow no matter where you are in the world of freelancing.

To Recap

Success in freelancing is so rewarding and there are seemingly endless opportunities for growth and creativity. If you’ve been doing this for years or are just starting on the freelance journey, embracing the freelance mindset, utilizing freelance platforms and job boards, building a creative portfolio, creating a strong online presence, honing your skills, diversifying your income streams, and navigating the challenges of freelancing—is going to help you thrive in the constantly changing world of freelancing. By staying up to date on trends and continually investing in your growth and development, you can build a freelance career that gives you the financial and lifestyle freedom.

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