The best ways to get (and keep) a freelance job

Tuesday 5 December 2017

In order to succeed as any type of contractor, you will need to secure contracts. However, getting hold of these freelance jobs is harder than it might seem. Furthermore, once you have a long-running contract, you will then have to work to keep it when it comes up for renewal.

Recently, some information has come up that might help self-employed workers with this aspect of freelancing. Hubstaff has released its 2017 Global Freelancing Study, which collects survey answers from hundreds of contractors based in over 150 different countries.

Hubstaff asked freelancers what factors they thought led to them getting more jobs, and two came out clearly on top. Over a third (36 per cent) said that having more work experience was the biggest factor for them, while 28.4 per cent said it was past client ratings and reviews.

In both cases, it's clear that getting plenty of work is key to future success. When you're starting out, it might be worth taking on a few lower-paying jobs just to build up a good reputation and increase your overall experience.

Backing this up, Hubstaff found that the main indicator that a contractor is going to win a freelance job is if the client has come to them via a referral, an option that was chosen by 30.6 per cent of respondents. Another 21.9 per cent said that a client doing background research on you was the best sign of getting a contract.

However, we all know that starting a conversation with a potential client is no guarantee of winning a contract. The Global Freelancing Study respondents have seen their fair share of jobs turned down, and have listed the most common reasons it happens.

The main answer, said by 39.2 per cent of freelancers, was that the client's budget was less than their pricing. There is not a lot you can do about this, but if it is happening often then it might be worth thinking about how you can reduce your prices.

For example, there is a lot you can claim back from the government in the form of expenses, including some of your bills if you work at home, or any clothing you need to buy for work. For advice on contractor expenses, you can always call Brookson for financial help and specialist accountancy.

The second-most common indicator that a freelance contract is about to be lost is if the client becomes unresponsive. This shows that communication is key; if you want to land a contract, you need to try to be in contact with the client as much as possible.

By Victoria McDonnell

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