Learning New Skills…

Many times it would be a lot easier to keep using the same skills and never learn any new skills.  But where does this get you?  It will get you the same work, but it may or may not help you get more clients and/or work.  As long as you are willing to do the basics of the skills you are advertising, you will never get more work.

An example from my life would include a couple of the following:

  • I had never written blog articles before.  I decided to learn how to do this and then eventually started this blog.  This helps me keep my skills up when it comes to blog writing along with using it as a way to let others see how I do with blog writing.  It is also a good way to be able to show my other skills as well.
  • Sales Letters.  I usually don’t feel sales letters are my strength, but had a client ask if I would write some for some work I had done for him.  I was willing as long as he gave me a sample he liked, along knew I hadn’t done it before, but was willing to give it a try.  He was willing to take this into consideration.

Don’t be afraid to try something new.  If it doesn’t work, you don’t have to do it again or keep trying it.  But if it feels right, you can look into developing this new skill.  This new skill can be great when talking with clients, whether current or new.  If it is a current client, they may be wanting to start a blog or whatever your new skill is and you can be the one to do it besides the other work you do.  If you are looking at adding new clients, this is a great way to try and get new clients because of the new skill you have developed or are developing.

Make sure you let the clients know if you are starting to use a new skill, so they know you are working on improving a skill or it is something you may not be at the same level as others who are applying.  Some may be willing to work with you if you already are working for them and have volunteered to try and do something new.

You also want the new skills you are adding seem to go naturally with what you are already providing.  If you are writing, then the different writing documents will vary.  Also do research and see the examples out there as well.  This can be a great way to see how things work or how to do the new skill.  This can be a great way to learn and eventually add it to the list of what you can do.


Your Communication Style…

Letting your clients know your particular communication style is important.  The clients need to know how you will be communicating with them, frequency, etc.  As you build the relationship with your clients they will have a sense for how you communicate, but it is important to let them know in the beginning.

An example with me includes I had a new client I had just picked up.  Right about that time we had a wind storm knocking out the power.  I tried many options to try to get online to let this client know I would be unable to get to his project until I received power.  I was without electricity from Friday evening until Tuesday afternoon.  Since he was new, I hadn’t told him about how I communicate, etc, or at least I could have, but hadn’t.  When I finally got back on I had a message from him and then got back with him to explain the situation.  He was understanding and said to get it to him as soon as I could.

This was a good reminder to me to send a note to all of my clients about how I communicate, etc.  It may not seem like a big deal, but it will help you in the long run.  It is better to send reminders regularly so everyone is aware of what is going on.  This is also a good idea if you know you are having health concerns for yourself or other family members.  Another example would be when I was pregnant.  I let my clients know I would keep them as informed as possible, but if they had heard from me and then didn’t, especially if there was working going on, to know I had gone to have the baby.  They appreciated the fact I was keeping them informed.

My Newest Adventure with Freelancing

I have started my website to promote what I do as a freelancer.  I am very excited about this.  If you want to check it out you may visit it at www.stayathomefreelancingmom.com.  I am using it as a way to try to draw in new clients.  I will be working on it more, but at least I have a start.  All I need now is to get some quotes/testimonials from some of my clients.  If you have any suggestions feel free to let me know.

Right now I am limited with 3 pages because of the option I have chosen.  But that can change once I really get things going.

Freelancing looks like it will be the best way for me to help my family out financially and this website is one of the means to help me get it going.  If you know anyone who needs a writer or editor/proofread, please send them to my website.

Again, this is one of many steps I will be taking to get my business up and going.

What I have going on with Freelancing…

I haven’t been on here as often as I have wanted to.  I have had a lot going on here in life, and that includes freelancing.

Here is what has gone on with my freelancing:

  • I have been busy with work for clients, which has seems to be continual work for the most part.
  • I am working on trying to get things ready so I can also do some freelancing without always relying on oDesk and the other 2 agencies I am work with.
  • Since I am trying to set things up I need to come up with a contract, my rates, marketing material, website, invoice templates, invoice tracking and then updating my income/expense sheet I already have.
  • I have a list of topics I want to write on so you can have other helps and tips from what I have done and/or learning as well.

This is an exciting step for me, but also one I can’t take lightly.  I need to make sure I have everything set in place so things will run smoothly.  There are some things I can’t do until I get other things done.  This would include, setting up a website until I have things like rate set, contract templates set up and services defined.  I can’t do a lot on marketing until I have my rates and services defined.  Then I need to get business cards made as well.

I have my invoice template and tracking started because of one of the agencies I work for, but I am sure I will be tweaking it once I really get into freelancing on my own.  Then I need to work on the other things to get started.

I had kept pushing these things off because I just didn’t have a push or anything to do it.  But now I feel it is the time, so besides working on what I have with my current clients, I need to work on getting my own freelancing things set up.  I know it will take time to do this, but know it will be worth it in the long run.

So if you have a dream job, then look into starting it and seeing what needs to be done to make it happen.  I know I am looking forward to what will happen because of the work I am putting into it now.


How to Make a Job Continuous Work or Add More Work to Your Load…

There are many times you are hired for a particular job.  Whether it means a one time deal or you do the same thing over and over.  But there is a way to make more money and/or get more work from a client.  If you are willing to look outside the box, you never know what may happen and where it will lead.  Don’t look at the job as the basic job you need to do.  It is all at how you look at things.

It is a matter about seeing what else you might be able to do and/or showing them what else you can do will make all the difference.  I want to share some examples about what I have done this type of thing. Here are some examples:

  • The first one is I was asked to work on editing/proofreading a document the client wanted to read more like a book than a transcript.  I did what the job description included, but when I sent it back to the client had a few suggestions for him.  He said if I could either give him ideas and/or get it started, he would give me a bonus.  I did this.  I may not get more work from him, but I was able to show him what I could do along with getting paid more for the extra work.
  • I have a job I recently started.  The idea was to edit/proofread a websites material.  During the email conversations he found out some of the other skills and work background he could use for his company.  Then he realized he could use me for many other things.  They don’t have someone to make sure each item going out has a polished looked before it gets out.
  • I have talked and/or working with a couple other agencies besides oDesk.  As I was talking with the ladies who are the founders of the agencies they realized they could use me for a couple of projects.  I have since been able to get some work done, which shows them what I am able to do along with the fact I can try doing new things.  One of the ladies has even wondered if I would be willing to write for her blog once she gets it set up.  This wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t shared my blog with her along with talking about different ideas she could use the blog for.  It will be some time before the job will start, but I have a job.

Learning new skills and then marketing them can make all the difference.  It is important to make sure you pick ones you are interested in and then keep at it.  The skills need to build on what you already do as well as something you can use to help market yourself.

As a freelancer you need it to have skills you know are your strength and stay away from those skills that aren’t your strength.  But it is also good to know who has the strengths that you don’t have and be able to recommend them.  This can be done by working not only on your own, but with others you run into while freelancing.  Even if you don’t work together other than just sharing jobs leads.

I know I haven’t written regularly on here, but am starting to keep a list of topics I think would benefit others as you start your freelancing career or are considering your freelancing career.

When Bad Weather Strikes…

If any of you were watching the news since Friday heard that Virginia had bad weather.  Many like myself, lost electricity.  We finally got it back on Tuesday afternoon.

In the mean time I had a job due on Monday I hadn’t even started and had to way of letting the client know why I wasn’t able to get the work done.  There was no way to send him a message or anything.  So when I was able to get with him I let him what happened and he said to go ahead and finish the project since I wasn’t trying to ignore him.

My suggestion would be to always make sure your clients know you will be in contact with them regularly along with letting them know you won’t be available.  Also let them know when you won’t be able to contact them it is because of a situation you weren’t foreseeing.  Your clients you work with regularly will hopefully already know this.

It is not a bad idea to every so often send a message every so often to remind them of things like this.  Remind them there may be times emergencies will come up and if you can, you will let them know you are unavailable, but there may be times that isn’t possible.  Also make sure they realize you may be able to send a quick note saying you aren’t available, but will let them know when you are available.

It is also important to realize they may need to find someone else to do the work if it is time sensitive.  But if you can work together, then do what you can to get the job done or see if they can wait until things settle down.  If you have others you work with who can help, you can ask them to get the work done as well, especially for those projects that are a little more time sensitive.

I am looking forward to sharing a few other ideas and suggestions in coming blogs.  If you have any ideas or suggestions you would like to hear about feel free to let me know.