So, you’ve finally made the big decision to switch careers and become a freelancer. You have everything you need to start working for yourself: a home office where no one disturbs you, an online portfolio anyone in your field would be proud to have, and a formidable list of marketable skills. There’s just one problem, and it’s that you’re not getting any freelancer jobs. It’s been a while since your last one, and you’ve had to dip into your savings for a while. What’s going on?
First of all, don’t panic. Many reasons could explain why you’re not getting any bites, and luckily for you, most of these are actually things you can address on your own. Here are the top five reasons why you’re not getting any freelance jobs, as well as some tips on how to maximize your chances of getting a lucrative freelance job in the Philippines.
You’re not chasing after leads
Stop for a moment and look at what you’re doing right now. Are you simply wasting time on the web, watching videos or browsing your favorite sites, while occasionally refreshing your email browser tab? If so, then that could be a reason why you’re not getting any freelancing jobs. As a freelancer, you can’t afford to simply wait for the jobs to come to you. No, you have to actively pursue them.
Curb your time-wasting habits, and scour freelance job websites for job opportunities instead. Search for the recently published jobs that are relevant to your field of expertise, and then apply to as many as you reasonably can. Doing this lets you address your self-imposed lack of opportunities, while at the same time giving your name exposure in the freelancing scene. Remember: if you have time to browse the internet for leisure, you have time to chase after job leads and freelancing opportunities.
Your pricing is either too high or too low
Something else that you may be doing to drive away freelancer job prospects is that you’re either over- or underpricing your services. If you price your services too low, then you’re putting out the message to employers that you’re not confident in your abilities, or that you’re grossly unqualified for your position. It can also make you appear as if you’re trying to pull off a scam, i.e. an offer that’s too good to be true.
By the same token, pricing your services too high may also drive off potential customers. You may have the experience in your field to command a high price, but remember that your experience as a freelancer counts as well. If you’re relatively new to the freelancing scene and you’re already pricing yourself way above the norm, then you may be seen as someone who thinks of their skills too highly, or too overconfident to work with.
To remedy this and attract more attention, you want to strike a happy medium for your asking price. Interview your friends and co-freelancers on how much they would pay for someone at your skill level, as well as what the industry standard pricing is for your type of services. From there, play around for a price that’s high enough to cause some of your clients to hesitate, but also low enough to still net you concrete job offers.
You’re too slow in replying to inquiries
How long do you take to reply to an email inquiring about your services? If you answer with anything other than “immediately,” then you may be sabotaging yourself from getting the employment opportunities that you need. While this may sound unorthodox, it’s a common practice for clients to mass-mail job requests to freelancers they deem qualified, and then give the job to whoever replies first. Prevent this by keeping connected as much as possible, such as having easy access to your laptop or smartphone at all times. Also, be sure to check your emails often.
Your communication skills need working on
Being able to communicate in a friendly, respectful, and positive manner to your clients is an important skill set to have. Not only does it help you to get your point across faster and easier, but it also convinces your clients to keep you around for longer.
However, if you find that your clients often disappear after the first or second rounds of contact, then it may be that your communication skills need improvement. Check to see if you talk to your clients in a professional manner, or in a way that’s too familiar and informal. If you find that your way of talking is more of the latter, try to be more professional about your language and see if things improve. Also, ensure that all your messages are written without grammatical or typographical errors, as these are red flags for any employer.
Your portfolio isn’t up to snuff
Finally, check your portfolio. While it may sport the best samples of your work that you’ve ever done, it may still be lacking in other qualities that employers are looking for. Check for the following:
- Does it have enough volume? A thin portfolio could make you look like you’ve only just started in your field. Try to increase the amount of your featured work.
- Is it relevant to the job you’re looking for? You shouldn’t be submitting a portfolio of car sketches for an architecture job. Make sure that what you have is related to the field you’re pursuing.
- Does it contain an equal amount of older and newer work samples? Having an equal amount of such works will make you look more experienced and disciplined in your chosen field or niche.
Maximize your chances of getting jobs as a freelancer
Searching for freelancer jobs can be challenging, especially if you’re new to the entire freelancing thing. However, by checking to see if you’ve got any of the common issues listed above and taking the steps necessary to remedy them in full, you’ll be giving yourself a better chance at getting the job opportunities you want.