According to Elance’s 2012 Data Report, the U.S. remains dominant as the world’s top hiring country. In addition to this, it is also home to the most freelancers, with more than 700,000 operating on the Elance platform alone. 200,000 of these joined the platform between 2011 and 2012, and this accounts for more than a quarter of new freelancers added worldwide.
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With freelancing now providing a viable alternative to full time employment it is important that independent contractors make the most of their available resources. Freelancing does not necessarily mean going it alone, as you will be at least partially reliant on the quality of your clients and the technological tools that you have at your disposal.
The Role of the Freelancer: Prospering with
the Support of Others
To succeed as a freelancer, you must create a reliable support network and strive to collaborate with purposeful tools and partners. Consider the following:
Strive to Create Profitable, Long Term Relationships: While you may be marketing an inherent skill as a freelancer, this does not mean that you are bound to achieve long term success. Your level of success as a freelancer often reflects the quality and longevity of your clients, especially if you intend to scale your operation. Reputable and corporate clients are likely to deliver the highest rates of remuneration, while also offering higher volumes of work and the potential for longer term collaboration.
Make Networking a Daily Activity: There are thousands of talented and well qualified citizens who have failed to realize their potential, primarily because they are unable to sell themselves in a proactive manner. If you aim to become a successful freelancer, then it is crucial to engage in regular networking and constantly prospect a broad base of potential clients. By engaging these individuals and businesses in communication, you will create a wider professional network that delivers additional opportunities for work.
Tap Into Freely Accessible Technology: Technological advancement and innovations in remote communication have helped to make freelancing an increasingly viable practice, so it stands to reason that the most successful independent contractors fully embrace these developments. Encompassing online payment platforms, scheduling systems and content management tools, this broad range of resources ease the burden of freelancing and improve the quality of your interaction with clients. In terms of conducting a professional operation, these tools make a pronounced and measurable difference.
The Bottom Line for Freelancers
There are a number of myths surrounding freelancing, with the perception that it provides a lonely and isolating experience among the most misleading. In fact, if you attempt to establish yourself as independent contractor with this mindset, then you are unlikely to achieve any semblance of long term success.
Instead, it is important to adopt a collaborative outlook when setting up as a freelancer. This will allow you to build a network of reputable clients and fully utilize relevant technological resources, with a view to creating a venture that can be successful for a prolonged period of time.
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