There are 12 important skills and personality traits that you need to run a healthy and successful freelancing practice. There are certainly more, but here are the first 4…
1. Curiosity. Many solopreneurs consider themselves to be introverted or shy. You just want to do your work, right? You don’t want to promote it, and sometimes you don’t even want to deal with your paying clients. If you are curious, you know that any interaction with a client and/or prospect is an opportunity to learn more about what they need and how you can help them. If you’re not curious, you may be certain. In fact, certainty may be running your life and you may not even notice it, that’s how subtle it can be.
Here’s one way to tell: When you think about reaching out to a new prospect, is your first thought, “They probably don’t need someone like me,” or is it, “I wonder what they need.” Certainty is imagining you know things you couldn’t possibly know, like what your prospects need or want before talking to them. That will keep your world (and your business) narrow. As a freelancer, the more curious you are, the wider your network will be and the greater your potential for growth. That type of curiosity is worth developing.
2. Self-Discipline. For both new freelancers and veterans, self discipline can be a challenge. It’s up to you to determine what needs to be done and then to do it. This covers everything from getting up at the same time every day (no matter how you feel) to meeting project deadlines. You may think you’re accountable to your clients and, to a certain extent, you are. But as a freelancer, you are mostly accountable to yourself and the strength must come from within. If you don’t have that in place, you will need to establish that foundation, which takes practice, especially if you’re accustomed to having a boss.
3. Professionalism. A reputation of flakiness precedes most creatives. So you have to work against that preconception, sometimes even going overboard, by being more buttoned up than you might be underneath it all, to override that impression. This can even include dressing for work. Not that there’s anything wrong with working in your pajamas (you’re free to do that). But getting dressed to work can have a psychological effect on you; it is often more conducive to being productive.
4. Organizational skills. Success doesn’t spring from chaos. With piles of paper on your desk and your inbox overflowing with email, you won’t get far. Important information or requests from prospects may need your attention, but if you’re not organized, you’ll miss opportunities without even knowing it! Order is essential and it’s a skill you can learn, but it requires discipline.
This is excerpted from my special report on the topic that outlines all 12 qualities you need — one of the many materials you’ll be learning from in my new online course How to Start Your Own Freelance Business. It’s a 2-week, self-paced course and it starts on Monday, September 8. Find the details and sign up with my promo code “IBENUN”
Here’s what you will learn:
- What it takes to succeed as a freelancer
- Setting a strong foundation: your values and your vision
- The Nuts ‘n Bolts: What you have to have in place
- Legal Basics of Freelancing
- The Importance of a strong network
- The Freedom of Freelancing
- Assignments: Your Elevator pitch + Who’s in Your Network + Your Goals
- Marketing/Sales: Your ideal client and the 5 Best Marketing Tools
- Client relations: Setting Boundaries
- Money: Pricing Basics
- Work/life balance: What is your ideal day?
- Success stories of freelancers who took the leap
- Assignment: Ideal Client Worksheet + What Will You Charge? + Your First Boundaries + Your First Marketing Plan + Your First Contract
The course starts on Monday, September 8 — sign up now with promo code “IBENUN”.
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