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The freelance world is getting bigger and bigger and people from the online medium have started to pay increased attention to it. The Internet offer to us countless possibilities and one of these is to work and be paid by someone you have never seen. When it comes to freelancing, understanding the types of industries that are open to this work is important. Things such as writing or IT work are professions that come to mind. The freelance environment requires you to continually educate yourself. This could mean taking video based IT training to expand your knowledge in that field or going to writing workshops to sharpen your skills in that one. Whatever freelance opportunities you choose, you will have to have the discipline to find work and complete it in a quality way.

The economical crisis we just faced/still facing was/is a real booster of this kind of activity; outsourcing has become a common thing.

Freelancing is really enjoyable, having no boss is a dream of each employee but definitely there are many unseen disadvantages. To be a freelancer means to have a job even though some skeptical people disregard it. It is true that the beginning is very difficult, depending directly on the economical situation but there are enough freelancers who obtain a nice income by offering their services.

Definitely, it will be interesting to find out the barrier between a successful freelancer and one that is still considered an amateur. Success is still a very subjective matter but there are some signs that show anyone that his or her evolution has reach the point where it became profitable to work in that particular field. Freelancers are divided into two big categories:

  • -part-time, the people who are employed and obtain a fix income but in their “free time” work as freelancers
  • -full time freelancers, the lucky people who work from home.

Anyway, in both cases, we may find amateurs and professionals; below, you will find some interesting “signs” that reveal anyone the level reached when it comes to the freelance evolution, once somebody meet all these criteria, then he or she must consider himself a mature freelancer ready to be called a “pro”.

1. The existence of a competitive portfolio


Any freelancer in order to convince the potential clients about his skills and experience needs a material proof that may be easily seen or studied. This is called portfolio; usually a website where the freelancer is exposing the best or most recent works and the modalities to be contacted. The Internet is full of portfolios but only few are competitive and attractive – the owners are the mature freelancers who surely have many clients but also they are working hard all day long.

2. All the stuff on your computer is well organized


The cases of a very attentive and well organized amateur freelancer are few but we can’t neglect this evidence. Usually, freelance beginners have serious trouble keeping themselves organized, as there are many aspects to take into account in order to be more efficient. Along time, the way of working is constantly improving until the point when self organization turns into an art and this quality becomes the foundation of the successful handling of projects and clients. Another sign that somebody is on the good way is the organizing of the information present on the computer; it is highly important to know where the textures, the fonts, and the icons are saved in order to easily select these into a project.

3. Sometimes people are asking for your help


When people ask for your help or wait to hear your pieces of advice, then it is a clear sign of your professionalism. Yes, if someone else than a good friend is asking a question on Twitter related to what you work, you deserve a prize or a reward- you are regarded as a pro in what you are doing. This fact may have advantages and disadvantages but personally I consider that the disadvantages are seen only after a superficial thinking: to reply to any message or question from different social networks may be time consuming but you never know who may be your next client. A lot of companies and freelancers are investing huge amounts of money in advertising but they forget the power of word of mouth is the best way of promoting.

4. You have a clear schedule of your daily tasks


A mature freelancer has a clear schedule in order to avoid any problems regarding the deadlines he or she has to respect. While an amateur freelancer is working hard to attract clients and to establish a good image, he may miss some deadlines, while the experienced one handles the tasks better.

On the other hand, the mature freelancer is aware of his skills and limits and knows how to organize his schedule to work when his will power is at the maximum. If you consider that your schedule is precisely detailed, this is awesome and you are great. IMPORTANT: Don’t worry; you will never have the perfect schedule!

5. You have some guest posts about your field of activity


This isn’t a sure sign that you have passed the entry level but usually the vice-versa is true. Blogs are the best sources of information and bloggers are qualified people to write such articles. A respectable freelancer must have a few guest posts or even a personal blog to show that he has the theoretical acknowledge accomplishing complicated projects. Other positive aspects are the readers’ recognition and the possibility to obtain new clients.

6. Usually you have more than one project to finish


An experienced freelancer knows that it isn’t the happiest situation to depend upon a single client unless he is a very “big fish”. When you are busy almost all the time, accomplishing tasks from various clients simultaneously, once again you are on the road to becoming a pro!

7. The great majority of your clients are content with your services


Putting this “sign” here wasn’t the result of complicated thinking, it is pretty normal to meet the clients’ requirements once you give up the “newbie” status. In fact, the opinion of the customers is the one which may lower or increase the income so in order to be prosperous, this should be a constant worry. A nice idea to present a good image in front of other potential clients is to maintain a good connection with the previous ones and even to offer them some giveaways or discounts.

Anyway, each freelancer knows better what he want from his career but I believe these “signs” are important enough so reading this post might not be a loss of time. It will be great to know your opinions, so please use the comment form.

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About the Author:
Daniel Pintilie works for conversion rate optimization Company Invesp and enjoys writing on landing Page optimization and affiliate marketing.

8 Comments so far

  1. AnnMaria says:

    According to this, I’m a somewhat mature freelancer. Have to get moving on putting more of our work up on line. I’ve gone from updating the website annually to semi-annually. Guess I’ll move to quarterly next.

    You did remind me, though, that I promised someone a guest blog, so now I’m on it.

  2. DyaaBelal says:

    According to this, i’m less than mature, but i spent long time organizing my plug-ins and some friends told me that i am wasting time on something not that important, so thank you for making me know that am doing okay.

    I’ll do my best to meet the other signs, i really wanna be a professional freelance.

    so thank you for this, it really helped :)

  3. As a part-timer I fit the bill, more-or-less. I have everything but a large clientele base, paying clientele that is (that is important, isn’t it). I’ve done what I believe is quality free work, and will continue to, for a number of reasons – none the least to build a impressive portfolio.

    Your article was well taken and timely. Also, it’s given me the opportunity to offer a guest post. ;-)

    Thanks!

  4. Bokkaboom says:

    long way to go for me then… :(

  5. Damien Bright says:

    I just read your article and I am sadly very far below the standards of a pro. :( I have been doing graphic design in the Army for the past 6 years, but my experience has been very basic. I have almost no portfolio, so I have nothing to even make a website from. I have done a few projects here and there for family. (I am currently creating a poster / t-shirt design for a festival my aunt is running) I would really like to start doing additional freelance stuff, but I have no idea how to get in to it. I am designing a business card that I can give to my aunt to pass out to the sponsors of her festival, but that’s all I can think of. Are there places online that I can find companies searching for freelancers? Or maybe other articles or bloggers you may know of that can point me in the right direction.

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