The situation on the market is changing rapidly. While joining a team of UX/UI designers like Clay.Global is still the norm, more and more are opting to take the freelancing route. You can communicate with clients directly and set up prices that are satisfactory for both parties. Another reason that motivates many professionals to start a freelance career is flexibility. You choose when and where to work on projects as well as what these projects are.
There are two ways to become a freelancer: freelance exchanges or communicating with customers directly through newsletters, blog posts, and advertisements. The second option is, of course, much more expensive and time-consuming. So in this post, we are going to discuss how to become a freelancer using various freelance exchanges.
Tips for Boosting Your Freelance Career
The first step to becoming a freelancer is to analyze your strengths and weaknesses. For example: if you communicate well with people, you are most likely going to search for customers in real life (at business forums, conferences). If, on the contrary, you are reserved and shy or cannot travel a lot, then freelance exchanges are perfect for you.
Register on Different Freelance Exchanges and Study Them
There are several international freelance exchange websites where you can find job postings from all around the world. In your country, there are undoubtedly some local freelance exchanges that you’re welcome to explore.
Here you can find plenty of job opportunities. However, the selection process for the website is quite severe. Be sure to present your best work and try to persuade the moderators that you’re qualified enough to take orders on Upwork. There is no subscription fee, but the platform takes a commission from each order. The competition is very high here.
On Work-Zilla, the competition for UX/UI designers is lower, and there are many orders. However, they are usually small and the pay is low. Available by subscription.
This service has a rather costly subscription. However, it does allow you to take orders from different categories. Consequently, the competition is average, and there are many orders to choose from. If you’re not sure whether it’s worth it to spend that much money on an exchange website, they offer a one-day free trial.
Dribble is a freelance exchange targeted for designers. You can place your portfolio there and allow the clients to find you or browse through projects and job opportunities.
Upload Your Portfolio
It may sound obvious, but include your best projects in your portfolio. If you’re a beginner, you still have to showcase something because nobody will hire a designer with an empty portfolio. So you can design a couple of imaginary projects (however, clearly state that they are just examples). You can also search for pre-employment assessment tasks on the Internet and try to complete them. This way, you will show off your skills and motivation.
Respond to All Orders that are Published on the Site and Actively Send out Your Portfolio
At first, you will have a small portfolio and a low rating. You will have to actively engage with other users to earn a reputation and get your first order.
Don’t Be Shy About Asking Your Customers to Leave Feedback for the Project
They will understand; after all, this is your only way to get a good reputation and earn more money. Clients are usually more than happy to help you with that.
Use the Functionality of the Website to the Maximum
If you can place ads for your services or post your finished work for sale on the site you have chosen, do it. The more often you and your work appear on the site, the more customers will pay attention to you.
Keep in Touch With Your Ex-Clients
A small informal communication with the customer after the implementation of the project will allow you to gain the trust of the person and get new orders from them again. To find a professional designer who is comfortable to work with is hard, so they will certainly remember you.
Last but Not Least
Being a freelancer brings a lot of benefits: flexibility in working hours and tasks, freedom of travel, and higher income. However, you should be prepared to start this path right, so that you won’t be disappointed later on down the line. These tips will help you to become a well-off freelancer and get the most from this career opportunity.