Written by: Hasan M.Mudafer
Being a freelancer offers many great benefits, like the ability to work from anywhere, whenever you want. It also gives you the ability to work on a variety of projects allowing you to possibly earn more money. However, freelancers in Iraq are presented with many challenges often causing anxiety and confusion At Job Studio, we understand the challenge of finding clients, managing time, and competing with other freelancers, so here are five tricks that will make your freelancing career easier -, let's get going!
- Networking: Lone wolves don't make it.
Having a network is crucial to obtaining clients. individuals and businesses usually like to work with someone from their network or with someone who has been recommended to them. Surrounding yourself with a variety of professionals allows the possibility of collaboration and opens the door for many business opportunities for you to seize.
There are many forms of networking from local events to exhibitions such as:
- Offline networking: Attending events aimed at freelancers or potential clients, volunteering for relevant events and causes, and building connections at organizations or communities that you are affiliated with such as your university.
- Online networking: Join online communities that are relevant to you, be a part of online forums or social media groups for freelancers or potential clients in your region
- Utilize social media: Platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram are powerful tools for networking. Create a professional online presence, engage with others, and share your expertise.
Covering online and offline relations helps you find work and connect with like-minded individuals.
- Personal branding: Your image is everything
Think of your brand as your reputation or image - you always need to keep it at its finest level.
Not putting effort into your brand can result in your business being seen as careless and untrustworthy. Having a good reputation means higher conversion rates (getting more clients) and higher retention rates (increasing client loyalty and trust in you).
To get the full picture, read our in-depth personal branding roadmap here.
- Set Boundaries: Don’t burnout
Not Having a work-life balance can cause stress which eventually leads to burnout. To avoid this make sure to set clear boundaries and make time for your personal life, friends and family. You can do this by:
- Establishing set working hours: Set regular working hours and communicate them to your clients. This not only ensures that you have dedicated time for work but also allows you to plan your time better and prevent misunderstandings.
- Avoid work-related tasks during personal time: To prevent work from bleeding into your personal life, avoid checking emails, taking calls, or working on projects during your off-hours.
- Write down everything: Properly document any arrangements and agreements between you and your client to maximize professionalism and avoid unagreed upon work leaving both you and your client satisfied.
Read our article on work-life balance here and discover all the ways you can free up time and develop healthy working habits.
- Organization: Be focused and boost your efficiency
Maximize your efficiency by implementing effective organizational strategies that will help you stay on track, avoid distractions, and focus on your work.
- Keep a to-do list: A to-do list helps you prioritize tasks and ensures that you don't overlook any important deadlines or commitments. Microsoft do is our favourite tool for managing a to-do list.
- Use a project management tool: Tools like Trello, Asana, and Basecamp can help you manage multiple projects, track progress, and collaborate with clients and team members.
- Maintain a clean and organized workspace: A clutter-free workspace promotes focus and productivity. Keep your work area tidy and free from distractions to facilitate better concentration.
Each person has their own productivity time and environment, some people are early birds while others are night owls, test different strategies and organization methods until you find a routine that suits you and saves up the most time and effort.
- Self-investment: Never stop learning
The freelance industry in Iraq is relatively new, and with each passing day, new skills are needed and technologies are being introduced. We all have seen the AI revolution and how it is changing many fields and industries.
Despite having a particular skill set, continuous learning is essential due to the competitive freelancing market. This is crucial to avoid falling behind and ensuring you stay ahead. You can do this by:
- Taking a course: Online courses and webinars offer flexible learning opportunities that can help you enhance your skills and knowledge. Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning offer a wide range of courses tailored to various fields and skill levels.
- Read industry publications: Keeping up with industry news and trends is vital for staying informed and relevant. Subscribe to newsletters, blogs, and magazines related to your field to stay abreast of the latest developments.
- Attend events and workshops: Participating in local events, conferences, and workshops not only helps you expand your network but also exposes you to new ideas, trends, and best practices in your industry.
Freelancing doesn't have to be that difficult. As an Iraqi freelancer you should always face your challenges using smart strategies such as using tools and utilizing connections, and of course, don't forget to keep learning. Freelancing, if approached correctly, is a rewarding career with many benefits as explained above - good luck!