How to Be Successful as A Freelancer

Man using a laptop with a cup of coffee to his left and a small desk plant to his right.

Freelancing is a great career option for creatives all around the world. Whether you’re an artist, a writer, photographer, or some other form of creativity, freelancing is a great way to share your talent with the world on your terms. Through a strong freelance career, you can work on your own terms and on the projects that bring your passion.

In this article, we’re going to share with you some of the ways you can ensure you’re successful as a freelancer.


Build a network

Having a network of contacts is essential for any freelancer to find success. You can build this network in various ways, for example, by starting with existing friends and/or colleagues in the industry. This can give you a great jumping-off point for some easy introductions. You may also want to consider using past clients as a method of building contacts, as these people are already impressed with your work and may know others who will be too, too.

Networks such as LinkedIn are also a great way to seek out new contacts and share your work. For things like this, it would be a good idea to keep a portfolio of your work that you can share with potential clients.


Build a portfolio

Every good freelancer needs a portfolio of their own. They allow the freelancer to highlight their creativity and talent in their chosen medium. If you are an artist or someone who works in physical media, then a physical portfolio may be better for you as it will allow you to show anything you have made and showcase these items at interviews to clients.

Similarly, if you are a digital artist, a writer, copywriter, or work in the likes of marketing or advertising, etc., it would be a good idea to create and publish an online portfolio, since this is the medium most familiar to you.


Make sure you get paid on time

As a freelancer, getting paid is all down to you, which means you need to be in the know about finance and how it works for freelancers. One of the most important things you can learn when you’re a freelancer is how to write an invoice as this is going to set out the terms of your payment for a project, such as how much you are due, when and where it should be paid.

The key things you’ll need to include in every invoice are:

  • Your name, address
  • The client (or their company’s) name and address
  • An invoice number
  • The date when the invoice is being sent to the client
  • The date when your payment is due
  • An itemised list of the work you’ve provided for the client as well as costs and quantities for each item and the total amount due
  • VAT and your VAT number, if you’re registered for VAT
  • A Purchase Order (PO) number
  • Your bank details, or details of your preferred payment method

Make sure you keep detailed records of all your invoices and any communications with your client. These will be your backup in case the client doesn’t pay on time or refuses to pay at all.


Gather feedback

Feedback is an important tool for freelancers for various reasons. For one, it helps you to judge how well you’re doing and what progress you’re making. Feedback can also benefit your personal development by guiding you where you might need improvement, or where you are doing well.

Most importantly, perhaps, is the way you can use feedback from clients as a marketing tool in order to show your professionalism and skills to potential clients. You can use quotes from impressed clients on your website, social media channels, and even on business cards.


Whether you’re a seasoned freelancer or it’s your first time branching out into this field, these tips can help you. Take them on board and make sure you are doing all you can to ensure your successful career as a freelancer.

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