6 Lessons I've learned as an online freelancer

I started working as a full-time online freelancer as far back as 2014. A friend had introduced me to it some months before. Initially, work started off very slowly with few jobs in the first few months. Eventually, I started getting more and more clients and was able to make a full-time income from it.

Here are 6 lessons that I’ve learned freelancing online.

1) Start small and work your way up

Start out with smaller jobs. Employers, sometimes, want simple things done. I’ve done surveys on the request of a client for five dollars on Upworks.

Start out with a small rate as well. As you build your reputation on the site, and have several jobs under your belt, you can start charging a little higher.

2) Reviews are everything

When it comes to online freelance sites, reviews will make or break your chances of success. If you’re getting mainly five star reviews, you’ll have a greater chance of making it as an online freelancer.

When you’re getting a lot of good reviews, you’ll also be able to raise your price sooner.

3) The client isn’t always right

You do have difficult clients online as well as in the real world. They’re usually the ones who want a lot for very little. They’ll want articles done for less than five dollars per five hundred words. They’re the ones who are difficult to satisfy and will probably want several revisions done.

When they’re done, they’ll probably, either, not leave a review or leave a bad review. Also, beware of clients who want a free sample of your work before hiring you. Chances are, they’ll disappear after that free sample.

If you’ve had these kinds of clients, still leave a good review after the job. Hopefully they’ll leave a good review, even though they’re dissatisfied.

4) Look for clients who have good reviews

Upworks and a few other freelance sites do show feedback for clients when they post a job. Look for clients who have good reviews. Sometimes though, the job might be the first one posted for the client. This means he won’t have any reviews yet.

5) Never stop learning

If you want to make more money as an online freelancer, never stop learning. There are always ways to upgrade your skill and provide more value to online clients.

I found out what clients in my line of work wanted and I taught myself those skills which I’m new to. For instance, I did a short online course and became a QuickBooks Proadvisor. This increased my value as an online bookkeeper because clients had a great need for an expert in QuickBooks Online.

If you’re a writer like I am, as well, read more. Read from successful writers, especially in the niche in which you’re interested in.

6) Treat freelancing as a business

As an online freelancer, you are working for yourself. You’re no longer an employee with a boss to tell you what to do, when to do it and how to do it. Freelancing is your business and your clients are your customers.

You’ll have deadlines which you’ll have to meet for several clients. You’ll have to organize yourself effectively, even if you want to sleep until midday.

The sky is the limit as far as your income goes. You’re no longer relying on a paycheck, so you won’t have limits to what you can earn. Conversely, if you don’t work you won’t get paid.

These are some of the lessons I’ve learned as an online freelancer. I hope you can use these to benefit your online freelancing.