Being proactive is one of the most important traits you should have to succeed as a freelancer. Today I’ll briefly talk what this means. I’ll throw in a couple of examples how to do it, too. Watch the video or read the transcript below.
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What does being proactive mean?
Too often I see starting freelancers who create a LinkedIn profile, maybe a website to host their portfolio, a profile on Upwork, and then they sit around on their computers, waiting for the perfect client to knock on their door.
It doesn’t work like that. You need to be proactive. Do your homework – research the market and your competition. Develop your skills. Experiment. Be brave.
Being proactive means creating opportunities for yourself. Don’t wait around – instead, put yourself in situations when you can shine and stand apart from the crowd.
How starting freelancers can be proactive.
If you are just starting as a freelancer, be perfectly clear that nobody will find you and tell you how great you are at whatever you do. You need to proactively look for new clients and projects.
If they have a job opening – good. Craft your proposal and send it over. If you don’t see an active job post but you really think you are a great fit for their team, craft a proposal and send it to them anyway.
Be proactive when improving yourself, too!
Many times starting freelancers email me with questions. There was this one guy, who contacted me through LinkedIn. After we exchanged a couple of messages, he had a pretty good action plan what to do before he comes to me for feedback and further guidance.
Guess what happened! He never got back to me again…
I see him online, alive and kicking, and posting the same questions and pleading for help over and over again in various group discussions. So apparently he didn’t like how much work he had to do.
Being proactive means asking for help but also, following through on the advice you get in return.
Being proactive with existing clients
Even if you have plenty of freelance experience and clients, you can still win new business by being proactive.
Say, you are a professional email marketer. A new client just hired you to analyze their email marketing efforts from the past year. You do that, you get paid, and your contract is over, right?
Well, not necessarily.
Be proactive and suggest to your client how you can further help them. Maybe you can help them plan the strategy for the next year? Maybe you can write the copy for their autoresponders? Maybe you can handle their monthly email campaigns?
Don’t be shy and offer your help, whenever appropriate. That’s being proactive.