by Lucy Long
There is nothing better than going on a run outside with the wind in your hair. We give ourselves time to think and release endorphins. These runs outside are very comparable to the steps one should take to succeed as a freelancer. Freelancing is a lot like going on a run: from our changing speeds to our music taste, each component relates. Although running and freelancing appear to be entirely unrelated, they oddly fit together like a glove.
All avid runners know not to go full speed at the beginning of their run. Sometimes, it may be hard at the start. You may be too tired or not excited, but after some time, you will forget about the hardships. It’s all about working up to a steady and comfortable pace.
This is exactly what it’s like to start freelancing. It may be hard to find clients at the start, but after a while, we will begin networking with our connections and find freelance opportunities. The important part is not to give up. A freelancers inbox may be empty at first, and they are frustrated that they’ve devoted hours to crafting those ideal outreach emails. But, after finding the perfect client to work for and gaining some experience, the freelancer will start a slog jog.
2. Running Community
When going on a run outside, I can almost guarantee you will see another exerciser getting in their daily swear. I always wave to these individuals or give them a head nod of acknowledgment out of common courtesy. Sometimes I see them repeatedly for a few days, and it’s customary to say “hi”- they are a regular on my route. You may be thinking: How does saying hello to random people you see on your run relate to freelancing?
Well, freelancing is all about making connections; we have to network ourselves so our name can be passed along to other bloggers, businesses, media etc. The only way to grow our service is to market ourselves to others and make genuine connections that may end up being profitable. Once we have these connections, we have to provide for them and manage freelance expectations of our different clients.
Each run requires a different playlist. I like to switch it up each day, so I don’t get bored; maybe even play a podcast if I’m feeling it. My music ranges from country to 80s hits, ensuring that I never get bored. The different music we choose is similar to the various services we need to offer as a freelancer. From what I have learned, the best way to market yourself is to provide more than one service.
For example, if a business is looking for a freelancer, they would instead hire an individual who can create content and SEO work, rather than hire someone who can only do blog writing. Then If you are not a jack of all trades, your client will have to hire another person to do the other service, lowering your pay and potential.
The best way to attract clients is to market yourself and show off what you can provide. By enhancing your key attributes and broadening your portfolio, businesses will be drawn to your services.
Have you ever run in a shoe that doesn’t fit quite right? If not, let me tell you, it hurts a lot, and you can risk injuring yourself. Think of Cinderella’s sisters, they tried to force the shoe on them, which was not pretty!
If we offer a service we are not quite good at, we risk tanking our business. We do not want to get a lousy reputation by trying to force something to fit. May that be a shoe or specific skill- it’s best to stick to what you know will produce positive results. It’s imperative to find the right fit!
5. Fuel yourself
The most crucial part of running is to make sure you fuel yourself properly. By eating before a run, we give ourselves the energy to fuel our miles, and food after a run helps our muscles recover from the strenuous activity. By disregarding our nutrition, we risk fractures, and our runs will be slow.
Fuel for runs is like practice. By practicing, we can make sure that we are able to get work done with the intended results adequately. We can practice our work by helping a friend do a task in your toolbox of services or go pro bono for some clients.
By understanding what it takes to become a freelancer in the long run, we are helping pave the way for success. The key points any freelancer needs to realize is that it will first be slow to pick up clients. But, after finding work, we must remember the importance of networking, broadening our services, being honest about your capabilities, and practicing. By understanding these concepts, freelancing will soon become natural.
Just like going on runs, it will take some time until we reach that steady pace. Just tie on the right shoes and get the playlist going because you are headed in the right direction.
Lucy Long is a Strategic Communications major with a Data Analytics minor at Texas Christian University. She also spends her time writing for Carson Leslie Center blog.