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9 Qualities of a Successful Freelancer

qualities of a successful freelancer

To become the best in the business, you need to master the qualities of successful freelancers.

If you’re new to the industry and struggling to get work, consider if you are lacking in any of the characteristics that the most successful freelancers have.

If you’ve been around a while but are starting to stall or burn out, you may just need to work on a few of these to power through your struggles.

9 Qualities That Successful Freelancers Have in Common

Patience

This one is for all the brand new freelancers out there. You just created your profile on Legiit and launched your services. But you haven’t gotten a sale yet.

Maybe it’s been weeks.

Maybe months.

Some of our most successful freelancers went almost a year before seeing their first sale. 

But they never would have gotten to where they are today if they gave up. All it takes is just one good job to snowball a single win into a lifetime of success. 

So enter this industry with a good dose of patience. You won’t succeed without it.

Action

But patience doesn’t mean sitting around doing nothing. A farmer must have patience to see their crop bear fruit. But they also have to till the land, sow the seeds, weed, water, and more.

Patience plus action is the formula for breaking into the business.

If you aren’t constantly marketing yourself, refining your services, and finding new ways to please your customers, you are never going to land that first order.

For more help figuring out how to take action, check out our complete list of ways to get more orders on Legiit.

Organization

Successful freelancers are organized. Once sales do start coming in, you are going to get really busy really fast.

Design a system to track your projects, deadlines, communications, etc.

Set up a calendar for mundane tasks like replying to messages. But also build in time every week or month to work on long term goals, like adding new services or expanding your marketing efforts.

Related: The Best Productivity Apps for Your Business

Resilience

Every entrepreneur in every industry will suffer setbacks.

It is how you respond to them that determines whether or not you are destined for success.

If every hurdle you encounter demoralizes you and makes you want to throw in the towel, you will quickly lose hope.

Resilience is the quality of a freelancer that you use to push through hard times and bounce back from failure.

A resilient freelancer will see their mistakes as an opportunity to learn. Rather than giving up, you adapt. Rather than stepping down, you rise to the occasion.

Motivation

Motivation itself will not bring success. But you can bet that every successful freelancer has a driving purpose for everything they do.

Success stories at Legiit range from parents who needed to stay at home with their children while still earning a living to people who needed a way to stay afloat when the pandemic hit. 

Others are just average 9-to-5-ers who were fed up with working for someone else.

So if you are serious about success, discover why you are in this business.

Discipline

Of course, motivation will only take you so far. Discipline is the quality that helps you stick to your routine even when you don’t feel like it.

When your motivation is lacking, your discipline will pick up the slack.

While discipline may be a quality or character trait, you are better off thinking about it as a habit. It’s something you have to build up over months and years of dedication.

Start small, with something like a regular nighttime routine. As you master discipline in one area of your life, slowly start to work in other practices. 

Over time, you will discover that by mastering small pieces of your life and business, you just become a more disciplined person overall.

You May Like Motivation vs Discipline: Which Do You Need To Succeed?

Delegation

While many freelancers are like a one man band, it is helpful to be willing to delegate the tasks that slow you down or sap your energy. Delegation is also about knowing your weaknesses and outsourcing them to someone who is strong in that area.

For example, you might be the king of graphic design and photo editing. But you don’t know a thing about saleswriting. You can hire someone else to write your service page descriptions so that you can focus on what you do best.

Likewise, the best freelance writer in the world might need to delegate thumbnail and logo creation to a graphic designer.

And any freelancer can benefit from delegating little tasks like order processing and even scheduling to a virtual assistant.

Communication

If you didn’t want to communicate with people, you got into the wrong business.

There will always be clients with questions. And good communication before a sale is vital to actually landing the sale.

Being polite and approachable is the first order of business. After that, work on your ability to anticipate client needs. You want your communication to go so far as to convince potential customers that you are the solution to the problems they didn’t even know they had.

Related: Customer Service Guidelines for Freelancers

Self-Worth

If you don’t recognize how much you are worth, you will never rise above your limiting beliefs.

We’re talking financially, of course, but also your worth as a person.

For starters, you are worth more than five dollars. Don’t get stuck in the mindset that customers only want to hire you because your prices are cheap. If you are always competing on price, you will only ever get the clients at the bottom of the barrel.

Beyond your service pricing, a successful freelancer also recognizes their self-worth as a human being. You are good enough to succeed. You do deserve to win. And you don’t need to listen to anyone who says otherwise.

At the same time, though, you have to realize that you are not entitled to success. It won’t come to you if you don’t work for it. Merely showing up to the game isn’t enough to win a trophy.

What Are Your Best and Worst Qualities?

You’ve read our 9 qualities of a successful freelancer. Now it’s time to take a good, honest look at yourself.

Where do you stand?

Which qualities do you already possess and attribute your successes to?

Which ones do you need to work on so that you stop holding yourself back?

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