30 September 2018 by Matt Dowling It takes a range of character traits to become an established freelancer. Resilience, creativity, and adaptability are useful. Strong communication skills and an eye for an opportunity don’t hurt either. Patience, however, is in short supply and many new freelancers are failing to land jobs because of it. We speak with hundreds of freelancers on a weekly basis. We talk at universities to the next generation of freelancers. We eat, sleep, and drink all things self-employed. What have we learned? Freelancers want work and they want it NOW! This message has intensified over the last 10 years and has become an expectation in the last 5. And why wouldn't one expect their career to be put on a plate with the so many shortcuts available to us in our daily lives? Apps and online tools are plugging gaps at a rapid rate and theoretically saving us from doing the hard graft. We don’t wait for a taxi, we Uber one. We don’t queue for food, we use Deliveroo. Spotify gives us the music we want instantly and Netflix pauses our shows for another day when we've hit a binge wall. Business tools and innovative Apps free up time in our work lives. The Freelancer Club App is no different. We connect freelancers with employers making the process of applying for a job as simple as humanly possible. However, when it’s a level playing field and everyone has access to the tools, what happens to those who are used to taking shortcuts? There are just some things that still take time, effort and patience. Building a freelance career is one of them. So what do you have to do to get the job? On Freelancer Club, we've made it really easy. It takes a bit of effort to get your portfolio uploaded, the bio written and profile complete but not more than 20 minutes from scratch. With so many freelancers using so many Apps or platforms, a lot of the info can be copied and pasted. Once your profile is sorted, it pays to update it with new work from time to time. Reviews are also proving to be a differentiator when employers are deciding who to choose. Freelancers can gain reviews from test shoots, older clients and any new clients picked up from Freelancer Club. In general life, the first milestone is to ask what problem am I solving? Who would benefit from my services? What are my services worth to those people? Answer these three questions and you’ve just established your brand message, your audience and day rate. Many new freelancers do not enter the game with a unique idea, they are joining a competitive market and hoping their quality, style, and price-point is enough to land a few clients. We work in a visual sector where style and quality are paramount. If you don’t have examples of your work, how can a prospective client know what they’re paying for? A strong portfolio is milestone number 2. A selection of exceptional work that clearly shows a style of your own. If you don’t have the images, video or content that makes up your portfolio, go out and get them. Test shooting is a great way to produce work in the fashion, beauty and lifestyle sectors. Writers and designers can 'self-project' and produce work for a fictional client. Our data shows that freelancers who apply for work with sparse or empty profiles rarely get the job. Now you know what you’re offering, who you’re offering it to, how much you’re offering it for and have the ability to present a good-looking application, you’re ready to sell. Arguably, the most uncomfortable stage for creative freelancers is milestone number 3, marketing. Fear not, we can use some of the trusty online tools and Apps to help with this process. Aside from Freelancer Club, there are jobs boards, social media channels, mail shots, partnerships, and advertising. A quick Google will bring up 100s of App options for all of the above. Before you rush out and fill up your phone's storage, take a look at your needs first. Depending on what you do and your audience will determine which tools are best to use. Many freelancers have already hit these milestones but are still not getting enough work. Regardless of the portfolio, price, and tools that you use to develop your freelance business, dedication, effort, and patience, are now the differential between those who get the job and those who don't. Online tools and apps still require careful thought and commitment. Just because a freelancer downloads an App or joins a new platform does not guarantee success. The hard work starts now.