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5 Things really smart freelancers do

Freelancers are a dime-a-dozen these days, but there's a vast difference between a really smart freelancer and someone who just doesn't get the freelance life. Smart freelancers have generally been doing this type of work for so long that they've realized what this article is going to explain to you.

For the new freelancers out there just getting your feet wet, these 5 things really smart freelancers do can be the difference between being booked solid and a life of stress.

Continue marketing even when you're booked solid

The feast or famine cycle is one of the hardest things to grasp when becoming a freelancer, but when you realize that there's always ups and downs, you start to do things a bit different.

For instance, a smart freelancer will continue marketing themselves and submitting proposals for new jobs even when they're booked solid because not all jobs are quick to start. Sometimes new freelance jobs take weeks or months to nail down, so the marketing phase of a freelancers life should always be in action.

Make happy clients & fire the crappy ones

A smart freelancer can tell the difference between a client that you can do something for and make them a happy client, and a client that's so crappy you are better off firing them.

The quality of your clients can be the difference between waking up excited about the day and hitting the snooze button 100 times before crawling out of bed depressed. A smart freelancer asks clients questions to find their sweet spot when looking for new clients, increasing the quality of their work and life at the same time.

Continue learning even when you think you know it all

A really smart freelancer is actually quite stupid in the grand scheme of things and they understand that completely. So instead of being a know-it-all and pretending that there's no new knowledge to gain, the smart freelancer reads tutorials, studies new trends within their profession and is constantly pushing the limits of what they know.

Network with other freelancers

One of the best things a freelancer can do is network with other freelancers, especially if they're in a slightly different, but related, market. For instance, if you're a blog designer, networking with a freelance copywriter who works with a lot of businesses that hire them to write for their blog.

This way, if that freelancer you're networking with knows of someone who needs a service you offer, you'll be on the top of their list for people to recommend, bringing you more freelance business and keeping you afloat in the famine cycle.

Take time to work on personal projects

Waking up every day and working only on a clients project will get tiring, no matter how awesome your clients are. So a really smart freelancer knows that finding the joy of working on a personal project rejuvenates their drive and determination in their daily freelance life.

By working on a personal project, you also build up your portfolio and have the ability to learn new techniques without taking those risks on a client project first. You can also give your personal projects away for free and gain some extra marketing for your freelance business.


In short, smart freelancers constantly learn and evolve. They never stay stagnant with their marketing and smart freelancers know as much about their clients (and the quality of new clients) as they possibly can.

If you're just starting out as a freelancer, study this post and incorporate these tips into your daily routines and you're guaranteed to see an uptick in the quality of your freelance business.

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  1. Thanks for the tips and encouragement, especially about personal projects. I’m currently building a new application to help me forecast my freelance writing work and accompanying income. I though for a bit that I may be wasting my time. Good to know it’s a good thing to do.

  2. dennyzhang says:

    I especially interested in the point: NETWORK WITH OTHER FREELANCERS

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