How to Get the First Contract for Freelance Work?

In the beginning, you should know, that the very first steps on freelance aren’t easy for every qualification specialist. Even taking into account the huge number of diverse tasks on the Internet, it isn’t so easy for a novice to find regular customers. When working on a remote basis, a lot depends on the personal working reputation and attached portfolio, so getting the very first freelance contract is the most difficult task that all freelance specialists face at the beginning of their path.

How to find a customer on the freelance marketplace in the event you haven’t even encountered cooperation on a remote basis? How introduce yourself and how to file, as a qualified specialist, in order to certainly receive a freelance contract? Let’s look at the main criteria and aspects that almost all customers on freelance exchanges around the world pay special attention to.

1. Eliminate all outside distractions

While working on a freelance, there is no place for inaction and laziness. It is sometimes difficult to disengage from Internet surfing and Facebook, and just get to work. Therefore, victory over laziness is not nearly 50% of your success. For the first time, try to dilute everyday work in freelance marketplace with other useful doings — such as sports training or study.

Also, you should definitely refrain from frequent breaks — immerse yourself in sessions for several hours, and then take a break. Experienced freelancers may well take a break every hour, or work 6-10 hours in a row. For beginners, this is an almost impossible task. 

Once you’ve received your contract for freelance work, devote all skills and experience to the first task. You should start working in freelance marketplace as if every minute of your inaction works against you — after all, the freelancer’s reputation is earned over the years. Thanks to the effective and high-quality work in freelance marketplace from the very first task, you can set a comfortable schedule and earn a reputation as a trusted partner.

2. Be patient

So, you have a fighting spirit, but your requests are not answered. No need to see in this decay and hopelessness. It may take one day, or maybe three weeks, to receive the first order. Due to your specialization, the response time can be completely different — programmers are answered more often since their work is fraught with specific requirements for freelancer skills. To get work in freelance marketplace, try to be able to keep yourself busy while you are looking for another project to participate in — and try to spend this time with benefits for yourself.

3. Presentable profile

Filling your profile on the chosen freelance marketplace, describe your skills and experience in detail, making an accent on skills and tasks, that could be exceptionally useful for customers in this particular field. Make everything concisely, without water and meaningless text — otherwise, the customer may simply not read your info to the end. First, describe achievements in the chosen main specialty, add links to published projects and qualification course certificates. It is also advisable to indicate additional abilities and skills to work in freelance marketplace with diverse programs and frameworks. Try to name as many program names as possible and make as simple a profile as possible so that the customer doesn’t get lost in complex technical terms.

Ideally, give 3-4 overview paragraphs to the main description, preferably no more than 1000 characters in total. This doesn’t guarantee you to get work in freelance marketplace, but greatly increases the chances of the successful bid significantly.

4. Portfolio

The portfolio is the starting point of a freelancer’s collaboration with clients and his «calling card» in the world of remote work in freelance marketplace. A modern portfolio shouldn’t look like a banal list of completed tasks. Each work in freelance marketplace should be equipped with all the necessary information regarding the technical requirements, deadlines and other, the smallest aspects of participation in each project presented in the portfolio. The vast majority of customers, first of all, pay attention to the portfolio, and only then they begin to communicate with the freelancer about the task.

The main problem is that at the very beginning of the freelancer’s work he doesn’t have a well-developed portfolio yet. Therefore, in the corresponding tab on job search sites, previous work experience should be indicated. Also, it will be useful to attach creative tasks completed in one or another program «just for yourself» — spend a few days completing such tasks to show your skills to future customers.

The portfolio needs to be filled with the most successful of your work and publications. Always discuss with each customer the possibility of placing work in a freelance marketplace, or discuss this item when drawing up a freelance contract.

5. Don’t underbid. Send a request «for sure»

The freelance marketplace has its own laws and foundations — and above all, you must be prepared for competition. Don’t count on getting a job too fast. Many beginning freelancers this fact leads to despair in attempts to get the first freelance contract. They begin to offer their services at low prices, dumping the freelance marketplace in a separate area of ​​remote work in freelance marketplace. This can lead to complaints from other freelancers — and your career will end there.

In addition, try to write a unique cover letter for each application — this immediately sets up the client to cooperate with you and allows you to establish partnerships from the very first moment you meet. Ask basic questions to clarify the task, describe your experience specifically in this area of ​​freelance, corny — ask the customer by name — and your chances of getting a project will increase significantly.

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