By Charles Jackson
Internet freelancing is the key to becoming location independent and quitting your day job for good. However, as is always the case with any form of freelancing or starting your own business, you will need time and patience. Turning freelancing into a financially viable solution and ultimately quitting your regular job is not something that will happen overnight. You’ll first need to build up a reputation and have as many independent streams of income as possible, rather than putting all of your eggs in one basket. To help increase your chances, you’ll need to sign up for as many freelancing directories as possible and spend plenty of time on making impressive applications.
Before you begin, make sure that you have a full account on at least one freelancing directory. There are many to choose from, though some of the most popular include Elance, Freelancer, Rentacoder, Guru and Odesk.
You should regularly search for more work, even if you currently have plenty of work already. As with any form of freelancing, you never know when the work is going to suddenly dry up, or you’re going to hit a low patch. The more eggs you have in your basket, the less risk you’ll be taking.
Dedicate a certain amount of time every week, preferably two or more hours, to searching for new job opportunities. Write down a list of the places to look for work and how many projects you should aim to apply for. When you see something of interest, apply early and show your interest from the very beginning.
Freelancers often make the mistake of having a template or standard cover letter which they send with every application. Copying and pasting this into your job proposal on the freelance bidding sites will do nothing for your credibility and your reputation in the longer term. Most potential clients are able to tell right away if you are doing this.
Every application should be individual and show that you have thoroughly read the proposal and know exactly what the job is about. Don’t be afraid to ask a few questions, especially those which show that you have an interested in the job at hand.
Always attach a sample of your work to your proposal. You can also link to examples of your work online, although some of the freelance bidding sites do not allow this. Be sure that you familiarize yourself with the rules first.
Finally, when your application is finished, be sure to proofread it. Proofread it twice, in fact. Your potential clients probably have to deal with dozens, if not hundreds, of emails on a daily basis. If they see an application with spelling, grammar or punctuation mistakes, they’ll often ditch it without a second thought. Don’t give them the chance to do this.