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Do I have to be a sociable person to freelance?

Nov 30, 2020
(updated: Dec 6, 2022)
Max 5 min read

Without any further ado: No. 

You will find all types of people in this ever-growing freelancing world, as a freelancer’s success depends more on one’s work quality and positive online reputation than anything else. 

Yet it’s undeniable that building professional relationships and maintaining good connections can help you attract clients and expand your work. But there’s no one way to do this. How you go about starting and nurturing these relationships is very personal.

While you don’t need to be a sociable person to freelance, here are 5 things that definitely need to be (or at least work on becoming) if you want to become a successful freelancer:

1. Autonomous 

As a freelancer, you’ll actually spend most of your time working alone, bearing many responsibilities involving deadlines, customer relationships, and managing payments without assistance, which will require a high level of autonomy.

Therefore, providing services autonomously is not for everyone. To carry out so many activities on your own, you will need total independence and a bunch of self-trust, especially at the beginning of your career.

You will be the one person who will undertake your own life: which means you will be selling your professional image, attracting customers, performing your services, and charging for them. 

Working this way won’t require sociability, but a lot of organization and responsibility.

Also, you'll gain credibility as a serious and mature freelancer by having enough self-knowledge to know your limit, meaning, the amount of tasks that can be accomplished by you. This notion will allow you to deliver everything on time, no matter what. 

2. Self-confident

One can be a very sociable, talented, and intelligent professional, but without knowing how to handle rejection, they will likely get frustrated and give up on their freelance career too soon. 

That's because the path from a beginner to a successful professional is quite long, and you will certainly face challenges such as clients offering unbelievably low prices or terrible jobs that you first thought would be perfect.

It’s that insecurities will never rise, but self-confidence won’t let them speak louder. The difficulty to establish yourself as a professional who deserves respect and good remuneration is common, so, more than anything, you need to be patient and believe in yourself.

3. Proactive

You already know that as a freelancer you will have the future of your career in your own hands. This will require a lot of dedication and initiative since you can't expect customers to knock on your door or opportunities to just fall from the sky. 

So, whoever ends up adopting this style of work, has to be proactive. The successful freelancer is ambitious and is constantly looking to develop his business, conducting his networking, studying market trends, and trying to get more and more updated about his area of ​​expertise.

In addition, it is worth remembering that being quick, receptive, and very attentive to the needs of your customers (delivering more than what they expect) is the best way to build customer loyalty. When contractors see that their expectations have been exceeded with the quality of their services, it is possible that many will be delighted and end up recommending you.

4. Disciplined

Another important and necessary factor to be a successful freelancer is the discipline that remote work requires. Although a schedule flexibility is many people’s dream, being able to work where you want, when you want, and wearing the clothes you want can be complicated when you’re not accustomed.

If you are the type of person who surrenders to the distractions of everyday life and needs a boss motivating you, or one who procrastinates tasks when working from home, it may be that freelancing is not the best option for you. As a freelancer, what you earn is directly proportional to how much you produce, yet not everyone is used to being productive without following someone's orders.

On the other hand, If you really like producing on your own and value your independence, there is no need to get worried. If you find an environment without distractions and let the people around you know your work time, you’ll certainly thrive.

5. Organized 

Becoming a master of the organization of your time is necessary to be a successful freelancer and rid your reputation of delays or sloppy jobs because of the rush. For that, it is necessary to have an organized and predictable routine that allows space for emergencies and unexpected projects. This includes turning down poorly paid jobs (especially if you are no longer a beginner) and set priorities.

When you are managing your to-do list, remember that an ideal schedule includes a specific period for work (preferably with short breaks) and another for leisure. Do the most difficult tasks first and save time for rest and leisure.

Then, no matter how focused you are on your projects, keep up with what you've planned for yourself. That means: stop working at the time you were supposed to, especially if you have previous appointments with friends or family. Otherwise, it can be tempting (and unhealthy) to neglect your social life to move on to the end of a task.

If you’re looking at gaining additional skills as a freelancer, click here to learn how to gain new skills as a freelancer. 

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