How Do Freelancers Increase Their Capabilities?
This blog post is part of our question and answers series on freelancing. Do you have questions about freelancing? Click here to submit them for future blog post consideration.
Short Answer To "How Do Freelancers Increase Their Capabilities?"
- Have an opportunistic eye for seeing the potential to help a client and learn new skills.
- Work on new capabilities with existing customers that we have an existing relationship.
- Be upfront about our lack of experience and skill-set and leave the decision up to them about moving forward.
The Detailed Version
First, we want to start with existing clients where we have an existing relationship. Trying something new on a stranger/new customer is risky.
A few years back, I was working with two authors building them a Joomla website for their co-authored book. They wanted a way to communicate the message of the book using a tool they had heard about called Prezi. At the time, I had heard of the tool but never used it. I let them know my lack of experience with it, but if they were willing to pay me to do it, I was confident I could learn the software and come up with something with which they were satisfied.
Essentially, I was upfront about it and left it up to them to decide. When I came up with the final result, the client was excited and thrilled at how great it turned out. The alternative would have been to present myself as super talented and experienced with the tool and tell them I could come up with something awesome. The problem is they’d have high expectations, and I’d likely struggle to meet them. I had done this with a marketing company I used to own, and it did not work out well.
Setting the bar low made it much easier to excel. They were satisfied with the work, and one of the two authors asked me to create another Prezi for a company where he was the CEO.
My First Project
My Second Project