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Becoming a great freelancer takes time, dedication and a relentless pursuit to overcome obstacles. As a freelance Brand Identity Designer I feel there are 5 qualities / skills a freelancer must have in order to be successful within his or her given industry. In this post I will also provide you with some resources that can help you in the areas I mention within this post:

1. Salesmanship

My very first official job (non-retail) I ever had was in Business Development; which gave me an upper hand in my freelance business. Being able to convert leads to clients and develop sales literature and the willingness to call cold companies has greatly benefited my freelance business. If you are a shy person and rely heavily just on job boards and referrals to close new business you won’t be in business for long; no one was born a great sales person it takes time and practice so don’t be afraid to try a new sales tactic.

Need help with sales buy…

–  The Psychology of Selling by Brian Tracy

– The Art of Exceptional living by Jim Rohn

2. Dream big and set goals

I have a list of goals that I review every morning (well except for Saturdays) which helps me see the bigger picture. It is essential that you set lofty goals and dream big. For instance I tell my self I would be the first Brand Identity Designer on Forbes magazine; some people might look at it as being overly ambitious but it’s the overly ambitious people who aren’t afraid to take chances in life and who achieve success. I encourage you regardless of your present day circumstances to take a leap of faith and if you need words of encouragement I am always an email or phone call away.

Looking for some words of encouragement I suggest you pick up…

– Beyond Positive Thinking by Robert Anthony

– Laws of Success by Napoleon Hill

3. Passion

I remember my mom telling me when I was young (Still a young lad now) Isaiah make sure you do something in life that you enjoy doing. I got to admit it the old lady has a point (love you mom) when you are doing something you are whole heartily passionate about the resources and people magically come into your life (law of attraction) and aid you in your journey to greatness. So if you work a 9 to 5 that is draining you physically and emotionally consider on quitting and pursuing your life long passion believe me in the long run it will pay off.

Want to cash in on your passion or find it look up…

– Crush it by Gary Vaynerchuk

– The Element by Ken Robinson

4. Listen

It’s appalling how so many business people / freelancers can never seem to shut up (yes I said it). Don’t go into clients meetings and talk your client to death about how great you are because in reality everyone says they are the best. It is highly important that you let the client take the floor and listen to what they have to say intensively and respond effectively. Just remember no one likes a bragger but every one loves a great listener.

Need some help on your listening skills pick up…

– How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie’s

– Becoming a person of influence by John C. Maxwell

5. Well roundness

As a freelancer it is highly important that you are able to get along with people of various culture backgrounds and varying personalities. I have clients that are hip, laid back, pretentious, down to earth, old and young; as a freelancer you must have a personality that can shift in order to really connect with your clients. I am not asking you to be something you are not but I am asking you to be aware of the subtle differences or big differences in character that people have and be able to speak there language.

Want some extra help on how to be well rounded…

Sorry no books to read on this one just get up and talk to random people at a bar or some social event you will get the hang of it.

If you have some skills or qualities that you feel are highly important to having freelance success feel free to drop a comment.

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Posted by Isaiahfrazier1

Isaiah Frazier is a freelance Brand Identity Designer that creates websites, logos and creative campaigns for companies of all sizes. Check out his online portfolio http://www.isaiahfrazierdesigns.com/

7 Comments

  1. Hey I just wanted to let you know, I really like the written material on your blog. But I am using Chromium on a machine running version 8.x of Xubuntu and the UI doesn’t seem quite correct. Not a important issue, I can still basically read the articles and research for information, but just wanted to inform you about that. The navigation bar is kind of hard to use with the config I am running. Keep up the good work!

  2. Thank you for the kind words Andre! Also thank you for the feedback on your experience. We try to make our site run on every browser smoothly, but sometimes things don’t drift the right way.

  3. Hey Isiah,

    Great blog.. and I agree with everything you said. The irony is, I’m pretty good at 4 of them, except for #1 – the Salesmanship has never been my forte. As many artists, I grew up as an introvert, raised by a super strict Asian family who told me to never speak up, never question, be assertive, etc. Now that has started to come bite me in the arse as I’m starting out as a designer/brand strategist on my own. It didn’t work well in the corporate setting, so that’s why I want to be my own manager. Thanks for the tips though, I suppose it’s taking risks into the uncomfortable unknown and practicing till I get it right.

    I wonder how many other designers have this fear of doing the whole salespitch thing. I think it’s more important to see sales really as building relationships and trust, but at the end of the day.. it’s about generating cash flow.

  4. Irene,

    I believe that you will be a success mainly because you are capable of identifying your weak points and you are actively seeking out ways to better yourself.

    Change takes time and effort so be patience with your self and I assure you will do just fine.

    – Isaiah Frazier

  5. Isaiah thanks for the article,

    same as Irene, my weak point is no1. Apart from the last 10 months that I have been working freelance, I always worked in environments where I didn’t have to worry about sales and winning pitches. Plus my personality is more introvert and this doesn’t help at all.

    Things change as now I need to develop these skills, in order to make ends meet(probably better than that). After almost 9 years working as an employee, I made a conscious decision to work on my own even if it means acquiring all these new trades

  6. Uh did you miss communication skills? Isn’t that a vital part for freelancers when dealing with clients.

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