If you ask many freelancers today what they would have done differently many would say it’s having a mentor. “If only i knew him/her when i started” is often the first line when you ask a freelancer for advice starting a freelance career. Going solo on your own for the first time can be frightening. Now it is up to you to find your clients, manage them and deliver your expertise. The full responsibility is yours and it’s up to you alone to earn your living.
Sure, many people have succeeded by handling the “freelancing wheel” themselves. Almost every one of them, however, has faced difficulties in their careers. Learning the hard way moves some of them to help others avoid the same unnecessary mistakes they made. These are some of the reasons many people shouldn’t hesitate to search for someone to guide them in the process. Humans are dependent on social interactions and it’s natural to search for someone to help you jumpstart your career.
Keeping this in mind there are many reasons how a mentor can help you in the process of you becoming a successful freelancer
It will be easier to jump into freelancing
Having a mentor to guide you through the initial steps of becoming a freelancer can speed your progress and “onboarding”. A mentor can show you how to create your profile on a freelancing platform. That means he/she can help you understand how to stand out more and play to your strengths. Clients are everything, so being ahead of everybody else is a huge advantage for your freelancing future.
Ideally, both of you would want to be working in the same field because there are slight variations for each niche. Think about it, if your expertise is a more creative role and you showcase that expertise through let’s say, design, then maybe it is harder for someone who works in, for example, accounting to properly guide you.
But if you don’t know someone who works in the same field as you, don’t get discouraged, you can still gain plentiful insight either way. A mentor with a proven track record will have plenty of tips to share with you because he probably knows someone who knows someone in your field.
This is exactly why the second-best reason for you to get a mentor is.
Access to your mentor’s network
Your mentor has probably provided services to many clients during his career. Many of them are probably even regular clients. In case you didn’t know, clients have a tough time finding good freelancers as much as the other way around. If someone proved that they are reliable it is very likely that they would choose that freelancer again. This cycle produces trust between the two parties and it’s not unlikely for that freelancer to recommend someone to deliver the service if their schedule is overwhelming.
Of course, it’s all up to the client to choose in this scenario, but nevertheless, you still have a very good chance of sparking new collaboration. You stand to gain a lot from your mentor’s network, there is nothing to lose.
You’ll be more confident and avoid amateur mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes, it’s a natural part of life. Even experienced freelancers on occasion have completely blown up something. Needless to say, they are a learning curve and serve to improve us.
But what if you could avoid some beginner mistakes at the start of your freelancing career? That opportunity may just prove vital in jumpstarting your career. Your mentor can help you with that. She/he has probably made every mistake out there when starting as well. The input you will receive will undoubtedly make you feel invincible. You will stand out from the crowd, appear professional, and be well versed in your field, and clients love that.
So are you ready to jumpstart your freelance career? Maybe you need to learn more about freelancing in general? Curious to know who are freelancers and the perks of freelancing?