January 20

7 Traits to Set Yourself Apart as a Freelancer


Have you ever wondered what traits separate exceptional freelancers from the average? Being just another freelancer in the vast ocean will not help you in the long run.

Exceptional freelancers are people who charge a higher rate, work on incredible projects they love, and just seem to be kicking ass with everything they do?

Being a freelancer, your primary skills are essential, and you need to be great at what you do. But you will be surprised to know what separates the top 10% of people from the rest 90% is some of the soft skills. Being good at your craft is essential, but if you are not good at these soft skills, chances are you may end up losing clients often. 

You can be a fantastic Google ads specialist, but if you never show up on time, don’t communicate well, and you are not a team player, you can end up potentially losing your job.

In this article, we share the 7 traits, which will help you to set yourself apart as a freelancer.

1. Punctuality and Attendance

If you are punctual and practice proper time management, you can easily create long-term relationships with your clients. I’ve worked for other agencies where they do require you to check-in at 8:00 AM Pacific Standard Time. If you agreed to that job, you should check-in at the agreed time. Employers don’t like people being late regularly. 

In my agency, I don’t ask any of my staff to clock in at a particular time, but they have to clock in every 24 hours. They have to reply to their tasks; they have to respond to Slack messages. I refuse to build my agency to work on urgent tasks. I came from a healthcare background, and the only urgent thing is a bleed. So I don’t run my agency that way, but they do require to check in regularly.

2. Avoid Late Tasks

Doing tasks late creates lots of chaos. When I am talking to a client, I will give them an estimated time of completion. I then take that and put it into my project management system and then set up the tasks with due dates accordingly. 

If my contractor misses due dates continuously, I’m at risk of losing the client. So as a freelancer, you’re expected to finish your tasks on time. If you can’t complete them, you should communicate that in advance, so the client is not affected.

Missing out on task due date is not a good habit, and it’s pretty much a guarantee that sooner or later, you will be let go. Most agency owners do not have tolerance for late tasks.

3. Taking on More than You Can Handle

It can be tempting to try to take on every project or task that hits your inbox, but in your best interest, you should resist the urge. Believe it or not, employers know when a freelancer’s productivity goes down. 

There could be a thousand reasons for the lack of productivity, including health reasons, personal reasons, etc. 

It can be from the quality of the work to how quickly you’re replying to comments, tasks, and Slack comments, but we can tell when things are going down. If the relationship is through Upwork, the employer can see all the other projects that you’re working on, and I actually won’t hire somebody who’s working on too many projects. 

4. Go the Extra Mile

Remember this by Maya Angelou?

“People will forget what you say, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” By Maya Angelou 

If you want to be known as someone who makes employers feel good, be willing to go the extra mile.

In my case, I am not only managing the agency, but I’m maintaining client relationships, and I’m trying to get new clients, so a lot is going on. I love it when my freelancers go the extra mile. Whether they see something that either raises a question or an alarm, I always appreciate it if they raise it to me. I can work with people who are subpar on a skill set level, but they are willing to go above and beyond. It is a game-changer if you can be proactive in your job. 

5. Be a Team Player

In a remote team, this is slightly difficult to do as compared to a team in a physical office, but by being a team player, you can lift the team’s morale. We all have tough days at times, and getting a helping hand in a task or just some small talk can really in those tough days.

Being a team player, it will not only help your morale, but it also helps the team and the company’s morale. Few things you can do to be a team player:

  • Occasionally check in with your counterparts on how things are going with them.
  • Try to learn their background, things outside of work.
  • Find out about their family
  • On a Friday, ask them what they are doing
  • On a Monday, ask how their weekend was

These are tiny things, but they immensely help in the long run, especially in attaining and maintaining jobs and references.

6. Acknowledging Tasks

Since I work with remote workers and I, have not set their work hours, its really helpful if they go into Teamwork, and they acknowledge that they’re working on the task. 

I love that. It makes my life so much easier because I can know exactly what they’re working on. Some agencies use various things like sprint boards, which helps them know which tasks people are working on. But if a freelancer can just communicate in the task notes and the task comments as a remote worker that, “Hey I’m doing this.” I find it really helpful.”

7. Communicating Holidays 

With 195 countries, it’s really hard as the agency owner to keep track of the freelancer’s holidays. I can keep track of major holidays for the main countries that I have staff in.

If the freelancer can communicate their holidays or the days they are out of office, in advance, it really helps the agency owner to plan the tasks accordingly. 

So, these are the seven personality traits that will really set you apart and help you get better pay and benefits. So hopefully you found some of this informative. 

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, message me here, or email to info@agencyalliance.ca. 


become great freelancer, set yourself apart as a freelancer

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