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You got this. How to look like a freelancing pro.

Freelancing your way to becoming a pro.  Freelancing your way to becoming a pro.

Despite what your dear aunt might tell you during Thanksgiving dinner, freelancing is a serious career. And just like any other career, reaching ‘pro’ status takes time. Try these 7 steps that make it look like you’ve got it down while you build up your credibility as a freelancer.

1. You will be judged. 
Nothing says, “You must be uncool” more than an AOL email account. Step up your professionalism and create your own personalized email account (Ex: dan@consultinghouse.com). It’s also a good idea to add your website and social links to the signature of your emails. The more professional a client thinks you are, the more $ they will be willing to pay for your work.

2. Teach me something.
Establishing yourself as an expert in a field can help legitimize your career. Create an online/shareable resource that teaches others something. This could be a blog post, e-book, or a tutorial video.

3. Flawless communication.
Typos and grammar mistakes make you look sloppy. Try the Google Chrome plug-in Grammarly, which picks up errors in your emails and makes suggestions for corrections.

4. Put your best face forward. 
Your website is your public face. It should be easy to read and welcoming so that potential clients understand what you’re all about. If you can’t develop one yourself, try Squarespace for clean, user-friendly templates. People are visiting your website to see if you’re the right person, so remember to include client testimonials that vouch for your work.

5. Cross-promoting.
Write a guest blog on an influencer’s platform to gain access to their audience and boost your reputation. It also helps get new clients; 51% of marketers say they get better customers with this type of marketing. Plus, you can repurpose the material on your own blog.

5. Link yourself in.
You need a LinkedIn profile, and it needs to look good. Use a professional photo (no pets, sorry!), a clear list of your work experience, qualifications, and website. Ask your friends and former clients to endorse you for the skills you want people to know you for.

6. An eye into your life.
Know this: potential clients will stalk you on social media, so be cognizant of what you put out there. Show off your work, hobbies, and personality. Keep the more private aspects of your life private, like that hot mess, drunk moment you thought was funny.

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