If you’re a freelancer, I hope you’re asking yourself this question often. Well, not in that self-loathing, rhetorical way. But in a genuinely introspective way that you would at the end of the year, if you were in salaried employment.
Freelancing can be hard and lonely. But more importantly, if you’re not proactively managing it, your work can quickly spin out of control. I’ve met so many freelancers whose biggest grouse is that they’re doing work — often a lot of it — but they just can’t tell if they’re doing well or growing.
Today, I write a little about how you can tell if your work is good enough (stuff that has helped me immensely in the past).
Feedback from clients: I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating. At the end of every single piece of content you write, ask for feedback. Ask your client, editor, whoever else you’re interacting with two things:
Are you happy with my writing?
How is the content performing?
The first question is to make sure that you’re always meeting the customer’s needs. The second is to know if your content is at all useful — you don’t want to write for three months and have the client ghost you because they don’t know how to use it.
Reviews with a mentor: While it’s good to know you’re doing well for what the client is paying you, remember that they aren’t invested in your growth. They’re happy as long as one isolated piece of content works for them. For you, though, that’s not enough. You need to be able to tell if you are learning and growing as you write more.
Having a mentor / guide / coach to review your work from time to time, spot trends — both good and bad, identify your weaknesses and nudge you to do better can be life-changing. Like having your own personal freelance boss. This is what I’m hoping to do with Qwerty.
Regular pay hikes: If your customer values your work, they’ll show it with money. Learn to increase your rates periodically, charge new clients more and push your prices as and when you can.
P.S: The idea of ‘good enough’ can be triggering and difficult for people. I hope I’m not leading you towards a hackneyed measure of self-worth. However, I do believe that self-appraisal is an important part of growth and these are the ways in which I do it.