WHAT IS CLIENT MANAGEMENT? Client management is the method of managing the relationship between an organization/establishment and its client base,...
TIPS FOR BECOMING A SUCCESSFUL FREELANCE PROJECT MANAGER
Who is a Freelancer? A freelancer is a self-employed individual who offers services to clients. These services are often being provided to businesses, though the proliferation of sharing economy platforms like Upwork and Fiverr and directly to clients, without third-party applications that usually take a cut of the pay. Freelancing offers you a head start […]
Freelancing offers you a head start at being your boss, and the freelancing option poses several advantages from giving flexible work hours to working from wherever without having to get into the hassles of traffic, getting paid your work’s worth and ultimately basking in the happiness that an increased work/life balance amongst others.
Who is a Freelance Project Manager?
A freelance project manager is one who manages projects on behalf of client organizations or businesses. Some freelance project managers work independently, and others contract jobs through employment agencies or other third parties. Freelance project managers, baring a few trade-offs, can earn more and enjoy more freedom than they would in full-time employment.
BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES OF A FREELANCE PROJECT MANAGER
Freelance project managers, like every other freelance option, have its pros and cons. On its benefits, asides from being your boss and having a level of flexibility at work, here are a few more perks of working as a freelance project manager:
● You decide on what assignments you want to work on.
● You have the liberty of fixing your schedules.
● You earn more than you usually would when in paid employment.
● You get to meet more people and connect with industry professionals.
● You are exposed to a variety of projects.
Now that we have highlighted the benefits of a freelance project manager, let’s take a look at the challenges that come with taking in this role:
● The jobs may not be stable; this implies that there may be periods without income.
● Lack of company benefits like pension and health insurance.
● Absence of moral support from senior colleagues and managers.
● You need to keep yourself motivated with the absence of work peers.
TIPS FOR BECOMING A SUCCESSFUL FREELANCE PROJECT MANAGER
Once you have weighed the options between the benefits and challenges and decided to opt-out of paid employment, here are a few tips that would help you through your vacation as a freelance manager:
BUILD A JOB SEARCH STRATEGY: Building a job search strategy can be pretty challenging when transitioning into freelancing. There are a few ways to get job engagements and opportunities, they include;
● Turn to a job recruitment agency that caters to your industry of interest
● Register your online presence. Make judicious use of social media to give a detailed outlook of your accomplishments and to find new opportunities
● Do not overlook small opportunities as engaging a series of small jobs can help you build a profile that will land more significant jobs.
BUILD A PORTFOLIO: No one will hire you to manage their projects without proven work experience. It is imperative to build a portfolio for yourself from the period you were in paid employment. However, collections are not limited only to your time working under actual employers, and they could also be from outstanding performances on school projects or in a training course. Projects carried out in your free time for the fun of it could also interest potential recruiters. A well put together, decent portfolio helps you backup your statements and sees that you are taken seriously.
GET CERTIFIED: Certifications are an effective way to put yourself out there on the valuable job market. Certifications imply that you are willing to learn new things and brings a clear advantage in terms of median salary. As a project manager, getting certified in PMP may suffice at this point. A recent survey revealed that PMP certified practitioners are paid 23% higher than their counterparts without certification.
Getting certified in other specific areas could also put you at an edge. For example, a freelance project manager interested in managing human resources could get a certification in that sector to boost their chances.
BUILD CONNECTION: A freelance project manager with little work experience has minimal chances of getting the best of employers/clients. Building the right connection in freelancing is where the meat to work lies. There is no perfect formula for getting clients but reaching out to former colleagues, friends, family and close associates and letting them know first-hand what you could be the needed push to meeting the perfect client.
In freelancing, self-promotion is vital; learn the art of adequately marketing yourself and use this tool to create an edge. Always try to expand your network: attend various seminars, meetings and conferences, follow up the industry leaders on social media and sign up for their email listings to get growth nuggets, join project management communities. Do not shy away from showing off your work at gatherings with a dash of self-confidence.
SET UP A SCHEDULE: Freelancers are burdened with working for rather long hours since they are not under the regular 9-5 schedule. When starting, project managers in a bid to win over clients stay open working around the clock for 24/7. This sets unrealistic expectations for the clients, giving them access to you at odd hours and putting you under a lot of pressure. It is essential to cut out late nights and weekends from your schedule set a strict time frame for work hours and try not to deviate from it. Any experienced manager will let you know that running yourself around the clock to please a client will not produce the best results.
KEEP COMMUNICATIONS CLEAR: Setting up effective communication is essential to a freelance project manager. It is vital to keep a stable connection between yourself and clients or stakeholders. You could send daily or weekly emails to show details of your progress on the job. Be candid, and upfront about the challenges and setbacks encountered on the project.
An essential part of keeping the communication clear is understanding the needs of the client. Following the ideals of the organization, you are working with and aligning the projects to suit their standards will put you on the right path.
Freelancing as a project manager can be a steep path to the trail, but finding a balance between the pros and cons will give you an edge in this challenging field.