The 3 Traits of a Successful Freelancer

As the job market continually shifts towards the growing trend of Freelancing, it proves helpful to consider how to become a force to reckon with in such a competitive environment. What would make your profile stand out to recruiters? Becoming a Freelancer is more than just a trend, you can’t decide to be one just because everyone around you is doing it – there’s a specific method to the craft and you must have the skills and specific traits needed to get in, and stay in.

As a freelancer, you must remember that you are the product and that sharpening your skills is one of the only ways you can reach success.

Successful freelancers have many great qualities; a few are commonly shared traits, others are learned over time. But overall, we’ve noticed that there are three traits that have proven to be the most useful in the workplace and in life itself. For the freelancer, they are the three major templates for success:


By definition, Self-discipline is the activity of training and control of oneself and one’s conduct, usually for personal improvement. As a freelancer, you are the only one responsible for the productivity of your time. With all the on-hand digital distractions out there, from checking the latest post on Forbes to the trending Vine video on Facebook, it can be very hard to focus. You must remember that there will be no one looking over your shoulders to make sure you will get the job done – you chose to be your own boss. Being able to overlook distractions and efficiently allocate time to get the job done right is always commendable and is a trait that gets noticed quickly.


Being professional goes beyond putting on the nicest tie you have. After all, it can only bring you compliments, not clients. Most Freelancers leave their full time jobs for the freedom of doing what they choose, but in order to succeed you still have to consistently maintain a high level of courtesy and dependability. From always showing up on time, to the manner in which you speak to others (this includes verbally and written, like email for instance), professionalism shows one’s true character when interacting with all types of people. Other things like a business card and a professional looking website can be the icing on the cake; they are basic necessities that can also show your potential clients/recruiters why you are worth their time and money.


As mentioned at the beginning of this article, when you become a freelancer YOU are the product. Promoting yourself is not only important to your business, but to your bank account as well. Taking the first step and appropriately approaching people to inform them of your services can be a challenge, but should not be a discouragement. In fact, you must be ready to accept multiple “No’s” for many of your initial offers. Keep this example of Brian Chesky, Co-founder of Airbnb in mind. Self-promotion, nonetheless, is a developed trait and will get easier with more time and experience.  

Always remember that there is no easy way to success, but building a firm foundation of resilience with these three traits will help you persevere towards a long and prosperous journey.