Being a freelance starts when you think about yourself and act as a professional. It’s a mindset that takes you to the next level. You turn pro. People consider becoming a freelancer for a variety of reasons: (1) Do their own and great work, (2) Be free and make their own decisions, and (3) Responsibility. However, dealing with that change is more difficult that it seems. But you work your way up.

Most freelancers fail because they jump into it without changing their mindset — ending in Upwork or other platform, getting gigs by being the cheapest. But that doesn’t have to be your case. You can develop your career by adopting the freelancer mindset and start working on it today. Because this is a choice to become a professional. You only need to work every aspect of the list below, which are a combination of qualities a freelancer must develop.

In an economy where the concept of jobs is changing, every freelance must develop the following qualities:

1. Select. Freelancers pick their clients. Clients with good taste that won’t harm their reputations with sloppy work. (And this applies to full-time jobs as well.)

2. Brand. Everybody‘s got a brand (and it’s not a logo). That’s the promise you make (and deliver), and the story people tell themselves about you. What do they think about you when you walk into the room? Freelancers work their brands to make sure it matches the story they tell.

3. Connections. Freelancers must work their database to get more gigs in the future. Connections with people’s permission that want to hear from them.

4. Value. Freelancers seek to offer value in every interaction.

5. Voice. Freelancers develop their own voice. They have no trouble to speak up.

6. Knowledge: Freelancers keep learning and updating their knowledge in their fields. It’s the only way to become an expert.

7. Expertise. Today specialization is more important than ever before. And being the expert in a field is what every freelancer should seek. If you are the best at what you do, do you think companies would call the second best one? No way.

8. Money. Professionals don’t work for customer without money. Period.

9. Spread. They do their work in a way that people are eager to tell others. And being remarkable will land you with several testimonials that will give you the trust you deserve.

10. Portfolio. A résumé is worth nothing, but a portfolio is a tool that can land you on a gig. It’s the key to be more trusted. And every freelancer know that with a sloppy portfolio they won’t get any gig.

11. Consistency. Since it’s really difficult to create a brand impact, freelancers don’t change their stories over and over. Being consistent with their story is what will land them on the top of mind when companies seek The Expert. (This won’t happen overnight.)

12. Promise. Whatever they promise, they deliver it. You say it would be done by tomorrow? Keep it.

13. Assets. They invest in assets that make them valuable over time.

14. Signature. They leave a mark in their work that you can tell by where that craft comes.

It doesn’t matter if you have a full-time job — this is the mindset of a professional, and you can start applying it right now. Whenever you end up with a gig, treat it as a project. An opportunity to put these points into practice. You want to change the way you think about your work and start being a professional. You don’t have a boss. You have a client.

Becoming a professional is a choice.

Originally published at

Data Rebel, writer and filmmaker. Author of ‘Data Dictatorships: The Arms Race to Hack Humankind’. Founder of BM Studios:

Data Rebel, writer and filmmaker. Author of ‘Data Dictatorships: The Arms Race to Hack Humankind’. Founder of BM Studios: —