To be an International Freelance project manager is one big challenge as communication is a really fragmented field.
First, why should you work by yourself internationally?
Working as an independent freelance can be much more interesting than working in a company. Nowadays, companies do not like to “take the risk” and rather prefer to do as they used to do before. Working by yourself will allow you to be creative, express yourself and choose project that you are interested in.
Furthermore, you will be able to work, wherever you like whenever you want, you decide your schedule. You get to be your own boss, even though you will not have someone to be mad at. You can get to travel around the world to meet with one of your client without compromising your work for other clients. Also never forget that it is really stimulating and fresh to work with different people from different cities.
Besides, you can work in any field you like, there is something else than big and famous brand in the world: “you should communicate about something better than cheap close exploiting kids in Bangladesh, go and help people working in science that will change the world.” – Alec Walker Love
A few tips!
Working as a freelance requires some qualities.
- You need to be pretty responsive and self-sufficient
- You need to be a multiplier: speak different languages, be opened to different cultures and understanding them, diversify your projects, clients and tasks, use different medias
- You are expected to be rigorous and efficient: do not waste your client’s money- You have to be opened to new technologies: be curious !
- You have to be welling to move: do not be afraid of switching countries every two days and adapt your behavior.
- You have to be a life long learner: always check the new trends, what is going on in the world, go and check podcasts, social medias and so forth ! The world is always changing.
- You have to improve constantly you social business: never forget to share information, do not keep it for yourself!
- You have to be pragmatic
- You have to make quick connections
How to work?
First you have to get your clients but how to?
You have to improve your network every day, most client come from your network or your network’s network. Clients come also from word of mouth. Some of them will even come in a desperate way, as in an emergency. Do not hesitate to contact directly people, if you learn that they are launching a new business, maybe they will appreciate your help.
When you work as a freelance never forget that you are independent but not alone. You can always ask for help.
To work you will need some specific tools (some that you may know) such as:
- A laptop (your best friend, your brain, your office)
- Your phone
- Twitter / Hootsuite
- Instagram / Hyperlapse
- Google analytics
- Salesforce (CRM)
Where to learn when you work for yourself (you have to stay on top of communication news!): LinkdIn, Twitter, Podcast, Udemy/TedX, Reading news.
Watch out really carefully for the trends: make visual & emotional communications (work your adobe skills!), develop your content strategy, make sure about your communication authenticity, and personalize it: make it individual -> it is power, digital everything, measure your success!
Of course, working as an international freelance project manager is not always easy and can provide some pitfalls …
You have to be prepared for lack of sleep, night working. You have to always be looking for new client because you get jobless the next day (project do not all have the same length of time). Besides, the perfect client does not exist; you will not always have a good relationship with them.
There are a lot of opportunities and fields out there, develop your skills, become specialized and aware of the trends, open yourself to the world. Do not get scared of starting your own business.
Article written from the Managing International Campaigns’ conference
Speaker: Mr. Alec Walker-Love
The Editorial Team - Juliette Chabod, Pauline Pelvet.INTERNATIONAL WEEK