Second Life is filled with talented freelancer in all domains. But of course, there are plenty of challenges. I hope these tips will help you get started !
This article is offered by SL Freelancers - Connecting artists and clients
Create your identity
As a freelancer, you are representing yourself like a brand. If you threat your clients like a brand would, it will ensures you stand out from the competition by giving your services a professional image.
For example, giving an interested client a note card with details such as your availability, the size of the final picture(s), links to your portfolio and Flickr gallery, your prices and how to proceed to the payment (in full ? half at booking/half at the end ?), refund policy, and other details...
You could also consider providing your clients with quotes and invoices.
Second Life environment is highly competitive, and networking will be the one thing that will make a big difference to your freelancing career.
If not already done, sign up to social networks such as facebook, plurk, google+ and SLFreelancers of course. Flickr is certainly essential because of it's vibrant SL community.
Doing so can bring new clients/projects, and will also help you with your "brand" because it a great way to communicate. It will also create business relationships, allowing you to check out the talents of other freelancers and enhance your business offerings. You can learn a lot from other freelancer's experiences.
Market your best craft
Be sure to place the spotlights on your best works. Even if you "do a bit of everything" try to focus specifically on what you do best.
Also, do a bit of marketing ! A lot of freelancers don't spend time on marketing because it's a lot of effort and sometime ineffective. But if you do a sale on your rates once in a while or if you create funny campaign (this will also show your skills) it can result in surprising new projects.
Impeccable customer service
Second Life might be a virtual world but you are handling real money. Be sure to be professional when dealing with money problems.
Your client should be aware of your refund policy before paying you. A common practice is to ask for the half of the money as deposit when booking with you. This deposit can only be refunded to the client if you are cancelling, in the inverted situation, your client is loosing the deposit but do not have to pay the other half.
To handle unsatisfied client, if you have rules about it in your information notecard apply it, be sure to stay professional. Even if a satisfied client might recommend you to a friend, an unsatisfied one will not recommend your services to 10 friends.
Ask for testimonials at the end of a project ! Testimonials sometimes makes the differences between you and another freelancer. SL Freelancers has a Guestbook available, ask them to write a little something there !
Don't under price you
I am not saying to over price yourself, but you should price in relation to what you work worth. Never accept a project you don't think you can handle and justify your price by the time you spend on a picture. Check the competition's prices and other photographers you like to adjust yours.
If you liked this article, please consider visiting SL Freelancers ! We hope to build a growing community of artists, freelancers and clients : http://slfreelancers.yooco.org/
I mainly like to take pictures. Sometimes more...