6 Steps to Becoming a Successful Freelance Project Manager

Project management is a serious business which demands a wide variety of skills. From communication and multitasking to problem-solving and reporting, project managers must handle it all simultaneously. But this is also why an average salary for a freelance project manager in the U.S. amounts to more than $83 thousand.

If you’ve been thinking about building a career in freelance project management, you need to prepare for the challenges of this profession. It’s not the mission impossible but you must dedicate some time to planning and analysis. In this article, we will show you 6 steps to becoming a successful freelance project manager.

Simple Tips to Give Your Project Management Career a Boost

Project managers can have different sets of skills and academic backgrounds, which is why we could give you dozens of useful suggestions for this position. However, there are some general rules that everyone can use when building a career in this field. We will show you the 6 most important rules here.

  • Know your skills

The fact that you are a project manager doesn’t mean that you can perform well in all cases. On the contrary, you need to understand your own skills to make sure that you are going to apply only for the projects that suit your professional capabilities. First of all, stick to the niche you know the best or at least don’t go too far away from it. As per this project management software review, enhancing  your skills of using project management tools can give a huge boost to your career.

Additionally, it is not the same whether you work on small or big projects. If you had experience only with low-cost missions, you should not jump straight to the $10 million project whenever you have the chance. Start slowly and build your career step by step, it’s the only way to advance without making huge mistakes in the process.

  • Understand client’s demands

As a fresh project management freelancer, you are probably eager to make an immediate breakthrough. For this reason, most freelancers rush into projects not really understanding their objectives and deliverables. This can drastically slow your career down, so do your best to understand client’s demands before accepting the offer.

According to the study, almost 80% of project management executives don’t even know how their goals align with the company’s business strategy. You should not make the same mistake and be ready to analyze each KPI to see how it fits into the overall business plan of your client.

  • Explain your own demands

Before you begin working on a new project, you should also let the client know about your conditions. As usual, salary comes first and don’t be shy to ask for what you deserve. Most project managers would accept lower compensation at the beginning of their careers but you don’t want to let anyone exploit you. As a freelancer, you will probably have many remote duties but you should avoid doing overnight work. Instead, try to set it as a regular 9 to 5 job – if that’s something that suits your daily rhythm. In case you have additional demands, feel free to inform your employer about it but don’t complain once the project begins.

  • Maintain communication with the client

Almost 60% of projects fail due to the breakdown in communication. Bear this in mind and do your best to maintain straightforward and precise interaction with the client. You should keep all stakeholders informed about the progress of your work or potential problems. Do it on a weekly basis but if necessary, you should do it more frequently.

  • Build your resume and portfolio

With each project you complete successfully, your professional reputation will grow and you’ll be able to aim for bigger and more profitable jobs. That’s why you should build a portfolio and add these achievements to your resume. Try Krop platform for creating a professional online portfolio and CareersBooster for resume writing. Keep your resume and portfolio specific and always emphasize concrete results of your work. After all, concrete results are everything a client wants you to deliver.

  • Don’t stop learning

No matter what you know about the business, there are always new things you could learn. As a project manager, you have to stay up to date with the latest industry developments and learn about state-of-the-art ideas and technologies in your niche.

You can do it online – just read business articles and attend digital courses or professional webinars. But you can also attend real life events and meet new colleges and key opinion leaders in your field of work. Learning is not the only benefit you’ll get from it as this kind of networking can give you fresh career opportunities, too.


Project management is a profitable but very demanding profession. If you want to build a great career in this field, you need to be aware of your skills and prepare to work on projects that really suit your profile. In this article, we showed you 6 steps to becoming a successful freelance project manager. Make sure to keep these tips in mind and write us a comment if you have any other inquiry about this topic – we would be glad to give you a hand. 

About the author: 

Eva Wislow is a career coach and entrepreneur from Pittsburgh. She is on a mission to help people find their true calling. She finds her inspiration in writing and peace of mind through yoga. Connect with Eva on Twitter.

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