In today’s world, 9-5 jobs aren’t the norm anymore. Flexibility in timing and a rise in entrepreneurship is transforming the working world. Today, many people prefer to set their own pace, create a niche for themselves, and do their own thing. As a result of this ideology, freelancing has emerged. Freelancing has always existed, but it was mostly the creative fields that made use of it. Nonetheless, today more and more people are attracted to this option and look to freelance in their area. We’ve compiled some steps to help you get started successfully for those interested in making a career in freelancing. Let’s take a look:
1. Making decisions
Beginning a freelance career is a significant change from a steady job. There are many big decisions involved in such a change. To start with, you should decide what you want to do. Select a specialization, not just a field. Consider narrowing your skillset, for instance, if you design brochures or business cards. Getting specific will help you find the right clients. Next, decide which businesses or people you’d like to work with. You can narrow these down based on the types of companies that fit within your vision. You can, for example, work for established companies, redefining their designs, or start your own business and create brand new designs.
2. Use the Charge Calculator
When starting a freelancing career full time, you must understand that this will be your only source of income. A small amount of savings should be available to tide you over during the first 3 – 6 months of your retirement. Consider all your expenses, including your home utility bills, investments, and daily expenditures, when choosing your rates. For industry-specific rates, you can ask around or search online for the current rates in your industry. Then, you can estimate how much work you should be taking on each month once your earnings per project/per hour are determined.
3. It's time to spread the word
Now that you’ve selected your niche, your clients, and your fees, it’s time to spread the word. Especially those you have worked with will most likely have contacts within the industry who can help you. Do not fret if you don’t have any previous experience. Get in touch with everyone you know. Everyone you have on your contact list, whether they are old school friends, relatives, or friends. Tell them why you are starting a freelance career and enlist their help in spreading the word. If you want to get started, include your phone number and email address. In addition, you can connect with people on social media. Put up posts, stories, etc. Search for communities and groups in your field of study as well.
4. Everywhere you go, sign up
Freelancers have access to a variety of platforms to find freelance jobs in the 21st century. Websites like Odesk, LocalMart, Guru, Freelancer, Angie’s List, Upwork, and Fiverr allow you to create a profile on their site and display it to people looking for freelance work. Make your LinkedIn profile more attractive by adding relevant experience to your resume. Also, make a website where you share what you offer, work samples, and customer testimonials (if you have any).
5. Let's make it official
Freelancers have a lot of problems with payments. The vendor claims the final product is not what they wanted and demands rework and payment delays. To avoid this, make sure both you and your client sign a contract including guidelines, feedback, update, and deadlines. By doing so, you will benefit from specific and convenient communication with your clients. Using services like Shake is an excellent way to draft legal contracts without having to hire a lawyer. You must clarify the payments and feedback in the contract before signing it if your clients are writing it.
6. Keeping up with books and time
While being your own boss is refreshing, it comes with specific additional responsibilities such as accounting and management. When you finish your freelance work for the month and have to balance your accounts at the end of that month, this may seem overwhelming at first. However, in this 21st century, you can find an app for just about anything. Need help managing your time and tasks effectively? Organize your work with tools like Timely, Harvest, Asana, and Trello. Accounting and bookkeeping software such as Wave, Quickbooks, AND.CO, Xero, and Freshbooks are good options.
7. Be sure to keep learning
Getting lost in work can lead to becoming disconnected from your field. Your growth will be hindered by this. You always learn new techniques and learn about changes in your industry when you work for a company. To stay on top of this while freelancing, you will need to take the time to do so. News alerts, newsletters, blogs, and even magazines are available for your field. Get to know your area by spending an hour every week. This will only lead you to success and better your work.
Freelancing is a challenging career to pursue. But, keep these steps in mind, and you’ll be the best in your field before you know it!