Who doesn’t love the idea of choosing their own hours and being their own boss?
Starting a career as a freelancer can feel a lot like running your own business, particularly when you get to decide what kind of work you get to take on, and how much you charge for your services. However, it’s worth noting that there are some unique challenges that come with freelancing that you’ll need to consider before you give up your day job and join the gig economy.
Not having a regular paycheck to rely on isn’t always easy but working as a freelancer is something that anyone can do if they have the right strategy. These tips will help you get started.
In This Post:
1. Know How Much You Need to Invest in Yourself
More often than not, you’ll need to invest in your freelance career before you can get started. It’s tempting to think that you can just give up your day job and immediately start working as a freelancer. However, think carefully whether you have all the right tools, to begin with. For instance, if you’re going to be a graphic designer, do you need to invest in a new computer and some software to help you hone your skills?
If you’re going to create website videos for customers, do you need to pay for an expensive microphone or some graphic design lessons? Figure out how much money you’re going to need, then compare your loan options carefully. Remember that every loan has its own interest rate, and it’s important to get the best deal.
2. Set Goals for Yourself
Next, before you begin freelancing, make sure that you know exactly what you want to accomplish with your new career. If you’re giving up your traditional job to become a freelancer, then there’s a good chance that one of your primary goals will involve making enough money to support yourself and your family. However, you’ll also have other goals to consider too.
Think about how many projects you’ll need to complete each month, and how much you’re going to need to charge to keep on top of your bills. You can use various online tools like Google Calendar and Slack to manage your work as you go and make connections with coworkers and contractors that you might add to your ranks.
3. Create a Portfolio
Whatever you decide to do as a freelancer, you’re going to need a strategy for showing your value to others. One of the best ways to do this is to create a portfolio website where you can list some of your best work. Your portfolio site will be particularly useful when you’re developing your skills, as it will act as a replacement for testimonials and recommendations from other clients that you might do work for in the future.
Remember, as you continue to develop your talents in your niche, keep updating your portfolio so that it shows the latest examples of your work. Additionally, as you continue to grow your profession, you might also think about adding things like reviews and customer notes on that site too.
4. Don’t Sell Yourself Short
It can be difficult to know where to start with pricing when you first launch your freelancing career. For many people, it can seem like the best option is to offer the lowest price possible until they’ve had a chance to build a name for themselves. Unfortunately, while this might help you to get work to start with, it won’t help you out in the long run. Ultimately, you need to be willing to stand up and state what your work is worth to other people.
If you price your services too low, you risk other people looking at you as “less valuable” than your competitors. Have some confidence in what you can do and be willing to show your potential clients samples of your work to get them inspired.
5. Keep Getting Better
Finally, the freelancing environment is becoming increasingly competitive. This means that even if you’re lucky enough to have a strong presence in your space, you can’t simply rest on your laurels. You’ll need to keep expanding your skills and improving the work that you create so that you can impress and delight new clients.
Look for opportunities to learn new things in your field. Take classes in your spare time if you can, and always put a little extra time aside for networking opportunities wherever you might find them. Who you know is valuable in the freelancer world.