How To Become a Successful Freelancer ?
Changes can be brought in when we take a step ahead.
Being a freelancer is a risky step but a necessary one if you want to pursue a career in that.
The fear of leaving your fixed job with your fixed salary is a scary thing.
The dream is real and many people have done it but it is as real as leaving your job. It is scary because you will not only be leaving your steady job but also perks like health insurance, steady flow of money, vacation time which is provided in any 9 to 5 job you take.
One should not quit their day job without any plan or with just an intuit. It should be a well-planned decision and one should know when to quit the job when they have built a good base and at least a good figure in freelancing. Knowing how to get more clients is what important in freelancing.
There are examples of famous freelancers who were miserable at their job but they continued it till they built a good foundation and earned a good figure in freelancing.
One such person is Melyssa Griffin who disliked her teaching job in Japan but she didn’t quit until she was earning enough income as a web designer. She did not leave her steady job until she was sure she could make it work.
So this is an awakening for all those who want to jump right into the exciting and exhilarating world of freelancing to take a stand back. Take a breath, make a plan, settle in and after understanding the concept of its working take a decision.
Here are some tips to become good at freelancing:
1. The biggest figuring out you need to do is whether freelancing is the right path for you or not
This starts with figuring out why? In this case, your ‘why’ has to be your north star. It is something that will not let you quit when things get tough and I can assure you they will be tough. Why has to be something compelling. Something that allows you to take the plunge. It can be any reason whether the freedom to set your own hours, only working on projects that excite you, getting away from micromanaging bosses. When your clients have not paid you and your bills are pending it is the why that stops you from leaving it and accepting a day job. That is the driving force which will make you continue to lock in your way.
2. The second thing required is giving yourself a deadline
We all know we are big time procrastinators. Even when you are highly excited and pumped about it, being lazy is a trait which will never leave us. Give yourself deadlines for different things like:
Figuring your niche, which basically means figuring out what you are good at like multitasking, writing, photography, etc. It also means finding out if someone will pay you for it and is it something you will enjoy doing in the long run. I can be any hobby and something that makes you happy all day long. If it is yet difficult to figure out what you’re good at you can also think about what help your friends, family comes to you for. If you don’t enjoy that find simply what you love helping people with.
Finding your first client is an important step. It is easy to get lost in planning, researching, and setting up but an entire year will pass and you will be without a client.
Quitting your day job is a difficult thing. It is like throwing away your security blanket and it is scary. If you are not careful with maintaining your timeline you can never quit your job. This timeline depends upon you, for some, it takes 3 months, for some 1 year. It depends on how well you plan the transition. But it is wise to not quit your job until you build a good foundation.
3. Doing the math is the third step
It is important to figure out money related stuff.
- Things like how much money you need to survive, live comfortably or thrive. List out expenses which will make it clear when you have moved from surviving as a freelancer to living comfortably.
- Other aspects like how many months of saving is required before you go full-time freelance.
- Figuring out health insurance plans are required and there are sites like Freelancers Union which provides this facility to freelancers.
- One has to determine their business expenses. The internet connection, applications, laptop, and some people have a home office all are counted as business expenses.
After the above three things have been determined you have to get into the nitty-gritty of freelancing. In the beginning, things will be slow and when you are working a job along with freelancing do not start doing a bunch of things at the same time. It can be overwhelming and exhausting.
How to get success in Freelancing ?
STEP 1 is a research which is not very exciting but is a necessity
But if research is not done first then you can’t make the right decisions. Join a training, build that knowledge and join groups. List of questions you need to figure out whether your business idea is any good.
Whether there is a market or no and if clients are not there your business will not succeed. This is why becoming a freelancer while working a day job is ideal. The next thing is who are notable freelancers in your field. It is good to stalk your competition. You don’t have to be adversarial with your competitors. The freelancing community is supportive.
STEP 2 is Planning Your Freelance Business
Once an idea is validated it is time to take all that research and turn it into a business plan. Pick your specialty which depends on your skill and interests. This is a two-step process which is simple. First, choose the kind of work you want to do as a freelancer. Let your preferences shape your decisions. Secondly, decide the clients you want to work with. There is a certain type of entrepreneurs you can work with or maybe you are partial to a specific type of industry. The good news is that that choice is yours.
Create your Core Offering: Your core offering will be something that you will be known for. If your specialty is freelance blogging make blogging packages that your clients can buy from.
Set your Freelance pricing and Build your Freelance Business Assets. You can do that by building a freelance portfolio.
STEP 3 is Become a Freelancer and Execute Your Grandplan:
Once done with the above steps start executing your plan. Set up a business name. Search for a cool business name, you can adapt your own name.
Once you have a name create a domain and open a virtual office. The domain is worthless without a website. WordPress and Squarespace are good ones with great flexibility and themes.
Create a logo and register your business. Prepare to accept payment and signup on PayPal and stripe to accept credit card payments.
Do the bookkeeping and accounting and also maintain paperwork. Build up waterproof contracts and also build up project proposals.
Great tips. I think it is very important now. Freelance for many still seems something unusual and non-standard. Someone sees freedom in him, someone – salvation from the office routine and forever disgruntled boss, and someone takes freelancing skeptically, calling him a cover of laziness and idleness. People in the latter category will most likely never work remotely. Just because freelancing for them and not work at all. Unfortunately, these skeptics are often right, although they express their attitude to freelancing roughly. Nowadays there are few freelancers who earn more than the “average” salary of their city.
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