For many people having the ability to work remotely, on their schedule, and wherever they want is becoming an increasingly appealing option.
Working a 9-5 job, crammed into an office with people you don’t particularly like combined with long commutes, quickly starts eating into your time outside of work and makes getting out of bed every day a serious chore. Less time at home impacts social and personal relationships, which in turn adds stress and anxiety into your life. It can be a vicious cycle.
The good news is that there are options out there. Many people are turning their backs on regular work and branching out into freelancing. We live in a modern age where technology allows us to stay connected in almost every location on earth.
That’s one of the reasons freelancing is such an attractive option for so many people. It’s hard to put a negative spin on lying beside a pool with your laptop, enjoying the sunshine with your family while you answer emails and work on a project.
Don’t get us wrong, though. Freelancing isn’t all rainbows and sunshine, either. It’s going to take some long hours and hard work to ensure that you make a success of it. To make things a lot easier for you, we have prepared some tips on starting your journey to becoming a successful freelancer.
Pick what you’re going to do and research it thoroughly!
If you have an area or field that you already specialize in, then you should focus on that to start with and do some research into the available freelancing work. If you are looking to do something new like social media or personal assistant work, then it’s going to take a little bit of research and work to get started. It’s not impossible, but it may be a little harder, in the beginning, breaking into a new field or sector.
Remember, you’ll be spending a lot of time doing whatever you choose as well as investing in building your brand and business, so make sure it’s something that you want to stick with. The good thing about freelancing is that whatever industry you choose, there usually is more flexibility with branching out and changing directions.
Setting up your business or brand is easier than you think!
It can seem daunting when you start thinking about what is involved with and the costs associated with branding, marketing, and building websites and social media accounts. The good news is you’re joining a community of other freelancers that all offer the skills you need.
Choose a business name and then secure your domain name. Many companies, such as GoDaddy and Green Geeks, will help you to acquire a domain name and host your website. WordPress can provide a large variety of beginner style templates for your website.
If you don’t want to build a website and would prefer to work off a freelancing platform, then you have a variety of different platforms and companies to choose from. You need to remember that most of these sites require you to pay to bid on jobs or kick back a percentage of anything you make as a payment for using the platform.
Freelancing and freelancing platforms!
You don’t have to have a website as a freelancer, but if you’re planning on taking it seriously, then it’s essential. There are also freelancing platforms that allow you to create a profile and bid on different jobs and projects.
If you specialize in sales, then the freelancing platform for you would be Stable. They connect businesses with sales staff and help them to work together to build their customer base and generate leads and sales. Stable is unique in that it specializes in every aspect of sales and offers a convenient and secure location for sales freelancers to connect with businesses.
You create a profile and start bidding on projects. UpWork allows people to post their projects, and freelancers bid on them using connects. On Fiverr, you create gigs, and buyers come to you with whatever project they need to be completed. UpWork has a sliding scale fee setup starting at 20% and reducing down to 10%, and Fiverr charges a flat 20% on all your sales.
Building a client base isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible, either!
Without a customer base, it’s going to be hard to succeed as a freelancer, but not impossible. It will require more marketing, and you’re going to have to very active in promoting your business. If you already have connections, then you need to leverage those as you transition into working for yourself as a freelancer.
If you are working on one of the many freelancer platforms, then building a client base is all about boosting your reputation. When you first start, it’s never easy to get new clients when you don’t have feedback or reviews.
Below are some tips to get you started on freelancing platforms:
- One of the easiest ways is through communication with clients. Send them a proposal and offer them your services, explaining your experience and past work. Speak to them about what they need and how you can help them achieve their goals.
- Have a portfolio of your projects ready to go to show them that you have experience beyond the platform or website. This could be on your website or just a list of website links to your projects.
- Be professional and polite in all your communication. Avoid rushing replies by sending grammatically correct and professional interactions.
- Be competitive with your prices. Look around the platform and see what other freelancers are charging. You may have to discount your rate in exchange for some feedback to build credibility in the beginning. While this is okay to build a reputation, don’t underquote consistently, or you’ll end up losing money and interest in your work.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for more information and get all the specifics of the project that you need. Find out what your client’s expectations are and try to deliver work above them.
- Give your client achievable timelines on the delivery of your completed project. It’s easy to offer unachievable deadlines to secure a job, but it will ultimately end up with you rushing and running late.
Conclusion – Remember to pay your taxes!
Depending on where you’re located, there are going to be local fees or taxes that you’ll need to consider. There are also a lot of expenses that you need to consider, such as the internet, laptop, computer, and home office expenses.
When that money starts rolling in, it’s easy to forget about ‘the tax person,’ but don’t be fooled. They’re always out there watching! Good luck with your freelancing career, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.