Whether you’re a parent, a traveler, a homebody, or if you’re just looking for a change, here are the steps you must take to begin your career as a freelancer.
Decide if It’s Right for You
As tempting as the job sounds, it’s simply not for everyone. To be a freelancer, you have the freedom to stay at home in your pajamas, but that doesn’t mean the money comes to you. You will have to work diligently to earn and maintain clients.
Because you are self-employed, all of your success and failure rests on you. This responsibility is too much for some. True, this job is flexible, but there are times you might miss the stability and reliability of a nine to five job. Unless you’re regimented and self-disciplined, succeeding at this endeavor can be difficult.
In order to be a freelancer, you have to put yourself out there again and again. In the beginning, this can feel intimidating. If this is something you really want, you will have to contact everyone you know to see if they or someone they know is in the field you are interested in. Do not hesitate to attend networking events and get to know peers and potential clients.
Wherever you go, take professional business cards with your name, number, email, and any applicable social media sites. Opportunities will show themselves in the most unexpected of places, so always go prepared. Build connections wherever you can, and once have them, maintain them in the chance that you can get business.
Pick Up Any Job You Can
When you first start out, you can’t be picky. Unless you already have a fully fleshed out network of clients, you will have to work with what you have. Every client you gain is an opportunity to gain more clients. If you show that you are talented, reliable, and professional, you may receive referrals from the first clients you have. You may be surprised—word spreads fast.
Save Money in the Meantime
When you are just starting out, it is important you keep safety net by your side at all times. Whether or not you have a second job, it is wise to keep a tidy savings at your disposal. The first few months to a year of business may take a while to get off the ground, and you will have to get used to the workflow that comes and goes. As this happens, you should consider changing your budget. Now may not be the time for Thursday happy hours or morning coffee habits. Consider restricting your budget so that you don’t have to cause yourself any anxiety as you focus on your new career.
If you want to maintain business, you have to approach potential clients with the upmost professionalism. This means that you need to develop your brand. First and foremost, you need to strengthen your profile on social media, which will be your main outlet to a wide audience. Secondly, when you have clients or potential clients contact you, you must make it a priority to reply to them. Of course, it is acceptable to establish working hours during which you can be contacted. However, you must show them that you are reliable.
Organize Your Time
One of the biggest appeals of freelancing is the freedom and flexibility of the time you have. However, how you use your time is another story. You are the master of your own schedule. This means you have to keep up to date with any meetings, deadlines, and other important times and dates worth noting. In addition, if you choose to take time off work one day, you will likely still have to work harder another day. Even though you have more flexibility, you have to use it wisely.
Should you want to become a freelancer, there are a plethora of opportunities for you. You may find online and freelance jobs from a variety of sources if you are willing to investigate. Follow these steps above and you will be well on your way to achieving a living as a freelancer.
- David Airey
- New Riders
- Edition no. 1 (11/22/2012)
- Zachary Petit
- Writer's Digest Books
- Kindle Edition
- John Cosstick
- Kindle Edition
Last update on 2019-06-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API