Freelancing is undoubtedly a good way to develop a firm set of life-changing skills while also making loads of cash. You should, however, know that it does come with its own share of challenges, and some of these challenges can be avoided if you are given some heads-up. Freelancers who started on their own and built themselves didn’t have this privilege, so if you are just starting out freelancing (or you got plans to), here are a few things you should know to help you keep your head above water at all times.
● Find an Office Space
If you are going into freelancing full-time, you will need to get the right workspace. Other than the fact that working at home can sometimes be distracting, having an office space will make you look more professional. You need a space that can absorb any background noise, especially if you live in a major city like New York. It does not necessarily have to be a big or stylish office, just something simple and comfortable enough for your needs. There are offices space in NY, Brooklyn, Queens, San Francisco, and Los Angeles which you can rent and that will help you focus on your work without getting interrupted.
● Do Not Quit Your Daily Job (Yet)
If you are transiting from a day job to freelance, one thing you need to know is that it is a bad idea to quit while you are still trying to navigate the freelance world. Freelancing is a lucrative business. You’re now the boss of yourself, you set your work hours, and you pay yourself. But as a newbie, the journey might not be as smooth for the first few months. So it is always better to continue your day job while freelancing on the side until you find your feet. When you eventually have high-paying clients on retainer, and you earn at least four times what your day job pays you, you can tender your resignation letter.
● Know Your Worth
As a newbie freelancer, it might be difficult determining how much to charge for projects, especially since you don’t want to seem too expensive or too cheap. One way to ensure you are not charging more than the service you’re offering, and you’re not getting underpaid is to know your worth. Evaluate the financial result of the work you do. How much do you make for your client? Use that evaluation to set your rates, and as you develop your skillset, you can increase your rates.
● Manage Your Finances Judiciously
As a freelancer, you are responsible for managing your finances, and that includes tracking your income and expenses, setting rates, and handling taxes. You need to, however, understand that there are times when you will get multiple jobs, and other times you won’t get anything at all. You must learn to create a financial balance between these times, so you don’t go broke when there are no jobs. Always make it a matter of necessity to save for rainy days.
● Time is Money
Freelancing requires that you have to juggle multiple clients and projects simultaneously, so you have to learn time management skills. As your own boss, you can perform activities whenever you like without anyone breathing down your neck. But don’t forget that there is an agreement with your client and they don’t want to get disappointed. Therefore you must learn how to prioritize tasks, set deadlines, and allocate your time effectively.
● Sell Yourself
It might be challenging to find clients in the first few months of freelancing because, most of the time, nobody wants to hire an inexperienced freelancer. However, you can fast-track your progress by selling yourself and your services effectively to find clients. Do this by building a website, creating a portfolio, networking with other professionals in your field, and joining freelance platforms.
● Stay Disciplined
It is quite hard to stay disciplined at work when you do not have a boss or supervisor to hold you accountable. As someone venturing into freelancing for the first time, you need to be highly disciplined if you want to succeed. You must learn to set your own goals and work towards them independently. You also have to learn how to communicate effectively with prospective clients, whether through phone calls, emails, or physical meetings.
● Be Adaptable
Adaptability is one trait every newbie freelancer should possess. You should be able to adapt to changing circumstances and clients’ needs. You might want to specify a particular niche in your field, but isn’t it better to try out different aspects before focusing on one? Be willing to learn new skills and technologies and be flexible in terms of work hours and location.
To be a successful freelancer, you need to take it one step at a time. Be disciplined and flexible. Doing this will not only raise your standard before you know it, but you’ll be landing notable high-paying clients while also developing your personal skills and bank account.