How to succeed as a freelancer with flying colours…
Freelancing is quickly increasing in popularity, as it offers numerous advantages and freedom of employment. If you have been giving the freelance lifestyle some thought, here are some tips on how to succeed as a freelancer to help you make your decision.
A professional website
As a serious freelancer, you need a professional, user-friendly website to serve as the public face of your business. This site is your home-base where your current and potential clients can see your business information and contact you to request your services. Get a specialised website built that works on both desktops and mobile devices.
To obtain work as a freelancer, it’s necessary to market your services and get your name out there so potential clients can find you. You can’t just sit back and expect work to come to you. The most popular ways to market any successful business is to advertise and post on social media, eg. Facebook and Instagram. You can do paid ads on these platforms too. There’s Twitter and Linkedin too. Then be sure to hire a highly skilled team to do SEO when the website it live. This will help people find you on Google.
It goes without saying that you have to possess the skill-set of your chosen freelance niche, as a writer, graphic designer, photographer, editor or whatever to excel as a freelancer. To a certain extent, in some fields you can earn as you learn, but you should start at least at a beginner’s standard.
Also, don’t rely on only one skill. Be multi-skilled to a certain degree. You certainly don’t want to be known as a jack of all trades sort of freelancer, but you can have two or three skills to be relatively expert in. A freelance content writer could also specialise in editing, or photography and graphic design.
Freelancers love the freedom of having no boss looking over their shoulder to make sure they’re working. To be successfully self-employed, you need to be a self-starter and be accountable for yourself to get your work done on time. You need to be able to structure your workflow and have a schedule. You’ll be a one-person show and there won’t be any supervisor to keep you on track. It’s all on you!
As a freelancer, it helps to be systematised so you can cope with all the different hats you have to wear. You’ll be the boss and an employee in one. You’ll have the responsibility to do your client’s projects, answer emails and return phone calls, send invoices, record your income and expenses for tax purposes, and other general administration and marketing. A part of staying organised is to take on only as much work as you can comfortably handle to meet all your deadlines.
Living a freelancing life requires some degree of flexibility, as you have to live without the security of a regular weekly income of a fixed amount. You’ll certainly have periods of feast or famine regarding your income and workload amounts. On the upside, you are able to take time off work when you require it—to go on holidays, take a sick day, or to have a day off just because you can. However, if you’re the type of person who thrives on predictability and stability, freelancing might not be for you. A freelancing life is anything but predictable.
Have a private life
Make a definite delineation between your work and private life. Set definite hours for the times you’ll be available for client communication. Otherwise, you’ll have clients calling you at 3 a.m. assuming you are on call 24/7 or expecting an immediate answer to emails. Also, protect yourself from yourself. When you work from home you might be tempted to always work and not take time for your family and recreation. If you regularly have a rest day, you’ll stay refreshed and interested in your work and not become a burnout risk.
If you’re the type of person who would prefer to binge-watch on Netflix or browse online instead of working on your client’s projects, freelancing probably isn’t for you. But, if after reading these tips on how to succeed as a freelancer, you still want to go ahead and embrace this lifestyle, remember it will be hard work, but the results will be worth it.
How to succeed as a freelancer | Expert Advice