Freelancing is becoming increasingly popular and therefore is also becoming a major part of the nation’s economy. Freelancing is a desirable option because it allows people to have complete control over their professional lives. It’s also beneficial to society as a whole because it helps to keep the economy flowing and strong. If the idea of becoming a freelancer is appealing to you, keep reading to learn more about this interesting career option.
A Freelancer’s Life
Making the decision to go Freelance can undoubtedly be daunting, initially. Taking a leap of faith and working for yourself rather than for an employer is certainly a challenge. But it’s ultimately up to you to control whether you fall or fly! As a freelancer you get to enjoy the many benefits of self-employment. You ultimately have the luxury of making every decision in a way that you makes you happy. You don’t have to make a long-term commitment to an employer, and you can pick and choose your client base as well as dictate the amount of work you take on.
Some other benefits of becoming a freelancer include:
- Lower taxes
- Better life/work balance
- More money
- Lower taxes
- Work from anywhere
Despite all the wonderful benefits you can enjoy when you become a freelancer, there are some serious pitfalls you must work hard to avoid. It can sometimes be difficult to keep and sustain a significant client list. So, there is never a guarantee that you will have enough work to keep you busy. There is also a risk (if you’re not careful) that you can do work and not get paid for it. If or when this occurs, it can be more trouble than it’s worth to chase down a payment and you simply have to take your losses and lick your wounds. Freelancing can also be unstable at times. The work level is often inconsistent. There will be times when you have more work than you can handle and other times when it is not enough for you to get by. It is always completely up to you to be motivated enough to work enough to get paid the amount of money you desire.
How to Thrive as a Freelancer
Despite the pitfalls of the profession, you certainly can succeed as a freelancer. You just need to utilise some strategies to make sure it is beneficial for you.
- Brand: One of your first steps should be to create a brand for yourself. The best way to accomplish this feat is to have a consistent look and feel across all of your platforms. Create a logo and a statement that spells out what you offer as well as contact information. Create a portfolio of your work that you can show to prospective clients.
- Portfolio: Your portfolio goes hand in hand with your brand. In this you should include your best work to truly highlight your strengths and include enough work to show your range and diversity. Once you have established your identity as a freelancer, create a solid pricing structure. Determine if you want to charge by the piece, by time or some other method.
- Self-Promotion: Promote yourself. You will not have a large marketing department like companies do, but you still need to let people know you are out there. There are lots of ways you can put yourself in the mindset of the public that will not cost you a lot of money. Make sure that your focus is always on attracting long-term clients that will constantly have projects for you to work on. This will allow you to focus on what you’re good at do what you do best, rather than spending time seeking out new business opportunities. Some great ideas include:
- Getting testimonials
- Hosting events
- Using social media to your advantage
- Offering workshops
- Offering a trial offer on your services
Working as a Freelancer
Successful freelancers have spent time cultivating long-term relationships with their clients. To do so, you must first agree to the terms of the working relationship. Communicate with your clients early and often. Be sure to have a contract that specifies each party’s responsibilities, but always be willing to remain flexible when situations arise. Doing so will make you invaluable to your clients and will help to solidify the relationship. Also, be sure to keep yourself organised. Get a calendar and keep track of all of your appointments and due dates. This strategy will help you stay on top of everything when you are working on multiple projects for multiple clients.
As stated before, getting paid can be a major pitfall for freelancers. Most clients are willing and able to pay on time. But, you must be ready for a client who does not pay you for your services, because it will happen. Always be upfront about your pay structure and expectations with all of your clients, while still being professional and courteous when dealing with clients who have not paid. Also, do not continue to do work for clients who have not paid you. If you have a large client base, consider using an online invoicing system to help you keep everything organised.
Freelancing opens up many opportunities for several people across numerous industries. The most important thing is to enjoy what you are doing and to have fun with it. If this type of work sounds intriguing to you, and you are fully aware of the possible pitfalls, this might be the answer you have been searching for.