You may think of cutting the cord to your full-time job. But hold on, did you actually find out from a freelancer how easy his job is?
To everyone, the full-timers specifically, freelancing seems like easy and dreamy career – work whenever you want, wherever you want and as much as possible. No leaves tension, no bosses hovering over you and definitely no office politics. To an outsider, this definitely looks like an ultimate stress-free career line. While Freelancing career is flexible and comes with its own perks, it sure comes with several challenges – the number one being “no stability in income”.
However, freelancing has become the new roadmap to work and 2018 seems to be a very bright year for freelancers and people planning to become independent. But before you decide to take the chance, read these following tips for successful freelancing in 2018.
Brace yourself… here a storm coming
1. DO NOT Ditch your Full-Time Job… Not Yet
If you want to maintain your lifestyle, those weekend dinners and 4 movies a month included, then don’t quit your day job yet. As a freelancer, it is important that you have continuous workflow because if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. You have to spend some time setting yourself up. Competition in freelancing world has become fierce and aggressive; it’s not gonna be a cake walk.
So, moonlight your freelancing career and build up a strong clientele. Moonlighting basically means working post your regular job, after 6 or 7 pm ideally. Make sure you tell everyone you are making a switch and save your contact for future projects. This way when you actually venture out full time freelancing, you will have your funds saved up and a client base to tap on.
2. Set Yourself a Routine
One of the best aspects of freelancing is you get to decide how you wanna work. However, most freelancers meander from the actual path at the expense of a flexible career. In order to avoid being penniless, you should set a routine and schedule your day around it.
For instance, figure out when you’re most alert; if you are a morning person then probably you should start your work around 9 and finish off by 4 pm. You have to get the work done; rest how you do it your client will not bother. Establishing a routine tremendously helps women, who are also homemakers, new mothers and people who are at two jobs simultaneously.
3. Create a Good Work Ambience
This is not superficial. If your workspace is poorly ventilated, messy, noisy or uninspiring, you will not like what you do. First of all, you have to set a particular corner of your house as your office area, stack the area with tools, furniture, and office stationeries. Take advantage of your flexibility and change your workspace, head to a local café or sign-up for a co-workspace. Do everything that heightens your work productivity.
4. Be an Excellent Time Manager
Although being your own boss is quite empowering, as a freelancer you have to be your own cashier, office boy, accountant, and host of other people. You have to draft emails, proposals and invoices, schedule meetings, sell to your clients, answers queries etc.
As no one will be there to support you, reviewing and evaluating your work, this is where effective time management helps. Whatever works for you, do that, but make sure you develop your time management skills. Effective time management skills help you to differentiate between important & urgent and prioritize work in a better way.
5. Focus on Your Primary Skills
Rather than being a jack of all traits, try to be a master in one. The best freelancers know where their core talent lies. Do you know yours? If yes, please concentrate on it and develop it. You should learn more about your core skills.
For example, if you are a writer, learn where your passion lies – travel, food, medical or finance? If you are a designer, analyze which sample works are you most proud of – eBooks, websites or mobile app?
While in the beginning you will have to do all kind of ‘not-so-thrilling’ jobs but that’s part of the process, and sooner you find your core talent, faster you’ll achieve nirvana.
6. Set Rates that Are Reasonable – Not too High, Neither too Low
Setting rates too high will not get your job and setting rates too low will make your life miserable after a couple of months. You have to know your worth and don’t fall into the trap of undercharging. Lift your rate according to the quality of work you deliver. Bump up your rate as you gain experience and improve your work quality.
Instead of raising rates once in a go, test the water by raising the rate gradually. You can also ask for rate reviews for your work. Send your work sample first to set a good track record and then demand your charges. Also, decide how you would like to be paid beforehand (project wise, hours wise or day wise).
7. Don’t Lose out On Networking – Be on the Limelight all the Time
Make your presence noticeable in your social circle. You need to promote yourself, as freelancing is equal to running your own business. Carry a business card where ever you go, join groups and business events, even if they are just seminars, product launches and happy hours.
Clients can walk into your space anywhere, anytime; you just have to be prepared. Keep your website and social media accounts updated and super active. Today, that’s the first place clients visit to evaluate you.
8. Adapt and Customise but don’t be a Doormat
At times you may need to change your schedule, plans, and ideas to accommodate a client’s need (well-paying client). Your project may end up getting bigger than you anticipated, your client may expect you to juggle between too many a work at a time, and may also bombard you with extra requests.
Although these are usual drawbacks of freelancing career, you have to set your limits. Only if your client is paying well or is a very regular client, can you oblige to these little extras? You cannot dysfunction yourself. You have to maintain your energy, cash-flow, and reputation. Stay away from impossible clients and actively hunt for newer and professional ones.
If you are aiming at a six-figure job, value these tips. Don’t forget to hit the share button and subscribe to more such freelancing tips.