Becoming a freelancer is an interesting career choice, to say the least. Many people find freelance work to be appealing and uplifting as they choose to become their own boss and be in charge of their lives and their future. So, why do people choose freelancing over full-time or part-time jobs? Well, the answer to that question varies from person to person, but the most common reasons are flexibility and the opportunity to do what you really like.
Some people are adventurous and prefer to balance their work with their lifestyle, combining the two in a unique career that fulfills them. On the other hand, others want to escape the corporate environment and capitalize on the opportunity to take the lead in making decisions and choose when to accept work or not.
Regardless of the reasons, freelance work offers a unique perspective on yourself as you become your business and have to make a name for yourself in order to prosper and succeed. Here are a few tips on how to become a successful freelancer.
Create a Plan
As a matter of fact, freelance work isn’t that simple and easy, so don’t expect that work will be coming your way while you sit and wait for it. On the contrary – in the beginning, you will have to make an effort and give everything you’ve got to find work and gain reputation.
So, before you start out, be sure to formulate a plan that will cover all the necessary aspects of your freelance work and begin doing some research. This is an important step because research will provide valuable information that will help you succeed.
For instance, make sure to find out how valuable your skills are on the market, who your competition is, what your competition does in order to find work, what you have to do in order to find work, and so on. However, the most important information you should be looking for is who your potential clients are and how to capture their interest.
Build your Network
Even though freelancing seems like solitary work, it’s quite the opposite. Without a network of contacts, you can’t hope to survive for very long. For starters, contact your friends and family and let them support you by explaining what you are doing.
Furthermore, contact your fellow freelancers and establish a friendly relationship with them. Becoming friends with your competition may sound strange, but remember, this is not a corporate battle and you are not here to gain competitive advantage. In fact, your competition can offer valuable advice and help you climb up the ladder. They can even show you how to get paid online easily by pointing you to some online jobs you can do in order to gain some experience and build your portfolio. Freelancers sometimes share work and knowledge – after all, helping each other out is a win-win combination.
Once you have established your network, make sure you expand it consistently. It’s important to remember that you are your business and you must market and advertise yourself the best you can. Make sure you find new contacts and stay in touch with the old ones, as well as leverage social media and networks to find new chances and promote your business.
If you want to succeed as a freelancer, then you should be prepared in advance. Once you start having clients and accepting work, you will be quite busy and might not have the time to get every detail in order. So before you start, make sure you procure services from an accountant and a lawyer. This is very important because you want to protect yourself and your work from any inconveniences.
For instance, an accountant can assist you in getting your finances and taxes in order, which is very important, especially in the beginning. A lawyer, on the other hand, will help you get familiarized with business-related legal terms and assist you in understanding non-disclosure agreements and independent contractor agreements, as well as offer any legal advice and help you form contracts. You should always insist on a contract, as they are the first line of defense, protecting both you and your work from troubles, such as nonpayment situations.
In the beginning, freelance work demands a lot of effort and determination. You must endure hardships in order to build a successful career for yourself and enjoy the benefits it brings. Don’t be discouraged if you find less work than you expected; remember that freelancing has its ups and downs. The road to success will depend entirely on your dedication, innovation and, of course, your skills.