It’s never a bad idea to go freelancing. In fact, it’s probably one of the best things you should do to gain financial independence, develop a set of skills, and get an idea of what you want to achieve in life. Unfortunately, the beauty of having a flexible schedule and being your own boss comes at a cost. However, even if it’s challenging to be a freelancer, it’s also rewarding and fulfilling once you get going and gain momentum.
Yes, you’ll need to work hard and make some sacrifices. It won’t be an easy road. If you’re really decided to work as a freelancer, below are the things you should know before you find a gig:
- Set Up Your Workspace
One of the perks of being a freelancer is the opportunity to work from home or anywhere in the world. However, it would be best to have a workspace where you can be productive as there are many distractions everywhere. So, if you want to achieve success in today’s growing gig economy, find the best spot at home where you can do your work without dealing with any inconvenience. Set up your own home office or workspace. If you prefer to work outside, make sure you’ll find a quiet and nice place to stay, where you can focus on working.
- Connections Matter
When it comes to freelancing, networking isn’t only a buzzword. It’s an important way to find new and returning clients and stay ahead of the industry changes.
Networking does not generally mean attending events and socializing with potential clients; it means you need to build and grow your network—go outside and make known to people what you do. Let them know the value that you can provide to them and how you can help them succeed in their business pursuits.
Through this, you’ll expand your sphere of influence, allowing you to work with small to big clients, as well as collaborate with co-freelancers. You may do this online or offline. Join forums and groups on different platforms, meet with new people, and discuss about freelancing in your field of choice.
One of the freelancing basics you should know is to forge working relationships and friendships with people who can bring you more opportunities. Your friends at your previous jobs won’t understand your current frustrations as a freelancer, but other freelancers will. So, if you have extra time, spend it on growing your connections online.
- Follow A Schedule
Once you work as a freelancer, you’ll enjoy more flexibility, especially in your schedule. It’s crucial to note that it’s still a job, and you have to get your work done to make a living.
Before you make the most out of your freelancing freedom, it’s wise to sit down and create a schedule that you must stick to. It may seem like an unnecessary step, but being proactive with your schedule can help keep you accountable and make sure to treat your new career with dedication and commitment.
- Your Income May Be Unpredictable
Freelancers don’t actually make less money than those who have traditional jobs. In fact, established freelancers make a lot more money than regular employees. However, the income may be a bit unpredictable and inconsistent. For beginners in freelancing, you might land low-priced gigs at the onset, but that’s because you’re just starting. Once you gain confidence, improve your skills, and find really high-paying clients, you shall have your financial freedom.
With a traditional job, you would know what amount to expect every payday. But with freelancing, it’s less predictable and your income depends on the number of clients you have at the moment, how many projects they have for you, and how much each project is priced. It’s also possible to face more unexpected expenses. For instance, once your computer breaks, you’ll be the one to replace it as you’re not employed by a company that could’ve replaced it for you.
You can get as many gigs as you want, but don’t be surprised to know they don’t pay all the same. Basically, you may have bigger paychecks this month, but just enough in the next month.
- Know How To Manage Your Finances And How To Invoice
Being a freelancer comes with several challenges. Although it can give you creative freedom, you should ensure that you get paid on time, your books add up, and you’re paying your taxes. Thus, make sure to learn how to track and manage your finances. In terms of invoices, you may use the free templates online to guide you on how to do it properly.
- Work On Your Development And Marketing Strategy First
Once you enter the freelancing world, your work won’t only involve completing the tasks your clients assigned to you. You also have to spend more time developing your skills and marketing yourself to stay ahead of your competitors.
A successful freelancer always thinks about where to find new clients. It also has some backup plans in case any project flops. So, no matter what skills or experience you have, it would help if you create a development and marketing strategy that will get you through every challenge you face as a freelancer.
- Learn How To Pitch
One of the most essential skills you should have as a freelancer is knowing how to pitch. Pitch more than you think you have to, continually look for prospects, persevere even when you do not hear back.
The art of pitching is something you need to improve and hone through your freelancing career continually. There’s no right way to do this since you’ll have to customize it based on your target clients. So, do your best by staying updated with the freelancing trends and incorporate them whenever possible into your pitch to get greater results.
- Freelancing Can Be A Roller Coaster Ride
In freelancing, there will be very productive and high-earning periods. Such times can help you make more money and enjoy a better bank balance. However, before you spend all the money you’ve earned, you should be aware that the good times typically don’t last because freelancing is like a roller coaster ride. You should always be prepared for what is yet to come.
There will always be quiet months, and there would be times when you’re working all day. Just bear in mind that any cash you earn might not be the same for the next few months.
- You Don’t Need A Portfolio To Start
If you think you’re not good enough to freelance because you don’t have a decent portfolio, think again. The best thing about being a freelancer is that you only need to build your CV or portfolio by getting as much experience as possible when you can.
If you have the skills, there will always be clients who are willing to pay you for a job well done. What you need is confidence, brush up your skills, and present yourself as the expert to gain more clients. To get better results with freelancing, train yourself to learn new skills, or take another course. The reason behind it is that freelancers that always strive to improve are the ones more likely to be successful.
Freelancing is a great way to work; it can give you the freedom to achieve a better work-life balance. It will be hard at first, especially if you’re used to the traditional office working hours, but once you overcome the challenges, you can be assured that you’ll get nothing but amazing perks. Just make sure to take note of the things you should know first before you get a freelance job to determine whether freelancing is for you or not.