Maybe you’ve dabbled with a side hustle for a few years, and now you are ready to go full-time. So, you’ve decided to say goodbye to the conventional 9-5 and propel yourself into the world of freelancing. Freelancing has some unparalleled advantages, including giving you total autonomy of your time and allowing you to build your dream rather than having to work for someone else’s. However, it can also be a competitive and challenging world.
Knowing these top 10 can help you traverse the sometimes-stormy freelancing waters and succeed in what you do.
1) Build your brand
Your brand is the heart of your company and determines how clients perceive you. Your brand can be seen as your voice and creating a consistent brand across all platforms (from social media through to the work you deliver) is essential if you want to gain new clients and retain existing ones. 86 % of consumers share that they want to support brands with an authentic message, and that is why it’s so important to understand the why of your business so that you can show prospective clients what you are all about.
2) Manage your time
Time management is critical to any freelancer, especially when juggling numerous projects at once and having to deal with various clients. Time management tools can be your greatest asset, allowing you to quickly plot and plan activities and ensure that you never miss a meeting or a deadline.
3) Use management software
Project management software is a fantastic way to manage a small business, especially when you are in the early stages where you cannot yet hire a project manager or accountant. This makes it easy to navigate daily tasks and keep on track of every element of your work. The Indy management platform is an excellent offering for freelancers, with nine essential tools to help every aspect of your business. Users enjoy the following features: Invoice generator and templates, online calendar, time tracker, task checker, communication portal, contract templates, proposal templates, and more.
4) Always send a contract
Contracts are legally binding documents protecting both the contractor and the client. When you send a contract before beginning a project – whether you are a software developer or an events photographer – you ensure that all parties are on the same page. Contracts stipulate the operational guidelines, project scope, and terms of payment and will lay out potential liabilities if any terms are breached. Happily, some fantastic contract apps exist that offer professional templates for a myriad of industries. One such option is the Indy freelancer management app.
5) Keep on top of your accounts
Keeping on top of your finances and accounts is essential if you want to comply with tax regulations and better understand your business. If you can’t hire an accountant, use an online accounting tool like Zoho Books, QuickBooks, or Wave. These will keep your finances on track and ensure all business dealings are above board.
6) Know your worth
When you start out freelancing, it can feel impossible. You might even struggle to find work at first, and this might make you feel like you have to take on every single job that comes your way, even if the pay is too low. While you may need to do this at the very beginning (because we all know the famine and feast cycle that freelancers can face), at some point, you have to know your worth. This means setting rates that reflect your experience and hard work and standing up for yourself when you’re dealing with demanding clients. As you navigate the world of freelancing, you will get a feel for better establishing boundaries and managing difficulties that arise.
7) Keep your network fresh
Keeping a fresh network is a great way to find new opportunities and embark on new and exciting projects. By engaging with other professionals in your field, you can expand your horizons and keep your finger on the pulse with innovations in your sector. It’s also a great source of knowledge and wisdom and building a network of other freelancers can be a great form of business-related support. Moreover, building a community of similar-minded professionals is a great way to expand your mind and learn new trade tricks.
8) Upskill yourself
Running a business requires a huge commitment to learning new skills. The more skills you learn, the more desirable your services become. Invest energy and time into learning new programs and sought-after skills within your industry. Happily, there are so many fantastic courses online, and even a few free ones via platforms like Google. Investing in your education can yield brilliant results for your business and result in financial gain.
9) Build an enticing portfolio
Building your online portfolio is a brilliant way to showcase your talents and entice prospective clients. Invest some time into curating a professional website via WordPress or another web development platform. Ensure brand consistency and showcase your professionalism and tone of voice. This will serve as the first impression to prospective clients and may land you some fantastic jobs.
10) Take some downtime
While the hustle is undoubtedly necessary when embarking on a freelancing career, you also don’t want to burn out. When you don’t work within the constraints of 9-5 and in a conventional office, it can be all too easy to overwork yourself. Take some time out to rest and do things that promote your well-being. Whether it’s meditation, spending time with family and friends, walks in nature, or going to watch a live band, take moments for yourself. Taking moments to rest and rejuvenate can boost productivity and ensure better workflow. Expanding your horizons can also unleash newfound inspiration, especially if you’re in a creative field.
Being a freelancer is certainly an exciting adventure, but it requires excellent organization every step of the way. Use a freelance management platform to plan your daily activity, commit to expanding your skill set, network with other professionals, and ensure you take some time out for yourself.