If you believe that freelancing is the easiest way to earn money, then you need to rethink that statement. If anything freelancing is essentially fending for yourself in an ultra-competitive atmosphere, with no help. This is in stark contrast to an employed professional, who has the full support of a reputable organization behind their back. In this case, it might be difficult for a beginner to start freelancing, and that isn’t wrong. As a simplification, freelancing is kind of like taking the training wheels of your bicycle. This means that if you aren’t experienced or skilled enough to ride a bike on your own, then freelancing could be a poor career choice.
The ideal freelancer has some experience under their belt from working with an organization at some point. The skills gained in working in a regular 9-5 job are indispensable and can be applied fully to a freelancing career as well. Skills such as punctuality, time management, and work ethics are directly transferrable to freelancing. Besides, the knowledge gained from your time working in a company can be used to jumpstart your freelancing career. Although this might be tricky the first time around, you need to improve yourself bit by bit so that in time, your skills reach a sustainable level.
Look below to find some important aspects of freelancing that you need to sort out before you decide to set out by yourself.
As ambitious as it may seem, it is necessary to figure out the quality and level of service you are going to be providing to your customers. Just as all journeys begin with an idea, the same thing applies for freelancers as well. You need to take into account your ambition for choosing to freelance over a traditional job and keep that idea central. If you know what your skills are, and how you’re going to be providing a better service than your competitors, you are all set to move on to the next step in setting up your freelancing career.
There needs to be a target that you set for yourself if you wish to improve as a freelancing professional. Just as normal companies have performance benchmarks and assessments, you need to apply the same dogma in this regard too. Best done on paper, you can assign goals and targets you wish to reach in the short and long term. This may include the amount of money you wish to make or the number of clients you wish to work with every month. There may be personal targets included as well, as the main benefit of these targets is to motivate you and keep your efforts focused.
A skill that can be learned in professional environments, managing yourself and the service you provide is essential to your career and self-development. The trick to being successful in freelancing in knowing just the right ways to manage yourself and your clients in a way that is ultimately in your favour. Lacking management skills in a professional environment is fatal for any career-oriented individual. You can think of management as a skill that allows you to control the way you work. Having the different variables associated with effective working makes it possible for you to fine-tune your plans. You will no longer be a log tossed by the wave, and be a boat steered by an experienced captain.
Although freelancing has the advantage of not needing anything other than a space to work, there are still some costs associated with working by yourself. To begin, if you’re going to be working freelance full-time, you would need some money that would keep you afloat for around six months or more. Your earnings in freelancing would probably take some time to stabilize and would be unreliable for the first few months. In that time, you would need some money to pay rent, bills and any other expenses that are part of your monthly budget. This would act as a safety net, and keep you from going bankrupt posthaste.
Instead of thinking of yourself as an individual, freelancing requires you to think of yourself as a complete business. In this regard, showing leniency in quality and working times is a major problem on your part, and is against the ethics of business. If you have accepted work from any client, it is your responsibility to deliver the work on time and exactly as the client ordered it. It is inadvisable to treat this as something minor, as this defines how suitable you are for a job. Business ethics are what allows you to establish a good rapport with your clients, which is mutually beneficial.
Before you set out to look for clients relative to your industry, you first need to determine the services you are going to be providing, and to which clients. This is best done on paper and should involve your target market as well as the strategies you are going to employ to help you reach your goals. Although this would be completely decided by your experience and expertise in a certain field. This requires you to have the foresight and predict the direction the industry is going to go. Similarly, your strategies need to evolve, too, as that is key to a sustainable business.
Just as a traditional business changes its plans and strategies to adapt to changing markets, you need to have a similar approach to your freelance business too. By analyzing your work processes meticulously, you can find room for improvement in nearly every facet there is. From accepting orders to working contractually, there will be areas where you will be able to improve your quality of service and attract more clients. In any industry, word of mouth travels quick, and by having a constantly evolving skill set, you will be able to make a name for yourself in no time.
Freelancing is a different ballgame than working as part of an organization. While companies might have their own business development executives that are responsible for reaching clients in need, you would have to handle that role yourself. As a one-man army, you would need to make sure that your outreaches are not in vain. Instead of wasting time on clients that are in no need of your services, you need to tailor your marketing strategies to work with your intended audience. For instance, there is no need in advertising Application Editing Services to shopkeepers, but students are ideal targets. You need to tweak different parts of your outreach until you reach a suitable point. Then, you need to stick to it at all costs, only deviating if you want to try something new.
It goes without saying that freelancing would require you to set up space where you can work with no distractions. Anything that distracts you from completing your work on time needs to be removed from your surroundings, as productivity is the priority here. Having a proper desk with a comfortable chair is the first step you can take to work better. Ideally, your workspace needs to be illuminated appropriately, and you can also move your desk closer to a window to let in sunlight and fresh air.