If you're tired of making money for other people, striking out on your own as a freelancer is an appealing prospect. While the internet gives you a global marketplace in which to trade, it's also a fiercely competitive platform. With the right planning, you can reach more clients and give your business the best chance of success.
Your reputation is one of the most important elements of your endeavour; if you get it right it can also become one of your most potent advertising tools, but the moment you make a profile on a freelancing site you have officially started building it. That is not something you want to do unprepared, there are things you need to have organized and figured out before you 'go on record'. If you are thinking about getting into freelancing or, are an already active freelancer who wants to see if there are ways to improve, it is vital that you consider the following aspects of the market.
Daydreams of freelancing rarely include thoughts of taxes and business law but if you're going to make it a reality, you'll need to do your homework.
You will need to register your business for an ABN in order to invoice clients and you will need to set aside money each month for your tax bill at the end of the year. It makes sense to see an accountant for some advice on setting up a small business at this stage, so you do not run into problems at the end of the financial year.
Do your research, find out what laws apply to you, what are your duties and what are your rights and set up any accounts you might need before contacting the first potential client. Word of mouth will be vital and you don’t want to waste your or your client’s time on trivial matters. Be sure to make a comprehensible income tracking system and to take note of all the data you might need at some point.
You have a blog? Great, now remove the section with your favourite videos of people getting injured in comically easy-to-avoid ways, change the fonts colour from pink to literally anything else, and start promoting your brand new business.
Don’t have a blog? Make one following the above listed set of rules. Try to keep information on your blog relevant and update it regularly. That is not to say that you shouldn’t add some personal touch to it, just stay within limits of good taste.
Be sure it is professional but try to make it fun as well. Promote it as often as you can, social media activity is a must, create and maintain as many profiles as you can and try to be reasonably active on all of them. Write guest posts for other bloggers in your sphere of interest and have them write for you. Generally, remember that it is important to have good web visibility - it not only brings much more clients to your site, it also increases your credibility.
Most people that live alone might consider their home to be an ideal work place, but give it a try before committing to any work. Very often people find it hard to work from home: there might be too many distractions around or they are simply bored from spending the whole day at home. Many freelancers prefer sharing an office, where they have a professional venue in which to meet clients, a quiet space to work and the advantage of human contact on a daily basis. Try freelancers' forums for shared offices near you or for tips on creating your own home office.
This is the essential part of your reputation and credibility: how well do you do your job. A lot of people entering the freelancing market without having first sorted out their working habits can’t keep up with the pace that the market dictates.
Know your matter, if you don’t know enough about a certain task don’t accept it and hope that you will be able to crack it in time, do the research first and only then commit to it. It is easy to find information on practically anything you might need, don’t waste opportunities because you couldn’t be bothered to do the leg work.
Respect the deadlines and the agreed terms. People often get into freelancing because they love the freedom to arrange their time according to their needs. That is a beautiful thing, but it comes with its dangers. You do have a certain level of autonomy but, no matter how much you might try to escape them, the laws of Time will find you wherever you run. Your clients need to be able to rely on your word, do not make them wait for you, it is both inconsiderate and highly unprofessional.
Wallow in the fame and fortune this article enabled you to achieve
There are many obstacles you need to overcome if you intend to be a freelancer, but the rewards are at least as numerous. You will need to get used to periods when you have more workload than you can handle alternating with periods when you are bored with how little there is to do, you will also have to work on your discipline and time management, but if you get everything right, you will gain the freedom to organize your time as you see fit, to choose the tasks that you feel like doing, and generally, to strengthen the illusion that you indeed are, the master of your destiny. Also, you’ll get paid more.