Freelancing can be a great way to live, but it’s not for everyone. Some people love the freedom of working for themselves and the excitement of taking on new challenges. Others may have been forced into freelancing and would rather be doing something else.
No matter why you freelance, success takes a lot of hard work. It would be best if you were euthanized, self-motivated, and good at maritime management also need to be prepared to make mistakes because everyone does when they’re starting.
If you’re considering becoming a freelancer, I encourage you to research and make sure it’s the right decision. There are a lot of resources available to help you get started, and there are plenty of successful freelancers out there who can offer advice.
1. Don’t Start Without a Plan:
The freelance industry is booming, but you shouldn’t just jump in without a plan. Before you start, you need to research and develop a business strategy. This includes understanding your target market, product or service, competition, and strengths and weaknesses. You must also develop a marketing plan and determine how to finance your startup costs.
If you don’t do this legwork, you could scramble to find clients or even lose money. So be smart and take the time to plan before you start freelancing.
Here are some specific questions you should answer as part of your planning process:
- What are you selling?
- What is the price of your product or service?
- What are your business’s weaknesses and strengths?
- What kind of marketing do you need to do to spread the word?
- How will you finance your startup costs?
Is there much work in your field but not much demand? Or are there a few people working but a great deal of need for that specific product or service?
You can develop a solid business plan that will help you succeed as a freelancer by answering these questions.
2. Focus on your client.
As a freelancer, your most important client is your customer. Sometimes, the feedback you receive from your customer is more valuable than the money you earn.
That doesn’t mean you should do whatever your customers ask without question. However, if you want repeat customers and referrals, you must put your customers’ needs first. You can start by offering a lot of value with your work and maybe even delivering your work early.
There are a lot of freelancers out there, but not all of them will put in the extra effort. If you do, your freelance career will grow.
3. Don’t advertise with a bad website design.
You don’t need a fancy website to be successful. Sometimes all you need is a bio page, a contact form, and testimonials.
But if you don’t have a website at all, or worse, if you have a bad website, it can make it difficult for people to reach out to you. Your credibility as a professional can also be compromised.
If you sell digital services, how can you show potential clients that you know what you’re doing if your website looks like it was made in the 90s? How can you convince people you’re a good copy editor if your portfolio contains mistakes?
The answer is simple: you can’t. The only solution is to update your website. You can create a great website by following a few simple steps. And once you’ve created your website, be sure to get feedback before launching it.
4. Don’t Be Hard to Contact
When you’re a freelancer, you must make it easy for people to contact you. Previously, freelancers would advertise their services through phonebooks, newspaper ads, or business cards. These materials typically include their name, location, and phone number, so potential clients can ask specific questions before visiting.
The same principles apply today, even though much freelance work is now online. When you freelance, it’s important to make sure your contact information is prominently displayed. This should include:
- Your name
- Your email address
- Your phone number (if relevant)
- A social media handle, so clients can look at your profile and see examples of your work
The downside of online freelancing is that there’s a lot more competition. Instead of competing on a local scale, you’re now competing with people worldwide.
If you make it difficult for people to contact you, they’ll quickly move on to someone who can make it easier. Everyone is looking for convenience.
5. Dealing with Your Time Appropriately as a Freelancer
When you start freelancing, you might think, “I can work for myself. I work from home, so I don’t have to follow a schedule or get up early!”
But that would be a mistake.
Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you should treat your workspace like your bedroom. While working from home can bring a lot of distractions, you can still set a schedule for yourself and avoid distractions.
Doing chores or watching TV will distract you, as will using your phone or running errands. Before long, your workspace will become cluttered, and your productivity will suffer.
Your brain will start to think that your “office” and your “home” are the same place, and you’ll be less productive.
There are a few things you can do to effectively manage your time as a freelancer. One is to use the Pomodoro Technique. This technique involves working in 25-minute intervals, followed by a five-minute break. This helps you to break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks, and it also helps you to stay focused.
Another way to manage your time is to plan your day ahead of time. This will help you to stay on track and avoid procrastination. There are several different daily planning apps that you can use, such as Todoist, Asana, or Trello.
6. Either your charges are too high or too low.
Setting the right rates for your freelance work can be tricky, especially when starting. Do you charge more and risk not getting as many clients? Or do you charge less and attract more clients but make less money overall?
There are a few factors to consider when setting your rates, including your experience, the value you provide, and the competitiveness of your industry. You can start by comparing your rates to those of other freelancers who do similar work. Even if your circumstances differ, this will give you a good starting point.
7. Remember Your Taxes
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a freelancer is not paying your taxes. This is a serious issue; the penalties can be severe if caught.
Even if you’re unsure how to file your taxes, resources are available to help you. You can hire an accountant or use a local tax filing service.
It’s important to remember that even though you’re working for yourself, you’re still considered an employee. This means that you’re still required to pay taxes on your income.
Learn from Your Freelancing Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s important to learn from them. If you make a mistake as a freelancer, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just learn from it and move on.
The best way to avoid making mistakes is to be prepared. Do your research, and learn as much as you can about freelancing before you start.
And most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Plenty of people are willing to help you succeed as a freelancer.