Tired of tight scheduled job? Bored from working on something you never liked? And finally thinking to become a freelancer?
Well.. It’s a big decision and before diving into, it is always better to do some research on it and check all the possibilities. The idea of being “your own boss” is attractive but risky too. As a freelancer you’re responsible for finding clients, convincing them and delivering your work on time.
Working as a full-time freelancer is much more doable than many people think, as long as you have the marketing and management skills to go along with the primary service you plan to sell. So let’s get started.
1.Do Some Research
Before you leave your job and switch to full time freelancing, it’s important to gather all the knowledge and tools you would need to succeed.
Unlike the leap from one regular job to another, the transition to full-time freelance employment doesn’t have to be an immediate one. It becomes more manageable to mitigate the risks of freelancing when you still have the securities of a regular paycheck, health care provisions and a retirement package.
Contact as many people as you can before starting your career as freelancer. The more experience, contacts and references you have when you go freelance, the easier making that final break from your job will be. People tend to trust recommendations that come from people they know, so by attending local networking events and conferences, you can introduce yourself to potential clients and practice some word-of-mouth advertising. Professional networking events are also a good opportunity to meet other freelancers and get advice about working in the industry.
Next, fortify your finances. You should be wildly efficient with both your personal and professional finances. It’s up to you to decide which strategies will be the most effective for you and your business. You can also try the option of crowdfunding. It is the practice of funding a project or organization through a large number of small contributions.
2.Build an Impressive Portfolio
For most freelancing careers, like copywriting or graphic design, you’ll need to have an impressive portfolio if you want to convince clients to hire you. Start going through your previous work and select the pieces that you think best represent your skills to be part of your portfolio.
When you are selling your services, you are actually selling yourself. If people don’t like you, they won’t buy what you’re selling. Online platform is one of the largest place to find huge audience. Create your online professional image by having a LinkedIn profile and your own website. Write about everything about your previous work, from relevant projects to the jobs you did. Do the same on social media handles like Facebook, Twitter, Quora, etc.
Building a profile and CV is not enough. People would not believe you until you have a portfolio to illustrate your skills and expertise. If you are a beginner in your field, take time to build your portfolio with sample works or simply accept jobs at discounted rate in exchange of experience. If you are beginner in designing field, here are some tips.
A strong branding offers many benefits for freelancers. A freelancer with an established brand will spend less time prospecting new clients, instead continuing to generate loyalty within their existing customer base. Emphasise on online branding, establish great connections with your followers and brand awareness through SEO. Some
3.Setup Your Workplace
If you are in a field of work like copywriting or transcription, you may not require any additional equipment beyond a computer and a connection to the internet. But if you are a designer then setting up your environment can be no easy task.From high-resolution monitors to laser-sharp printers, the cost of creating a designer’s toolbox and workspace might be more than you can presently afford, regardless of how important these tools may be to your job. That’s why it’s important to decide where you can save money and where you should fully invest. Many software providers offer the opportunity to subscribe to their services instead hosting their offerings through the cloud.
4.Set your pricing
Whatever rates you set, start with an income goal and calculate what your minimum hourly rate works out to. Here are some tips:
- Make sure you’re charging per project (instead of per hour)
- Quote rates that motivate you to give your best
- Raise your rates every 3-5 clients
- If you think your rates are low, then they 100% are.
- Learn to pitch your rates. Don’t just say the price of your project. Explain what those rates entail. What makes your work stand out. Don’t wait for a client to question your rates. Build up your value in your quote.
5.Let’s Execute Now!
Now that you have researched and planned everything, it’s time to make things official and start your business. Here are list of things to do to start your business:
- Select a perfect business name.
- Once you have your business name, it’s time to select a domain and hosting service. If you are going for business name route, make sure it’s domain is available.
- A domain is worhtless without a website on it. Create an attractive website. You can refer to web design tips before making your website.
- Logo is not so important for your business but it can give advantage to your website. A logo give a pictorial view of the whole business. Seeing a Coca-Cola logo people can relate to every kind of product they offer. Here are some logo design mockups.
- Prepare to accept payment form any kind of mode. Form online credit, debit card payments to net banking and GooglePay, PayPal, etc.
- Do not freelance without a contract. Ideally, you should get a lawyer to draft your contract, but that’s not always possible. There are a few resources available online, both free and paid, that will cover your bases.
Lastly I would say that there is no single way to start a new career. Your puzzle is your own! And understanding how the pieces fit together is what will guarantee your success. Plan it and go for it!