One of the best things about a career in freelancing is that it is work that you can do it on your own terms. Whether you want to successfully freelance full-time and become your own boss while managing a better work/life balance, need some extra money on top of working full-time, or want to develop your skills in a new area, freelancing is something that you can tailor to your personal needs and preferences. With some hard work and planning, you can easily make a full-time income from freelancing in a wide range of different areas and make sure that you don’t have to return to working for somebody else again. Here are some top tips for getting started if you want to create a full-time freelance career.
Consider Earning a Relevant Qualification:
Earning a relevant qualification such as this communication master’sdegree can be an ideal way to get started when it comes to getting your freelance career off the ground. A communication degree can help you get started in a freelance career in a wide range of different industries and will help to provide you with the skills that you need to successfully pitch to and negotiate with your clients to get the best type of work for you. In addition, a communications degree can provide you with further skills that you might want to use as the basis of your work as a freelancer, for example, if you are thinking of getting into freelance content marketing, video marketing, or teaching online courses, this degree can help you develop a number of important skills for these positions.
Try It Out First:
Most people will advise that you make a plan and try freelancing out alongside more stable full-time work before you get started. If you’re currently working full-time, it’s worth taking a few freelance gigs while you are still employed to help you get used to it, figure out what to expect, and come up with ideas for success in the future without putting your employment or income at risk.
Freelancing while you are working full-time is not always easy, especially if you want to freelance in a creative profession such as photography or design since you can usually do this on your own time or negotiate deadlines with your clients that work for both you and them.
There are several benefits of trying out some freelance work while you are still employed before you take the plunge and turn to freelancing as your full-time source of income. Firstly, it allows you to earn some additional cash to put aside before you start freelancing full-time. Ideally, you should put off quitting your job until you have put aside three to six months of living expenses and enough funding to cover your start-up costs. Secondly, it gives you the chance to try out different freelance jobs and find clients who may ultimately become sources of long-term, secure work for you in the future.
Come Up with a Plan:
Once you have taken on some freelance work while continuing in your job and have been able to get a rough idea of the type of work that you would like to do as a full-time freelancer in the future, it’s time to sit down and come up with a solid plan for the future. Even if you don’t need to impress the bank or investors, a business plan can be good for yourself to use for making your goals clearer and coming up with a roadmap towards success that you can follow as you start out as a freelancer. Consider things such as what you are going to offer that your competition does not, what kind of work you prefer, and what you would rather avoid, what success means to you personally, and where you want your freelance career to be in the future.
Set Your Rates:
Another reason why it is a wise idea to start your freelancing career on the side of working full-time for an employer is that this gives you the best chance to set your rates and decide what you can comfortably charge for the work that you do. It also gives you a chance to revise your rates if they don’t end up working out for you as well as you expected.
Many new freelancers undercharge for their services at first, so avoid this by spending some time researching your role and figuring out what your competition are charging. If you’re undercharging by a lot, chances are that this is going to have the opposite to the desired effect, as many clients might see this as representative of your lack of experience or skill – after all, most people will take the approach of that you get what you pay for.
If you are doing similar work to your full-time job as a freelancer, the best way to set your rates is to figure out what you’d make for the work in full-time employment and come up with an hourly rate that fits. You can decide to charge your clients per project or hourly, depending on the work that you do and how much time and effort you expect to put into each project.
Determine Your Ideal Target Audience:
When you start out as a freelancer, you will quickly be able to get an idea of the type of people or organizations that you work with best. Your ideal target audience is going to be made up of clients that provide you with the best combination of work, schedule, working style, and earnings. For example, some freelancers find that they prefer working with startups since they like working on cutting-edge new projects and want to be more flexible with their time. On the other hand, some freelancers prefer the reliability of working with more established companies that tend to be better off financially and in a better position to provide freelance contractors with long-term, steady work.
Market Your Services:
Self-promotion and marketing your services areabsolutely essential to your success as a new freelancer. Ideally, you should start doing this while you are still trying out freelancing in addition to working in your full-time place of employment in order to give you the best chance of building up a strong client base and getting steady and reliable work before you set out on your own as a freelancer to make it your main source of income.
There are several things that you can do to market and advertise your services no matter what kind of freelance work you are offering. A portfolio of work is often the minimum required from freelancers since this gives potential clients the chance to explore what you have worked on in the past and determine if the work that you do is the right fit for what they are looking for. In addition to this, social media marketing is often the way forward for freelancers – you might be surprised at how easy it can be to find new clients and customers by simply posting about what you offer on your social networking profiles.
Build Your Professional Network:
In order to keep getting new work, freelancers will need to make professional connections. In addition, bear in mind that since freelancing is often a type of work that involves a lot of working from home on your own, making professional connections can help you stay social and create a sense of community that you would normally have access to in office work and other working environments.
Using co-working spaces is an ideal way for freelancers to make more professional connections and meet like-minded people in this type of career. It’s also a great way to get out of the house and prevent yourself from getting bored and lonely; everybody needs social connection from time to time, even if you are introverted. Or, if you prefer, you might want to consider online ways to connect with other like-minded professionals.
Sites like LinkedIn and Facebook offer many groups that are designed for freelancing professionals to join. In addition to building personal and professional relationships in this way, you can also find other freelancers that might prove useful to you when working on a project as you can collaborate together. In addition, other freelancers might know of or be able to recommend you for various opportunities, which is why having a look at resume examples from all over the world can help you adapt and prepare better.
Keep Re-evaluating Your Goals:
As a freelancer, often nothing is permanent and it’s important that you keep your eye on the ball and plan for the future as much as possible. No matter how long you have been working with a certain client or how much work you have been getting on a steady and regular basis, there is always the chance that work could dry up either temporarily or permanently. As a freelancer, being ready for this by regularly re-evaluating your goals and coming up with ways to overcome any inconsistencies in your workload will help you achieve success.
Freelancing can be an ideal way to take charge of your career and enjoy a better work-life balance with more control over your time and income. If you’re considering starting out as a new freelancer, keep these tips for success in mind.