Freelancing has a romantic look about it for
people who would rather be their own boss, but it also has its
challenges- unless the freelancer knows how to land gigs and keep them
coming, he or she could wind up being frustrated with the whole thing.
It’s vital for anyone who wishes to go down the freelancing path to get
their act together and plan for what could be a rollercoaster ride of
the ebb and flow of business that this way entails.
If you intend to become a freelancer or are already launching into
the sphere, you should start off by taking the following steps.
1. Acquire relevant skills.
Of course, you’re not going to be freelancing if you don’t have the
expertise to do so. If you’re going to become a freelance programmer,
you should know how to write code- it goes without saying. Depending on
what you want to do, having a background in a formal establishment might
be an advantage.
2. Tell everyone you know.
Tell everyone you know- yes, everyone –that you’re planning
to get into the freelancing business. Let them know what services you
will be offering, and when you intend to begin doing so. What this does
for you is open up fronts through which you can get valuable contacts
and references. Your first clients might come from your contact list, or
be someone who is led to you by someone you’ve told about your plans.
3. Research the freelance turf for your area of expertise.
Is there a market for your services? Be sure to research the
availability of a market for what you have to offer. If you want to
become a freelance writer, are there people and businesses where you are
(or in the area you operate in) that need your content? If you run a
business consulting service, are there companies that can do with your
assistance in this respect? The viability of your freelance pursuits
depends on whether there is a demand for your services.
4. Have a plan detailing your charges, and other important things.
How much will you be charging your clients, and on what basis? How do
you intend to land gigs? These questions should be answered before
starting off on the freelance journey. You might also need a business
plan which will serve as a financial resource blueprint for your work,
something you’ll be able to refer to as a yardstick for measuring your
progress as a freelancer.
5. Build your personal brand.
Businesses need a brand to make them stand out. Because you’ll be
setting out on your own, you will be your own brand. Let your online
profile reflect the work you do, especially on social media. You can
learn more about how to build your personal brand by reading the article
Six Steps To Building Your Personal Brand.
6. Display your work.
Talk about the work you do on social media, and display samples (if
it’s the kind that allows for this). Have a portfolio that includes the
sort of service you specialize in delivering, so you can refer to it
when you are trying to get a potential client on board. If you’re a
writer or designer for instance, you can have a personal blog that
showcases these things. It’ll serve as a convenient means for people to
have a look at what you do.
7. Keep tabs on your figures.
Whatever you do, just be certain that you know what your business
figures are. Take more than a cursory look at your revenue figures;
examine them in detail to see where your revenue is coming from, so you
have an idea of what the trend really is, and what aspects of your
business you should be building or improving. If you run a website, find
out where the traffic comes from, and think about how you can use the
information you obtain from the analytics to better what you do.
Finally, don’t neglect the need to be plain and honest in your
dealings with your clients- your reputation can be built on your
transparency, or marred by your untrustworthiness.