Take a moment to imagine this. No 9-5 working hours. No commute. Maybe even working in your pyjamas with a laptop on your bed. Sound good? The idealistic outlook isn’t always the case though. Starting your freelancer life is hard and whilst it’s full of opportunity and freedom, it can be a tricky roads to navigate. Let’s have a look at how to begin your life in the freelance lane.
Do Your Research
Unless you’ve been plunged into this via a redundancy or are thinking about freelancing because you have been unsuccessfully job-seeking for a while, don’t quit your job just yet. Setting up as a freelancer whilst having the backing of a salary coming in is far easier than jumping in feet first without any cash to fall back on. Having a plan in place helps you see the journey ahead of you and just how you will drive it. Look into the area that you want to work in. Network with other freelancers, ideally in a different part of the country or world to yourself as they are likely more willing to discuss their journey and help. Asking people on your doorstep is probably a negative thing to do as you are likely setting up in direct competition. If possible, take on one small project or client whilst you are still employed to see how it goes. Whilst tackling extra working alongside a full time job is tricky, it will be a short term hassle which will turn into a long term benefit.
When you’re working by yourself, it’s easy to view any and every bit of potential work as something you need to grab hold of. The reality is, once you start spreading yourself too thin, the quality of work you do is affected. The first clients you take on need to see your absolute best as they are the ones who become the foundation of your freelance life. We’ve spoken before about the importance of retaining clients. These clients you work with to begin could help make or break your freelance life. Word of mouth is such an important part of business and if they are happy with your work, retain your services on a monthly basis whilst also putting your name out there, you’ve made a successful first step. Consider the long term of your freelancer business, if you can attain a handful of key clients who become the staples of your work life, you can pick up other one off projects to fit in when you can and put more consideration into work when new clients get in touch.
The word of mouth business already mentioned is perfect as it shows people value and recommend the work that you do, but what about people outside of those circles? How will they find you? You need to be able to be found. Build a website, even something small and simple allows potential clients who are searching online to find you. It can be tempting to set up all the social media pages known to man but if you don’t keep them active and updated regularly, it can actually be seen as a negative. Imagine finding a company on Facebook who look great but they haven’t updated their page in six months. You might start wondering if they are even still in business and simply click away from that site. Make sure your website shows your very best work and how you can help those business people looking at it.
Find A Bookkeeper
Bookkeepers are worth their weight in gold. Not only can they help with your finances, advising what you can claim back and where you can make savings, they can also help look at the future of your business. They’ve probably worked with a variety of clients, seeing some succeed and some fail. Utilise their industry experience and knowledge so you don’t make costly mistakes in your freelance life. They can also take care of the numbers, figures and accounts side of the business so you can concentrate on why you went freelance in the first place. You don’t want to be stressing about your accounts, spending ridiculous amounts of time on that, trying to get your head around things and possibly making mistakes, when someone who knows what they are doing could do it quickly and easily. This frees you up to work on client work or even take day off. So many people go freelance for the freedom. Make sure this freelance journey doesn’t take over your life and that freedom you craved isn’t fulfilled.