How to Be a Successful Freelancer
Freelancers continue to increase in numbers as more and more people take the plunge and decide to work for themselves. Whether it be as a writer, programmer, virtual assistant, or some other role, there are approximately 57 million people working as independent contractors.
And, according to statistics, 61% of freelancers have gone into this type of work by their choice. But, as any freelancer will tell you, it takes a certain leap of faith and strong work discipline to be successful. If you think 2020 is the year you want to enter the world of self-employment, then here are a few tips to help you obtain success.
- Choose Your Niche: The world of freelancing is wide and varied when it comes to the types of jobs you can do, but you’ll definitely want to pick your niche and stick with it. Trying to be a jack-of-all-trades can leave you feeling scattered and like you’re not doing a very good job at any task at all. When you are focused, you can develop a strong presence in your chosen area and gain a reputation for providing quality work.
- Don’t Procrastinate: Whether it’s in starting your business, finding clients, or working on current jobs, don’t procrastinate. Freelancing does require some hustle, so be sure not to let time get away from you, or you could find yourself without a steady income or delivering projects to clients late.
- Find Clients: Finding clients is essential to freelancing. There are various websites you can use (depending on what you do) that are great for finding potential clients. Additionally, social media and networking are fantastic resources. And, once you have clients, don’t forget to ask them to recommend you to others.
- Set Your Rates: Do some research on what rate you’ll need to charge in order to make a living and remain competitive in your chosen field. Look at your own budget, check out what other freelancers are charging, and go from there.
- Know Your Expenses: Also, be sure you know what expenses you’ll incur. Will you need office space? A new computer? Specialty programs? Build those things into your rates.
- Exceed Your Clients Expectations: Once you have clients, make sure you are always going above and beyond to meet their needs. Make sure you fully understand the project and provide your best work. Deliver projects early when possible. Exceeding expectations can lead to repeat work and help build your reputation.
- Be a Good Communicator: Lots of freelance work is done online. This requires that you are a strong communicator. Make sure you are in regular contact with your clients.
- Stay Organized: Freelancers often have multiple clients, and that means you may jump from task to task throughout your day. You will want to stay organized – paying particular attention to requirements and due dates so that you are not getting client work mixed up.
- Keep Track of Your Finances: Freelancing also means that you are 100% responsible for your finances – from billing clients to paying taxes. That means you need to keep your finances organized. Be sure you are billing clients in a timely fashion, keeping track of expenses, and paying your quarterly taxes on time.
- Set Work Hours: When you work for yourself, it can be tempting to be available to clients morning, noon, and night, but you want to set some definitive work hours. This will allow you to maintain personal time to spend with family and friends, and your clients will know when they can get in touch with you.
- Learn to Say, “No”: When you start freelancing, you may feel the need to say “yes” to every project. But if clients or projects are not a fit for you – don’t be afraid to say no.
Are you ready to take the leap into the world of freelancing? Keep these things in mind so you can be successful in your field and establish a great business working for yourself.