Freelancing is a great option for people who want total freedom in their lives. Here’s a proven strategy for launching a successful freelancing career.
Go Freelance and Profit!
So you want to go freelance? It’s certainly a great option for a flexible career. You can kick your rotten day job to the curb and start a new life that is fun, rewarding and profitable. But if you are going to succeed in the world of freelancing, you need a solid plan. Here is a solid strategy that you can implement if you truly want to go freelance and make good money from anywhere.
Is Freelancing Right for You?
Freelancing is a great way to make a living, but it is not for everyone. If you are used to the security of a regular income, you may find the ups and downs of freelancing disconcerting. And if you balk at the idea of juggling multiple projects and hitting deadlines every week, perhaps you need to think again. But if you can accept these issue as part of your new freelance life, then it’s time to get cracking.
Save Some ‘Getting Started’ Money
Whilst you can make great money freelancing, your cash flow can be erratic in the early days. It will take some time to get established. In your first few months, you will be spending money on getting your business set up, and on marketing your services, but you may have few clients initially. Even when you start picking up work, there may be a lag before you start getting paid.
So you will need to have some cash in the bank to tide you over this getting started phase. You will need to have enough money saved up to cover your living and business expenses for at least three months – six months would be even better. Then you will be able to start your freelance business on a solid foundation.
Choose the Service You Will Offer
This can be a make or break step. You need to identify a freelance service which matches your skills and expertise, but which is also in demand. If possible, look for a niche where demand outstrips supply, even if this means getting additional training to ramp up your skills. Making the right choice now can make a huge difference to your income further down the track.
Create a Strong Portfolio
Your portfolio will be the foundation of your freelance business. You need to show people what you can do, and demonstrate the quality of your work. This more than anything else will help you win new business, so don’t skimp on this step – be sure to get it right.
Build a website to showcase your work, and add testimonials from anyone you have done work for already. If you don’t have any clients yet, just create some high-quality samples that demonstrate the kind of work you are capable of.
One of the big mistakes freelancers make is to underestimate the importance of marketing. The assumption is that if you are good, people will beat a path to your door. Sadly, this is rarely true. As well as creating good work, you must be good at marketing your skills to those who need your services.
In today’s world, this mostly means online marketing. As well as getting a website built, you need to learn now to market this through search engine optimization, social media and other means of online communication.
Focus on Winning Your First Piece of Business
Sure, it’s hard to get started when you have no clients, and no previous work samples to offer. But the good news is that once you win your first piece of business, everything gets easier. So don’t be discouraged if things are tough going at first. Put everything you’ve got into winning that first client.
Of course, it goes without saying that you should then do an outstanding job for that client. This should result in further freelance jobs from that client, plus referrals to other people who can use your services. So your first client can lead to your second…and everything gets easier after that.
Create a Good Working Environment
Once you start getting busy with multiple projects, you will realize how important it is to have the right working environment. You need somewhere where you can work without distractions. Ideally, you should have a room that you can use as an office, and this needs to be one that is free from noise and interruptions.
When you are freelancing, productivity is all important – and a good home office makes all the difference when it comes to getting things done. Make sure that your family and friends understand that you cannot be interrupted while you are working – just because you are at home, it doesn’t mean you are free to stop for coffee. You have work to do!
Deliver High-Quality Work
Another common freelancer mistake is to let the quality of work drop off over time. The first job for a new client is often done with great enthusiasm and attention to detail. But once the repeat business starts coming in, complacency slips in and the standards go down.
Remember that repeat business from your existing clients will be a major source of income, as well as a great source of referrals. So you have to ensure that you maintain the highest standards. You will always be judged by your last job – so make every job great.
Be Prepared for Downtime
You can make great money freelancing, but your income is not always predictable. You never know when you might hit a quiet patch, so it is important to have some savings to tide you over. Try to keep enough money in the bank to cover a quiet stretch, so that you can concentrate on marketing to win new clients, rather than panicking about how you are going to pay the bills.
If you can create a second source of income, such as ebook publishing of affiliate marketing, this can be a lifesaver when your freelance work slows down. You can spend your time working and making money with other projects until the freelance project load ramps up again.
Give Yourself a Break!
Freelancing can be fun, but it is also hard work. You may find that you are working flat out for weeks on end, constantly battling to hit deadlines. Because of this, it is important to schedule some breaks so that you can recover.
You certainly want to do your best to keep your weekends free. While it may be tempting to work through the weekend to hit a deadline and make more money, you will find your productivity slows dramatically if you are not taking proper breaks.
You should also schedule in regular vacations – just a single week away from work can be enough to blow away the cobwebs and leave you ready for action when you return.
Go, Go, Go...Freelance!
So if you are wondering if you can go freelance, the answer is that you can – and you can make great money while you are at it. Use the above tips to get yourself started, and create a lifestyle that those around you can only envy…go, go, go!!!