Are you thinking about freelancing full-time? It’s a great time to go for it and give it your full focus. You can be a successful full-time freelancer if you know what you’re getting into, from the preparation to the routine you setup for yourself. Not only should you be prepared financially for the transition, but you should under the legalities of your new role and how to make money from it.
Make sure you have a solid routine and workspace to handle the work, and use a business plan to follow along the way. Here are the top five tips that will have you making full-time freelancing a reality this year.
Make sure you’ve saved some cash to get you started in year one. It’s going to be a challenge building the business and you aren’t likely to bring in a profit at first. Have savings to get you started and continue to save to make sure you can sustain yourself while things are slowly progressing.
You’ll also need money to pay for the start of your business, such as a business website, business cards, memberships with business organizations, and literature to help you in your new business.
You’ll also want to make sure you’ve thought through the legalities of your new role. Some businesses will take advantage of the status of independent contractor in order to save on their taxes. For example, some clients may want you to do full-time work while still calling you an independent contractor, which means you are not getting the perks of full-time employment but you’re too busy with this client to have the opportunity to do other work.
Remember that your status as an independent contractor means that you’ll have the freedom of making your own schedule, the control over where and how you do your work, and you won’t have taxes withheld from payments.
Come up with a business plan and pricing strategy
Now you’ll need to think about a reasonable pricing model for clients and a business plan for the long-term. You’ll have to consider many factors in your pricing strategy, knowing that you’ll have to pay out of your own pocket for things like health insurance, business equipment, professional development, wearing other hats like marketer and administrator, and taking time off. Charging just for the service provided without considering these factors may cause you to undersell yourself or undercut other local professionals.
Once you’ve figured this out, you’ll have to come up with a business plan for the long term. Instead of treating it as a job-to-job career, think of the long-term plan to achieve your goals and continue to get new clients. Figure out your target market, how to market to them, and what services you could ideally offer to them. Then put it on paper in order to have a goal to look at each day.
Get a great workspace
Now that you’re set up for success, you’ll need to start thinking about the day-to-day operations. You’ll need to devote an area to working in order to avoid mixing your work and home life. You may even prefer a local coffee shop or co-working space.
In addition, you’ll want to figure out a routine that works for you. It may be tempting to use your work time for personal errands and tasks. Figure out what time of day you work best in order to improve productivity. Having a consistent schedule is the key to success for a freelancer.
Make sure you are marketing
Marketing is a huge priority for freelancers. You’ll also need to be networking when you can. You want clients to come to you rather than always to be the one chasing the clients. Make sure you are building a website that shows off your talents well and make professional contacts.
Meet people through professional groups and attend events of local organizations. Make sure your happy clients are putting testimonials on your website in order to show new clients that you have a great reputation.
Be willing to turn down offers
Just because you want all of the work you can get right now, it doesn’t mean you can’t turn down jobs. Sometimes you have to say no to projects because it’s not a good fit or it’s not worth your time. Don’t take a job just to have more jobs because you could end up doing a poor job and hurting your reputation. You also don’t want to be overworked or miss the right opportunities from being too busy.
You’ll love full-time freelancing if you go into prepared and ready to work!