Advice for the New Freelancer
As a freelancer, you’ll become a self-employed worker with the scope to work for a multitude of companies and clients. During the pandemic, many employees faced redundancy and turned to freelancing as a new career opportunity which gave them the scope to break away from the traditional 9-5 schedule and try out a new way of working. Thanks to the benefits that freelancing provides, it has since grown in popularity and can be achieved in all sectors.
While developing an independent career can be exciting, it can be intimidating in the sense that you’re now choosing to ‘go it alone.’
If you’re new to the freelancing world and unsure about what to expect, here is some advice to take on board.
Search For Long-Term Client Projects
In the past, freelancers were largely used as temporary solutions during a business’ busy period. However, more companies are now looking to outsource work sporadically as a way of cutting costs during quiet periods due to not having to hire full-time employees.
In turn, always aim to make the best possible impression with clients as they may choose to use you for future projects. In particular, keep an eye out for 3–6-month contracts, where you have the time to build positive relationships and prove your talents and abilities. The additional benefit is that you’ll also receive a steady income.
Rent an Office Space
One of the downsides of freelancing is the isolation and having a lack of colleagues that you may be used to. Independent working isn’t for everyone, and you may struggle to stay motivated without the buzz of an office environment. The good news is that there are office solutions for freelancers who are keen to socialize and mix with other professionals. Renting a private office space allows you to work independently (when working on deadlines or having business meetings) with the blend of a buzzing co-working space.
Communicate With Other Freelancers
When starting out as a freelancer, you may have several questions floating around your mind, with no one to answer them. Additionally, you may not have anyone to provide words of wisdom during times of struggle.
In this instance, it would be well worth joining a small business or freelance community online where you can take part in discussion forums and meet like-minded people who are also new to the freelancing industry. In doing so, you will have the chance to learn from others and share your own experiences.
Create a Daily Schedule
No one will be micro-managing you as a freelancer. Therefore, you will need to take full responsibility for managing your workload and sticking to a strict schedule to succeed.
Without a daily plan, it’s impossible to keep track of your tasks and may cause you to miss crucial deadlines.
Understand Your Terms and Conditions
While the nature of freelancing may provide you with the freedom you have always desired, there are certain logistics to adhere to to ensure that you don’t get messed around by clients. To avoid this, you should have a clear perspective of your terms and conditions when a project is assigned to you. Additionally, you’ll be able to give details to the client straight away so you can get the ball rolling.
Some of the factors to keep in mind include the following:
- Deciding your hourly/project rate
- Agreeing on deadlines
- Managing invoices
- Creating a contract
Develop a Digital Presence
Companies are now doing most of their business online, and as a freelance professional, you should be doing the same. During the hiring process, most employers advertise vacancies online, and this also goes for freelance positions. Therefore, if you don’t stay in the loop, you’ll miss out on opportunities.
The beauty of freelancing is that you can apply for national and global jobs as there is generally the opportunity to work remotely. In turn, you can widen your scope to any business that requires your services – not just in your local town.
Freelancing is not an easy profession, but with hard work and determination, the self-employed way of life could easily fit around your lifestyle and give you the career freedom you have striven for. We hope the above tips will give you some direction during your start-up phase.