Time for you to take that leap of faith and go into business for yourself…
Freelance work used to be thought of as something you did on the side to supplement your income, learn a new skill, or explore a new hobby.
If you have yet to find your new hobby or you’re a bit unsure on what field you wish to pursue with freelance, there are many creative courses available. Right now, it’s a great time to develop your interests into a long-term, rewarding career. According to UK Freelance Industry Statistics 2020, there’s currently over 2 million freelancers in the UK.
Here are our tips on how to make the switch into the freelance industry successfully and also some important considerations that you should keep in mind before taking that leap.
1. Have clear measurable goals.
As with most things in life we need set goals and targets for ourselves, in order to grow and reach our potential. It’s the exact same for freelancing, without easy measurable goals, you’re going to have a very hard time getting to where you want to go.
Ask yourself what is your goal here:
- Do you just want extra income, in addition to your full-time job?
- Do you want to become your own boss?
- Is freelancing a part of a greater plan? Is it just a stepping stone?
Whatever the case and regardless of your end goal, it needs to be made abundantly clear why you’re starting this freelancer journey
2. Branding yourself
When starting your freelance business, your brand is everything. Regardless of what service/product you’re offering people; your personality and tone of voice should be a reflection of your work style. This will help make strangers and potential clients feel familiar with you, which in turn will lead to them trusting you with their business. Branding yourself and your talents well will help you stand out from the competition. You are your own USP. Use that to your advantage and add value to your business.
- Develop your online presence, create an inviting website or profile, that helps clients familiarize themselves with you and your services. In this day and age, in order to be successful, you need a powerful online presence.
- Network with agencies and other freelancers – so that you get your name out there via word of mouth. Use websites like LinkedIn and Facebook.
- Contemplate starting a blog or creating an online portfolio
- Consider creating a logo to help brand awareness and credibility.
- Keep your bio short, sweet and to the point. Be charismatic and personable. Leave an impression on the potential client.
- Make sure it’s easy and clear to see what services you provide from the start.
- Have your pricing set
3. Getting clients
In this day and age, your best friends when getting clients should be social media and word of mouth through networking. Spread the word to through LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media platforms. Also tell your family and friends to look out for potential clients. Initially, you should be targeting agencies and recruiters as well as direct clients. Be actively looking for work and potential clients, don’t be afraid to chase people up. As you build up your client base and portfolio, you can be more refined in who take as clients. You should understand what your clients problems are and offer the solution. How can you add value to your clients business?
- Create a business page on social media separate from your personal account.
- Posts should be relevant, interactive and funny. Make your page enticing.
- Share your work and upcoming projects.
- Keep it up to date and in line with the new trends
- These social media platforms are constantly evolving, be on top of it so that you can boost engagement.
The purpose of this is to find your target market then market and tailor yourself to them. There are companies who are dedicated to aiding freelancers find work, if you are struggling on your own.
4. Understanding and being prepared for the negatives…
This journey that you’re about to embark on, is going to be hard and time consuming. Even though it will eventually successful, it will be very difficult and disheartening at times. You need to be mentally and financially prepared for all of the down days.
- There will be some slow days and weeks, where you have no work.
- It’s very common for new freelancers to be broke for a while, sometimes up to a year.
- Have savings to get you through the dry spells. Don’t quit your full time job until you have 5-8 months worth of savings.
- Be ready for a lot of rejection
- Be disciplined, being your own boss isnt easy. You need to give yourself working hours and stick to them. You have to stick to the deadlines that your clients give you.
- You might not have a social life fro a while.
- Be determined and driven… this is not for the faint of heart.
No one in the history of starting a business from scratch has ever said it was easy or even straightforward. But with determination and discipline, it’s very possible to be successful.
Don’t be put off by the hard work it takes to be a successful freelancer. Once off the ground it’s very rewarding and a great feeling to be your own boss. There will be undoubtedly some hard times, but you should stay focused on the goal at hand. Try and enjoy the journey!