If you want to make the decision to work as a freelancer, then there can be a number of benefits. You can set your work schedule and allow yourself more flexibility. You can be your own boss and decide the type of work that you want to take on. It can be a good option for parents wanting to work around children's schedules or those with other commitments that want to prioritize while still earning money doing what they love. We help with five tips to get you started as a freelancer.
Decide your niche
Identifying the one thing you really like to do and the one thing in which you really excel will be important to identifying your freelance lifestyle. You cannot be all things to all people. When I look for a freelancer I look for a unique expert in any area and call on them to help me quickly solve my problem. So identify that are and explain it well on your resume/website so that people know what they are going to get when they hire you. Your niche will drive people to you.
Decide your platform
Finding clients may be one of the hardest ways to get started in freelance work. However, the current "gig" economy has really helped elevate the options for freelancers. I use Fiverr.com religiously for specific needs for my blog, website, podcast and social media platforms. There are lots of other freelance platforms like the well respected Upwork.com. Here are 8 alternative freelance platforms that are are compared with Fiverr that may be a helpful resource. Additionally, you can create your own website, YouTube and social media presence to drive traffic to your services and lend credibility to your freelance business.
Decide working hours
Once you have those clients flooding in the door, you have to set working hours. Although the flexibility of a freelancer is great, when you take the office out of the equation, and your laptop is there all of the time, it can be easy to work longer hours than you will have ever done before. Some days things will need to change if things like appointments come up. But as a rule, deciding when you will and won’t work is important. What time will you start for the day and then end for the day? Being strict with when you will and won’t work will help with your work and life balance. Otherwise, you could end up logging on late into the night, as there will always be something that needs to be done.
Diversify your income
As a freelancer, your earnings can be different month on month. So as well as doing what you are already doing, you could look for some ways to diversify what you want to do. Although it can mean a little more work, it is something else to have that will help to generate an income. You could look into something like Forex Trading, which although has its risks, can be lucrative when done in the right way. You could look to create some online content around what you do, such as an online class or course that people could either book in for or buy and download. Things like this can help, and give you another revenue stream, should you need it.
It can be hard to give yourself some time off when this is your way of earning money. It can be especially hard if you want to earn money but are not able to because of not having paid holiday. However, it is still important to take some breaks and time off, where you can. In the day, Breaks can even help you to be more productive when you come back to the work. Breaks can also help you avoid burnout altogether. Plan in some time off around projects to clients when you can, because that also makes such a difference.
Of course, there are downsides to freelance life too. It is a hustle to get clients so hard work, patience, and a little self-care can all go a long way! Let us know if you have other tips in the comments for starting your freelance journey!
M.E.L. is an attorney and small business entrepreneur whose mission is to help professionals conquer the workaday world with style and poise.
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