A struggling freelancer or a professional stuck in a job that doesn't work for you, whichever of the two categories you fall into, this is the only guide you'll need before you choose to make the plunge to becoming a full-blown freelancer or an independent consultant. We list the top things you need to keep in mind for the rite of passage towards the final goal of becoming a successful freelancer. Read on...
Establish an online presence: The first thing to focus on before jumping into the freelancing world is to have a well established online presence to showcase your work and establish credibility. You could start with Linkedin professional profiles. Getting recommendations could help add credentials. Blogs and a website will surely be an addition.
Educate yourself: It's a very competitive world out there and to survive, "Specialization" is the key. It gives you a competitive edge over others and would help you kick-start a successful career. Also, keep educating yourself to remain upgraded with the "New" in the industry.
Get organized: As a freelancer, you wouldn't have an office or a team to work with, getting distracted is easy. So time management and getting organized should be a priority. The first thing to do here is to set up an office away from your comfort area, could be a corner of your room or a separate study and run a business like a business.
Another thing to focus on here is how to manage your time between different projects. Our suggestion would be to be selective with the ones you pick up while not overburdening yourself. Take some time out to brainstorm, think about how to market yourself and make personal time.
Know your worth: Never undersell yourself. There will always be people who could do the work for less money, but you can never make a living that way. You need to know your worth and be focused on why your services justify the fee you charge. Be selective and do not pick projects that pay lesser than what you feel you deserve.
Manage your expenses: With a fixed salary coming in and employers taking care of your taxes, you would need to take special care of your expenses as soon as you enter the freelancing space.
My suggestion would be to save before you spend for the dry spell. Use certain bookkeeping apps available on the internet like Easy Book to track all your incomes, expenditures and taxes.
The golden rule to follow here would be Expenditure = Income - Savings, rather Savings = Income - Expenditure
Get a contract in place: If you really want to get started as a freelancer you need to learn to love paperwork. It is highly advised to get a contract in place before you opt for any freelance project. A contract would not only ensure that both you and the client are on the same terms and the nature of the work but also provide you with legal protection in the event of any mishap.
Market your skills: Finally, when you are ready to go out in the market, you will need to promote yourself well and work on networking skills to reach potential clients. You could start with networking on Linkedin by joining industry-specific communities or you could join Flexing It's ever-growing skill community to assist you in chasing your dream!
Join our group Flex your skill on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/flexingitprofessionals/) to interact with like minded professionals like yourselves! You could also grab our help in getting you connected with interested organizations by simply registering with us.
Keep trying and do NOT GIVE UP!