When I first started freelancing, I was so excited to get started. However, I quickly realized that there were a lot of things that I didn’t know about running my own business. Don’t make the same mistakes that I did! In this blog post, we will discuss 10 things that you need to know when starting out as a freelancer.
1. You Have To Be Your Own Sales Man
When you start freelancing, it’s not initially as simple as just creating a website and putting your services online. People need to know that you exist and that your services exist before they can hire you. This means that you will need those all-so-loved sales skills. You will be doing everything from the initial conversations with potential clients, to writing your proposals and proposals, and hopefully landing new jobs. It’s not as simple as it seems and there is a lot more to selling than you would think.
2. Networking Is Your Best Friend
At first, many people may doubt how important networking really is. I know this because I did the same thing. However, after I started actually doing it, I realized just how important it is. Your network is your community of potential clients, employees, employers, etc. And having a strong one will help you find work when you are in need (because let’s face it- all freelancers experience slow months).
3. Marketing Is Also Your Friend
Marketing is no different than networking in many ways. Networks are built up around marketing strategies. Every time you do something related to your business (online or off), it’s either a form of marketing or networking (or most likely, both). You need to learn how to market yourself and promote your work if you want people to seek you out and hire you.
4. Don’t Neglect Your Personal Life
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the work-related part of freelancing. Many freelancers get so caught up in work, that they don’t even realize how much time has passed until their family members scold them for ignoring them. You can do all kinds of fun things with your personal life, even if you are a freelancer. Be sure to make time for friends and hobbies to maintain a healthy work-life balance (and help prevent burnout).
5. Don’t Neglect Yourself Either
This one is very similar to not neglecting your personal life, but it’s a little different. You need to take care of yourself while you are a freelancer. If you feel sick, go to the doctor and get better before going back to work. Work can wait while you take time for yourself.
6. How To Handle Slow Months
As I mentioned before, all freelancers experience slow months at some point. It’s important to learn how to handle these months so that they don’t drain your bank account or kill your motivation. You can do this by either taking on extra jobs during these slow months, or you could start working part-time somewhere else until business picks up again.
7. How To Handle Taxes
I know that taxes can be a scary and intimidating topic for some people. However, how you handle your taxes as a freelancer is actually very simple. You will only need to do two things: save receipts for everything related to your work (so that you can claim them on your tax return), and keep track of every time you earn money. It’s important to get into good habits when it comes to tax preparation.
8. How To Handle Legal Matters
Freelancers are expected to have at least a basic understanding of legal matters- even if you just freelance on the side. It’s important that you know how to handle yourself in legal situations, whether or not they are related to your work. You could end up saving yourself a lot of money and heartache in the future.
9. It’s Okay To Say No
You don’t have to accept every offer for freelance work that you receive. There will be people who you won’t want to work with, either because they pay poorly or they need too much from you (or both). It’s okay to say no- just don’t burn any bridges when you do.
10. Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams
When I was a teenager, all I wanted to be was a writer. However, after years of being told that writing wasn’t going to pay my bills and studying something else in school, it started to seem like just a silly dream. However, I ended up following my dreams anyway and never looked back. You can do the same thing too- no matter what you want to do with your life.
Is it really that hard to get freelance work?
As long as you know how to market yourself and manage your time, then no. It’s not difficult at all once you figure out where to look for jobs.
What kinds of jobs should I avoid?
You should avoid cheap clients, who pay less than $5 per hour. Since it’s easy to find clients via Upwork now, most people charge more than that rate (unless they are struggling).
What else can I do to search for freelance work?
You can create your own website, post listings on forums, or contact clients directly (if they aren’t too demanding). Some freelancers also attend local networking events or meet-ups.
How can I find high-paying projects?
Upwork is filled with low paying jobs, so you are better off not using it. Network with people to find high-paying work instead.
In Light Of These Facts
I hope these tips will help you navigate through the freelance world and find success. Comment below to share your thoughts and questions on freelancing or this post!