As tech enables more people to work and be productive in previously unexplored ways, more and more creatives are opting to work from home. In many cases, people have gone a step further to go out of the organizational bubble and into private practice entirely or what we now refer to as freelancing.
For one thing, it is widely thought that freedom to maximize one’s time is the biggest appeal that freelancing offers to those who embark on it.
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Organize Your Affairs
If you are going the freelance path, you must realize that you are really more or less responsible for how much you make and when you do. Organize your best work into an appealing portfolio. Invest in your equipment and working gear. If you are into design or digital art, a gaming laptop would be good for starters. Set up a workspace for yourself. This could be at home or a restaurant. Brush up your LinkedIn profile and make sure it is projecting the right image.
Hype Yourself Up
If you do not blow your own trumpet, no one else will. Do it heavily. The tag here is: make sure you do what you say you can do. Price your services a little higher than you usually would. For instance, charge double what you were being paid before going private.
Target goals would be a great way to get your head into the world of freelancing. Your set goals would make you more focused. Since you are in it for the profit of it, you may work out how much you need to support yourself adequately. Work out how much you need, how many gigs you need, how many clients you need. You may organize your schedule with free applications like Google Calendar to get your schedule in order in that light.
Market Your Work Across Different Platforms
Advertise your work on Twitter timelines, LinkedIn groups, Facebook and Instagram even. You never know when and where you may score clients. Put yourself and business out there. Hunt for gigs on Fiverr and Upwork. Do not pass up chances to meet potential clients at gatherings and make sure to print business cards. They may be old-fashioned now but they still work.
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Network With Fellow Pros
Make sure you do not operate in isolation. You are a freelancer, not a loner. If you do not socialize with peers who work within the community you work in, your chances of success as a freelancer reduce. The community avails you to the latest trends and resources and even connects you to great clients too.
It is not enough to just do a good job. You have to be sure your customers are delighted so they can also recommend to other customers. Get satisfied customers to do you a nice review or testimonial.
Write Out A Contract
Make sure you have a standard contract template with which you engage your clients. You could also go ahead and draft a proposal template that can be customized for each clients pitch. A contract would stipulate what your fees are, how many revisions of the work will be had, and your deadline.
Build A Brand Identity
Aim to stand out to build a unique brand for yourself. There are many freelancers out there and something has to stand you out from the others. It could be your professional style or the fact that you run a blog where you update your professional progress. You may also use LinkedIn for this purpose.
Pick A Speciality
The more specialized you become, the better for you. As you progress, you will discover that you will have to either shed some aspects of the work you do simply because as a freelancer, you wear many hats. As you go further in your career and get better at what you do, it would do you good to delegate some responsibilities, as it may become bad for your creativity to do too much. Know the time when it comes.
Becoming a freelance creative officially makes you a member of an emerging creator economy. There is pressure to work in and out of your schedule if you become highly in-demand. That means you may become stressed out and not even realize it. People who work in freelance do not know where to draw the line as they work for themselves.
There are no weekends. No leaves. So you sometimes only remember to take a break when you break down. Do not let it get to that point. Rest when you get tired and do not feel bad for it. If you break down, your client will look for someone else, anyways.
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