More and more career driven women are beginning to ditch their 9 to 5 job and look for alternative ways to make a living. Freelancing can give you a unique level of freedom where you can choose when and where you work, and to some extent, who you work with. However, it’s also notoriously insecure and can be very stressful. So if you’re looking to launch a new freelance career, here are a few tips to help ease you in.
TIPS TO KICKSTART A FREELANCE CAREER
1. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH
Before you do anything else, do your research. Find out how much you can expect to earn, what your rates should be, and who you’ll be competing against. Following relevant blogs is also a great way to find out more about your industry and how to establish yourself within it.
As a freelancer who is naturally a bit of an introvert, learning how to network has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve come across. If you’re not naturally a social butterfly, ease yourself in by attending meet-ups and conferences. You’re likely to come across lots of other freelancers who can give their support and possibly collaborate with you in the future.
3. CREATE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
Creating a brand for yourself is one of the most important steps to kickstarting your freelance career. How do you want to present yourself? What do you want to convey? This will differ depending on the type of clientele you’d like to attract and can encompass everything from the wording you use in blog posts to the imagery you share through social media.
4. PROMOTE YOURSELF
It’s no good creating a brand if no-one can find you. Don’t feel shy about promoting yourself online and in person. Social media is the perfect platform for sharing your work, although it’s important to find the right balance between showcasing your work and being over-bearing. Constant self promotion without meaningful interactions with your followers and peers can damage potential relationships. Try connecting with fellow freelancers and individuals in your field to start a conversation.
5. JUGGLING PROJECTS
If you’re anything like me then you probably get very enthusiastic at the prospect of taking on new exciting projects and end up being a little too optimistic with your timescales as a result. It’s better to give yourself lots of wiggle room in the event of any unforeseen complications. I find the best way to stay organised is to create a weekly schedule (we like Evernote or DaPulse) that maps out what I should be working on and when, this helps to define a clear start and end time to my day and also helps me keep track of my progress.
6. HANDLING CLIENTS
The customer is always right.. right? One of the biggest challenges with freelancing is handling client relationships and managing their expectations. Although you always want to provide your clients with exactly the service they want, you must also remember that you’re the professional and ultimately you know best. Just like any relationship, communication is key so make sure that you and your client are always on the same page and that you’ve agreed exactly what your terms are before starting new projects.
7. JUST KEEP TRYING
Freelancing is undeniably tough. It’s difficult to differentiate yourself amongst a vast sea of competition and it’s even harder to win your first clients. The only way to break past these initial hurdles is to keep learning, growing and stubbornly pursuing your goals!
Are you a freelancer? What are your tips to keep your freelance career moving? Let us know in the comments below!