So you have hit a dead end in your 9-5 corporate job and freelancing seems the next best alternative? If you are toying with the idea of being your own boss, then this article is for you. You can build smashing iOS apps, write catchy marketing content or teach mathematics to the high-schoolers. But remember, floating your own freelance venture is exciting, uncertain and scary all at once.
In the below-mentioned points, we have crafted a guideline for ambitious freelancers. If you wish to come out as a victor while working on your own, do ponder over these details-
- Do a SWOT analysis
Every new business calls for a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat) analysis before it takes the plunge. Your freelance venture is no exception. Write down –
- Your strength
- Weakness ( lack of experience or low saving),
- Opportunity (that your unique skill presents) and
- Threats (competitors, slightly rusty technical knowledge).
This exercise will show where you stand.
- Network madly
How to expand your network when you aim to run your freelance venture without any colleague? Enrolling yourself into Meetup.com will provide you with ample of opportunities to mingle with professionals from the same field. Attend workshops related to your skill on a regular basis.
- Imbibe discipline and professional courtesy
The freelance industry lives on referrals. Do establish a solid working rapport with your client and once the project finishes, politely ask for recommendation. Punctuality and prioritization of work are two tools to make you more considerate towards your work-commitment.
- Enhance your communication skill
Assuming that you will work from home mainly, chat, e-mail and phone-conversations are the only mediums to create a bridge between your client and you. Learn how to write crisp, professional e-mails. Also a clear communication skill along with convincing power is highly regarded. So brush up your English language skills. It’s one of the must for you.
- Make a slaying portfolio for the starter
If you are a graphic designer, then take help of Instagram and Pineterest to create a killer portfolio for yourself. On the other hand, for a part-time writer, a WordPress site with your online writing clips is the way to go. The internet has plenty of free online publishing mediums to give you the primary push.
- Keep adding on new skills
For the sake of staying relevant in the industry, do invest upon your learning. Going back to school for the full time may not be your cup of tea at the present moment. But there is a wonderful world of MOOC (massive open online course) industry out there for you to earn professional certificates.
- Get varieties on the board
If you are a freelance wedding photographer, then take up anniversary/birth-day shoots too. This might be tangential to your core expertise but can add diversity for your portfolio. If you are determined to be here for a long time, then look for variety in your client-base.
- Don’t sell yourself short
It’s not easy to build a strong foothold in the industry, if you are a newcomer. In order to survive, you need to accept the low-paying projects at first. But promise yourself that once you reach a certain status in the freelance industry, you will choose only the meaty offers. This will certainly elevate your worth amidst clients.
- Create a brand for yourself
Creating a brand for your freelance venture is the most significant step towards an impressive professional image. In order to give your endeavor a business-like look, do the followings-
- Print a bunch of business cards
- Prepare a killer website ( if you are not into web development and design domain, then hire an expert to do this job perfectly) and
- Mention your Skype id on the resume and most importantly,
- Establish your professional presence in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Set a specific time-set for you
How long do you want to be in this game – for 1 year or for as long the money rolls? If you have a family to look after, then you may not be able to dilly-dally with your freelance goal for a long period of time. That’s why taking into consideration your financial liability and future plan – set a time-period for yourself. If your venture doesn’t pick up the speed during that, leave it graciously.
Conclusion- If you’re one of those who want to be their own Boss, take the risk. And, those who are not confident and afraid of risk, should stay away. Overall, freelancing is a good thing if you want to increase your skills and test your range.