If you thought freelancing is what you do between jobs – think again. By 2027, freelancers will make up most of the workforce! The Gig economy empowers people to work as freelancers, aka contract workers.
Making a great living working as a freelancer, while doing what you love is entirely within your grasp. Of course, to achieve the highest success working for yourself, you need to invest in your career as a contractor.
For example – gaining new skills and remaining relevant is your responsibility. Plus, you need to know how to operate the business of one! To help you along, we have twenty proven tips that will professionalise your ‘business’ as a freelancer.
20 Tips For Freelancers
Our recommendations in this business blog are what you’d sum up as ‘101 business basics’. You may be working on your own now, but implementing these tips will not only keep you on track to achieve your ultimate career goals, but they can also be the foundation for growing a team and thus starting a successful business!
Tip #1: Create a Business Plan
Freelancing is in many ways identical to running a small business. When you create a business plan for your freelancing career you can better outline your goals and how you plan to meet them.
Tip #2: Work On Your Own Projects
When work is slow, work on your own projects to keep your talents sharp.
Tip #3: Reach Out to Old Clients
If you need more projects to work on, try reaching out to old clients to see if they have any work available. Your email might be just the call to action they needed to go forward with a new project.
Tip #4: Don’t Isolate Yourself
Freelancing is often a very solitary career, however, you need to be sure that you maintain a social life with friends and family to avoid isolating yourself.
Tip #5: Grow Your Online Presence
In addition to working off of freelancing platforms, grow your online presence by building a website and social media profiles for your business.
Tip #6: Let Clients Go
It can sometimes be challenging to let go of a client. However, if you have a client causing you headaches or paying an amount that is no longer your going rate, letting them go can be the best thing for your career.
Tip #7: Attend Freelance Networking Events
Meeting other freelancers is a great way to expand your horizons and find connections that could prove to be valuable.
Tip #8: Bid Higher
If you have enough work to keep you busy, try bidding higher than you usually do on a few projects. It won’t hurt to get them if you’re already engaged, and you may just gain a new high-paying client.
Tip #9: Take Time Off
Working around the clock when you control your own schedule may be tempting, but time off is essential to keep from getting burned out.
Tip #10: Cold Call
If you need more work, find a business that could use your services and give them a call or send them an email. Many times, cold calling is much more effective than you might think.
Tip #11: Ask for Reviews
When a client is happy with your work, politely ask if they would care to leave you a review. Most clients will be happy to leave a review when prompted in this manner.
Tip #12: Set a Schedule
Even when you control your own hours, sticking to a set schedule is still the best way to ensure productivity and not overworked.
Tip #13: Hone Your Soft Skills
Soft skills such as communication and understanding clients’ needs can be every bit as important as the skills specific to your trade.
Tip #14: Craft a Killer Sales Pitch
If you can come up with a sales pitch that works, you can use the same basic template for every project that you apply to.
Tip #15: Showcase the Work You Want
If you enjoy doing a particular project, showcase it on your portfolio. Clients needing that type of project done will then be more likely to hire you.
Tip #16: Create a Budget
Freelancing income is often anything but steady. Therefore, it helps to create a budget and stick to it and have savings you can fall back on if the work dries up.
Tip #17: Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
You should have multiple websites that you work off of and multiple clients to ensure that your freelance business is diversified.
Tip #18: Use An Accountant
Do you know how to do self-assessment tax returns? If not, outsource your tax and financial statements to a chartered business accountant.
There is a fee for professional services; however, you will get the right advice about the health of your business, what to claim as an expense and how much to pay yourself. Plus, you’ll pay the tax you need to pay, which is not always the same as if you did self-assessment tax returns. Accountants know more about tax and the latest laws for businesses and freelancing.
Tip #19: Set Goals
Goal-setting is one of the most effective ways to ensure that you stay motivated. Set daily goals for the amount of work you want to do, goals for your yearly income, goals for the growth of your business, and more to ensure that you are always moving forward.
Tip #20: Go Above and Beyond
With every project, you take on, make it your mission to deliver your very best possible work. Going above and beyond each time leads to great reviews and lifelong clients.