Tired of having to work under the constraints of an employer? Going freelance allows you to set your own hours, set your own prices and choose your own clients. It can be a way of potentially earning a lot more, whilst also helping you to manage your time better. However, freelancing is also a lot less stable – you need to constantly be going out of your way to find work, otherwise you’re not going to be able to pay the bills. Here are just a few tips on how to get off to a flying start when freelancing.
Find your niche
Some freelancers are able to take up all kinds of odd jobs, however by specialising in an area you can become more of an authority within that niche, allowing you to set higher rates and win over more clients. A few popular types of freelance work include graphic design, writing, programming, translating, music and illustrating. Within these types of work are further niches to consider (for instance, within writing there are niches such as press releases, video scripts, SEO content and reviews just to name a few.
Research into pricing
It’s important that you charge the right amount for your ability and experience. Some freelancers charge too little and end up doing more work for less money, whilst others set their price too high and end up struggling for work or ultimately disappointing clients with work that isn’t up to that value. When starting out, you should probably set your prices fairly low, but as you get experience you can push these prices up.
Build a website
Having a website will make you look more like a professional. It can also help you to get discovered by people using search engines to look for freelancers. Consider investing in a professionally designed website using a web development company such as FallingBrick. Keep your website simple and to the point.
Use online freelancer platforms to find work
There are also many different online platforms that you can use to find freelance work such as Skillbox. Such sites allow freelancers to advertise their services – businesses and individuals looking to hire a freelancer tend to head straight for these platforms. You may also be able to find an agency to work for that can offer a steady stream of clients without you having to do too much legwork.
Don’t forget to market offline too
There may be opportunities to find clients offline too. Consider printing some business cards which you can hand out to potential clients if you stumble into someone who may be interested in your work. Also take advantage of networking events and try approaching local businesses directly for work.
Provide examples of what you can do
Having examples of your work to show people will help you to gain client’s trust. This could be a single piece that you are most proud of – or an entire portfolio. This can be featured on your website for you to direct potential client to. Some online freelancer platforms will also give you space in your profile to add examples of your work.
Start keeping tax records
As a freelancer, you’ll have to file your own taxes. This is worth researching into – you may be entitled to tax-deductible expenses. Consider familiarising yourself with a tool such as QuickBooks to make accounting easier.