Starting your own freelancing business.
Before you think or even start your freelancing business, I would like to share some inputs and suggested guidelines you should consider to achieve success.
- First Look into known reach- If you’re not currently in the freelance market, you’re likely working for somebody or were in the not-so-distant past. If that business is one that could benefit from freelancing, pitch your current or past employer assuming you left on good terms.
- Stick with areas you know- There are freelance jobs for just about everything. That doesn’t mean you should apply for everything. A common mistake made by new freelancers is to go after jobs they should not pursue. If you’re a programmer with extensive experience building websites, confine yourself to those jobs.
Remember, your reputation is everything.
- Do not think much of your profit margins – at least at the beginning. You won’t get paid what you’re worth at the beginning, but as you do a good job, your charges can be raised.
- Don’t work for slave wages – In your journey to freelance business, you might think to work for far less than you should, but that doesn’t mean working for next to free.
As an expert in your field, you know the going rates. If you set yourself up as somebody willing to work for cheap, it will be difficult going forward.
- Freelance Marketplace – there are some freelance market where project owners are looking to hire a freelancer. Finding quality freelancing job many take a considerable amount of time as compared to that of finding a traditional job. Look for less well-known marketplace sites.
- Consider having your personal website – this will help you put your past work done or other portfolio items. You may come across clients all over the world and the best way to exhibit your work is by letting them browse through your website. Let your website be simple, clean and professional. A single page website will even be enough. Freelancers make more of clients through word of mouth, do have testimonials added to your website.
- To wait is to get late – Business will never come to you if you are not making the first move. Like anything, it will take money to make money. You’ll need some money to attend conferences, take people out to lunch, travel, and hob-nob. Reach out to your probable market, in simple words market yourself.
An email isn’t enough, Reach out to people personally; and yes, you’ll likely have to make some cold calls.
- Money saved is money earned – if you have selected freelancing as a result of a layoff or had dreamed of quitting your job to work on your own. If you’re the latter, make sure you have three to six months of living expenses saved. Success in freelancing is like seasonal fruit, flooded with work for a while and then going through a rough business patch. You should know that, saving a portion of your earnings is essential to survival.
Freelancing ! Bottom Line
You need to be a salesperson. You should enjoy working hard and not having traditional work hours. If you agree, freelancing would fit you well. You will need to spend bulk of your time searching, especially at the beginning.