As defined, a “Freelancer” is a self-employed person offering services, usually to businesses and often to multiple clients at a time. This is something that could be very appealing to someone who’s a natural born problem solver, a leader and someone who likes to plan his/her days. Since this could be pretty hard to do, here’s a list of how to avoid the most common freelance nightmares you will (probably) face on your path.
1. Set Up A Business Plan
This is the most important advice you could possibly ever get. No one is expecting you to have a multi-billion focused plan, but imagine this as a simple agenda so you can write down what your weekly, monthly and yearly goals are.
It’s good to not change this plan too often, so you can really see how far you went with all your work if you have met your deadlines constantly if you have developed some new skills. Since you are your own boss, start acting like one and schedule your workflow.
2. Showcase Your Work
Even if you are the best in the whole world, even if you are an absolute master of the craft, you will still face some competition. It’s vital to have some form of showcasing portal (a well-designed website works) so when you are contacting a client you are presenting yourself professionally.
If you are working from home, distractions will always haunt you. For example, many foster carers on a fostering allowance take up freelancing and blogging as a hobby and a way to earn some extra income, but they make sure that they have enough time to focus on their work. Set up some priorities, if you wanna have multiple incomes.
4. Good Customers And Good Relationships
Nothing is better than having a good amount of satisfied clients. This will be your best form of advertisement, since “word of mouth” is still one of the best forms. Respect your deadlines, ask if they are happy with what you did, try to be as professional as possible, so they will come back at you again.
It’s important to put yourself in a position in which you will be happy to work with your clients and they are happy to work with you.
5. You Are Your Own Boss
The best part of being a freelance worker is that you can follow your own schedule. This could be a double-edged sword, though, since you might eventually over stress yourself with work. Do this instead, follow your agenda, your detailed business plan and your goals. In this way, you will be focusing on your projects while still maintaining a decent work-life balance.
6. Networking Is A Must
One of the most important aspects of being a freelancer is the networking with possible clients and relevant personalities. Always do that, since you are always on the hunt for new potential opportunities. Do it by using emails, LinkedIn and calls. Try avoiding Facebook and Twitter, as they are not the most professional way to approach a new client.
7. Don’t Use Content Farms
Using Content Farms could be appealing at the beginning, as they are easy to approach and they almost accept everything. That is absolutely not relevant to you and your business, as your content will be lost in no time, especially if you are focusing on writing and anything design-related.
8. Why You Do It
That could be the hardest thing to do. During your career, you will face some dark moments, some bad clients and you will feel like giving up is the only way. Don’t do that. Think about why you started, embrace your force of will and do it. Never lose your flame, good luck!
Paul Matthews is a freelance business writer in Manchester, who has headed up several fostering campaigns. His aim is to better inform business owners and professionals on the hidden dangers of the workplace. You can often find him mountain biking or at the local library.