But let’s rewind slightly first… What is a freelancer anyway?
A freelancer is someone who works for themselves (i.e. is self-employed) and works on short term and long term projects and contracts for businesses or clients, but remains wholly independent and their own ‘boss’.
Freelancers typically work in the creative industries – journalism, writing, music, graphic design, web design, consultancy work, video production, acting and so on – where short term pieces of work are required by an organisation.
So, how do you get the most out of Freelancing? Check these pointers below for some handy tips…
Create a brand
Freelancers still need to create a clear proposition of what their business is and who their business is for. The stronger your brand, marketing strategy and subsequent value statement, the more chance you will develop prospective business. Repeat business? – well that is up to the service you provide!
Agree your rates (but only for now!)
When you are asked how much you would charge for a project, piece of work, or for you to work on a project for a business,, don’t just pluck a number out of the sky. Have a clear pricing structure in place that you know and is easy to explain when asked. However make sure that costs are date specific, after all you don’t really want to be contacted back six months later and have to respect the costs and quote you gave initially – your value and hourly worth may have doubled by then!
Working as a freelancer has a good few advantages…Being your own boss, making your own decisions, earning your own wage and so on. However, this doesn’t mean you have the option to just do as you please and whenever you fancy. Whilst you work for yourself, still try to act within the structure of having and running a business. This includes making sure that you manage your day and week appropriately and that you still manage your time and your diary in a professional and organised way. A ‘to do’ list that is updated and reviewed every day can help with this, and can act as a ‘morning meeting’ that you have with yourself.
The good thing about freelancing is that you get the chance to manage your own books and expenses. There’s plenty to consider when starting your own business / working as a freelancer, but at least you get the chance to work out best price / costs for every outgoing and expenditure – from workspace costs, IT costs, amenities allowance, freelance insurance, stationery costs, marketing costs etc, you have the control over how much you spend and what you spend it on. Therefore consider not only the best price, but also what services you get for that price. Often the cheapest option can be the most expensive in the long run – especially if it doesn’t work!
The problem with freelancing is the title including the word free! Just because you work for yourself, doesn’t mean you need to develop business by doing free work, on the promise of future work to come. Always have a pricing structure in place for your work and stick to it.
Use social media
You don’t have to always spend a fortune on marketing when your audience is right there on your ‘virtual’ doorstep. Of course learn which social networks work best for you and how to attract a client or customer from the likes of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc, but don’t dismiss it.
Hopefully these pointers help when considering how to get the most from being a freelancer and good luck going forward with your freelancing career!