28 Jun Are you ready to start your freelance career?
Freelancing is an exciting career opportunity for anyone with a skillset or a service idea…. Especially in today’s rising freelance economy. Too many people go to work each day in traditional employment unsatisfied with their careers and no longer passionate about what they do.
This is because they are trading so much of their time for a salary. They work hard but their efforts are not directly reflected in their income. The best part about freelance businesses is you get out what you put into your business. Freelancers have the luxury of finding more work if they need some extra money. This is often not the case with traditional employment.
The New Stability mission is to help freelancers find the flexibility, freedom, fun and financial stability that is achievable using this business model.
Freelancing is becoming more and more popular with technological advancements. People are also starting to realise that there is a better way than trading your hours for dollars in a full-time job that doesn’t always provide stability.
I believe freelancing is the best way to get the most from your time. By focusing only on activities that directly respond to your output you will find you can almost halve the amount of time you need to work, earning the same income. In fact, many freelancers earn more than they did while working in full-time employment.
Getting started as a successful freelancer takes determination and drive to establish a solid foundation. The best thing about freelancing is you can work around your lifestyle while doing something you enjoy. Successful freelancers have a strong drive, passion and motivation to propel their business forward.
There is no such thing as perfect timing or being completely ready before you get started. Freelancers can begin setting themselves up for success by being prepared and well-informed. The time you put into researching and developing a plan now can save you a lot of time in the future by ensuring you are marketing to the right audience from the beginning.
Before you get started as a freelancer there are a number of things you should understand and consider to make sure it is the right move for your career?
1 – What does it mean to be a freelancer?
I began freelancing without fully realising that it was a fantastic business model that would allow me to work on my own terms. I just had a service idea and started connecting with clients. At the time, I didn’t understand what I now believe to be true: Everyone has a skill set, ability or hobby they can market as a service. Freelancing can change your life, and the life of others around you, simply by regaining control of your life and time.
Freelancing was THE solution because:
- I didn’t need any money to get started. I got started with less than $100 – All I needed was a business name and to register my domains.
- I didn’t need months of lead-time to develop the business. You can start contacting potential clients from day 1 and you can begin validating your service idea.
- You can work around your lifestyle. Because of my part-time job I needed something I could develop after hours and around my schedule.
- I could turn my skills into a service. I had the skills and transformed it into an income generating service.
- You don’t need vast amounts of business experience. You do not need investors or a lot of the traditional facilities required to start a business. Freelance businesses are nimble, allowing you to react to your market.
There are so many opportunities for freelancers from virtual assistants, creatives (graphic designers, web designers and photographers), professional services (bookkeeping, tech support, and consultants), personal trainers, training activities and other home or business services. I define freelancing as anyone who starts a service-based business as an individual.
A freelancer is someone who is self-employed and not committed to a particular employer long-term.
Freelancing really is the business for anyone with a skill or service.
However, first-time freelancers should also be aware of the common mistakes that can be made that will hinder your success and business growth.
- Not charging for what your service is worth
- Getting stuck in a discounting price war
- Not focusing on the right market or clients
- Not focusing on the right things for real business growth
- Having a service offering that is too broad
2 – Is freelancing the right move for you?
As freelancers our challenge is to constantly work towards finding smarter, more efficient and more streamlined approaches to our businesses, while providing clients with optimal service and quality.
Freelancers need to be self-motivated and willing to work alone. The lifestyle can be isolating at times and you need to be realistic about how much time you can work while balancing your lifestyle.
- Be driven to grow your business.
- Self-motivated to work alone.
- Dedicated to your long-term goals.
- Adding value to your clients.
- Able to set boundaries to enable work/life integration.
- Be proactive.
- Generate work.
Freelancers must not:
- Be lazy and unmotivated
- Wait for work to appear.
- Give back to clients
- Be unfair or selfish towards clients or their market.
The freelance lifestyle isn’t for everyone but luckily there are co-working spaces in most major cities that can help you avoid that common objection of working alone.
3 – What do you need
When starting a freelance business, you don’t need all the traditional resources required to start a business but you do need some determination and a strategy to ensure you get the most from your business.
Before you commence your business there are some things you do need to consider regarding your freelance business.
- Goals. Do you want to earn a full-time income, spend more time with the family?
- Service. What are your strengths and skills that you could turn into a service?
- Market. Freelancers cannot target everyone. Identify the group that would benefit more from your service.
- Platform. How will you sell your services, online, offline or using a freelance marketplace.
- Clients. How will you contact clients directly?
If you cannot answer these questions, it’s time to start thinking strategically for your freelance business. Check out Freelance on Amazon which is a step-by-step guide to help you plan for your start.
4 – Should you leave your day job?
Leaving your day job as a freelancer should always be a calculated step when your business already has some momentum. Don’t quit your job on a whim, plan for the change. Having a plan to transition to full-time freelance will take pressure off your business and allow for organic growth.
To learn more about starting a freelance business while working full time 10 Steps to Start a Freelance Business While Working Full-Time
“I always advise people who want to start freelancing, to begin bringing on clients long before they plan on quitting their day jobs.”
5 – You are in the business of marketing
Freelancers need to market their services.
I get approached by so many freelancers saying “I cannot get any clients.” My immediate response is “How are you marketing to your clients?”
It’s amazing how often freelancers say “I’m not” or “I have a website”.
It’s so important that you understand you need to sell your services when you start your business. Just having a website isn’t enough to get true momentum, you need to actually market your services by contacting clients and developing your profile in your niche.
Although I specialise with freelancers who work away from freelance market platforms, freelancers that are struggling to grow their profiles on these sites can also utilise this strategy. There is nothing stopping you from doing a Twitter search for jobs in your niche and connecting with potential clients.
By running a quick search in many niches I can find jobs that could be suitable.
Remember whenever you are marketing your services “specialise not generalise” is my best strategy for long-term growth.
My Best Strategy for Marketing
My most effective strategy for freelance marketing especially for those marketing b2b services is to create a list of the 50 client you would love to complete work for and start reaching out to them directly. Be sure to add value in your interactions and don’t start with a sales pitch start building these relationships for long-term business engagements.
The next steps
I wanted to follow my vision of working on something I love while enjoying a balanced lifestyle. Freelancing was the perfect solution.
As a freelancer you need to be self-motivated and accountable for your time. When I started my freelance business I spent a lot of time working on becoming output driven and optimizing my processes so I could get the most from my time.
A freelance business is a great business model that allows you to get started with virtually no overheads. That means you can start almost immediately.
To allow your freelance business to breakthrough it is often best to select a specific niche and work on becoming a leader for your service to gain traction as you build your business. By becoming an expert you create the opportunity to maximise your business potential and earnings capacity.
Before you start your freelance business you need to understand the motives behind why you want to be a freelancer. It’s about being dedicated and passionate about your projects to create value to your clients while growing a profitable business.