Succeeding in the world of freelance work is never easy. It can seem like the odds are always stacked against you, but there are also opportunities that you can make the most of that wouldn’t otherwise have been open to you. If you’ve been thinking about leaving the 9 to 5 office job behind and instead want to succeed in a freelance career, it’s time to think about the things that’ll be necessary in order for you to make that happen.
Freelancer life is a lot easier when you have all of the boxes below ticked. But you’re just starting out, so first you need to learn about them and understand why each of these things actually mattes in the first place. That’s what we’re going to help you do, so read on now and find out more.
Knowledge of Your Niche
You have to really know what you’re focusing on in your freelance career. You’re going to need to present yourself as an authority in this niche because that’s how you win clients and show people that you’re serious. Be sure that your niche is the right one and don’t try to become a freelancer in a field that you don’t understand well enough. Do some extra learning before you start your freelance career if you think that would help.
A Structured Working Day
One thing that really helps when you’re looking to secure a successful freelance career is structure. In particular, a structured working day in which you manage your time and your workload well and don’t allow yourself to be distracted by the fact that you’re working from home and all your things are around you. If you allow yourself to lack that structure, you might not get your work done or be as productive as possible. In a freelance career, you have to be productive each and every day.
A Home Office That’s Fit for Purpose
If you’re going to be working from home, it makes sense to have a great home office that you can work out of. The task of working from home can be tough if you don’t have a dedicated space in which to work. Try as you might, the kitchen table or your living room sofa just isn’t good enough. When you choose those kinds of settings for your work, your home life and work life get tangled and you don’t get the quiet, closed off space that’s required when doing work each day.
Properly Organised Finances
You need to stay on top of financial matters when it comes to your freelance career. Things are obviously much more precarious and variable than they are when you have a regular job. You need to track your income, as well as any expenses relating to your work. This will allow you to stay on top of your money and cut your cloth accordingly. Organised finances prevent massive headaches later on, so don’t cut corners or let things slack in this department. If you do, you’ll end up regretting massively later.
The Ability to Say No
When things are going well in your freelance career, you need to be careful to regulate your working time effectively. You might not be used to saying no to work opportunities but sometimes you need to it the alternative is to take on too much work and then have the quality of that work decrease. Even if you want to take on that extra work for a client, you should say no if it’s going to disrupt your existing work schedule. As hard as it is to do, it’ll be the right thing to do on some occasions.
A Great Website
If you’re working as a freelancer selling your services to clients, you need to have a strong online presence so those clients can find you and hire you. And, of course, that’s only possible if you have a good website made by utilising strong web design principles. It’s best to hire a professional to carry out this work for you because they’ll know what they’re doing and they’ll be able to create a website that prospective clients will be impressed by as soon as they land on it and start looking around.
Learn to Anticipate Problems
Learning to anticipate problems in your job is an essential freelancer skill. You should try to make this a priority, but it won’t happen overnight. That foresight comes with time as you become more experienced as a freelance worker. As you get better at this, you’ll see when problems are arising and then be able to head them off quickly and stop them developing into bigger problems. It’s certainly a skill worth having.
Good Communication Skills
Communication is a huge part of freelancer life for many. You need to be able to communicate effectively with clients when you’re completing projects for them. Anyone can improve their communication skills, no matter how good or bad they are. And it’s a simple fact of freelance life that the people with the best communication skills are also the ones that are best at keeping hold of clients over the long-term. So if you want to do that, you need to be able to communicate well.
A Willingness to be Open and Transparent
Being open and transparent with your clients is also a worthy virtue. Clients don’t want to be told comforting lies because the truth comes out in the end. Therefore, it’s much better to take and honest and open approach to your work and communication with clients. This might be tough at times but it’s the way it should be and it will help you build the right kind of reputation eventually.
Freelancer life will bring plenty of struggles and challenges, but as you overcome them, your confidence will grow and you’ll start to feel the very real benefits that come with working for yourself. Just make sure that you’ve got all the things above covered as soon as possible.