7 Freelancing Tips and Tricks You Need to Know
Are you getting ready to break free from your 9-5 job and start working for yourself? The idea of freelancing is exciting to many people, but it’s not as easy as it looks.
From finding jobs to keeping clients, freelancing is challenging. We want to help you out with a few of our top freelancing tips. Read on to learn more so you can start being your own boss.
1. Pick the Right Field
Many people decide that they want to freelance without actually having an idea of what it is they want to do. Sure, freelancing sounds great on the surface, but not everyone is cut out for it. You need to pick a field that you’ll be successful in if you don’t want to waste your time.
People from all walks of life can be freelancers; you just have to find the right niche. Whether you want to be a freelance tutor, you want to do freelance CPA work, you want to design, and so on, there’s an audience for your skills.
Make sure that you have the proof to back up your skills. Whether it’s relevant experience from a previous workplace or a portfolio full of your work, you need to be able to prove yourself to your future clients.
2. Become Your Own Digital Marketer
When you work for yourself, you also have to do your own digital marketing. This can be challenging, but it’s worthwhile. Digital marketing is the best way to make yourself more visible to potential clients.
You have to create and uphold a personal brand. Think of yourself as your own business and look at other businesses for inspiration.
You’re basically curating a persona. It should be similar to your “true” persona, but more professional and welcoming. Make sure that you can keep it consistent.
Consider setting up social media platforms for your business. You can have a private page as well, but it’s best to keep it for friends and family members only.
3. Spread the Word
While digital marketing is key as a freelancer, you also need to take advantage of the benefits of word-of-mouth advertising.
If you’re new to your field, you might rely on friends and family members to be your first few customers. Finding customers when you’re first starting out is a challenge, so people you know will provide a good springboard.
Try to encourage your friends to spread the word to anyone that they know who could use your services. For example, if someone has a friend with children who are in school, you could have them mention your freelance tutoring services.
After you’ve worked with clients, don’t be afraid to ask for reviews. Don’t try to encourage positive reviews alone. Most people who take the time to leave reviews will leave positive reviews anyway.
Happy customers may also spread the word to their friends.
4. Learn About Taxes Ahead of Time
Many first-time freelancers never consider what’s going to happen when tax season comes around. You’re now responsible for your own taxes, and this can be an unpleasant shock.
You’re going to have to send in your own quarterly taxes if you live in the USA. Every three months, estimate taxes and send them right to the IRS. Remember that there’s an extra self-employment tax on top of your normal taxes.
Luckily, there are also plenty of tax deductions for people who work for themselves. Learn all about these things ahead of time so you’re ready when it’s time to file your taxes.
5. Set Competitive Prices
You get to decide your own prices when you work for yourself. This is both a curse and a blessing.
It’s easy to undersell yourself. When you first start out, you might think that you’re not worth as much as other freelancers. You may also be tempted to keep your prices extra low to compete with other freelancers.
By selling yourself short, you’re hurting yourself and everyone else in your field. Eventually, people will have to work for pennies if everyone is trying to compete with lower prices.
Instead, keep your prices competitive. Look at the general market for your skills and see what other people with your level of experience are charging. You can start a bit lower as a beginner, but have some confidence.
After you start accumulating customers, you can adjust your prices. If you go for long periods with no customers, you can consider setting the price lower.
6. Give Yourself a Workspace
New freelancers may not yet understand the importance of having a designated workspace. Even if you tend to go to your clients instead of having them come to you, or even if you work remotely, you need a place to sit down and focus.
For most people, a small corner of the room is enough. While a full home office is ideal, this isn’t an option for everyone.
Give yourself everything that you need to succeed. A comfortable chair, an ergonomic workstation, and all of your supplies should be nearby.
If you like to work around other people but your freelance job is solitary, consider looking into local coworking spaces.
7. Always Use Contracts
Too many new freelancers make the mistake of not having clients sign contracts. This puts both you and your clients at risk. Include contracts in your initial business plan.
Contracts don’t have to be complicated. They need to state what you’re doing for the client, the timeframe in which you’ll be working, and the agreed-upon compensation.
Having a contract allows you to get the money that you deserve, even if your client tries to turn you down.
Try These Top Freelancing Tips
These seven freelancing tips can be game-changers. Starting a freelance career is a lot of work, but you’ll get the freedom that comes with working for yourself. With enough grit and determination, you’re sure to have a successful business in no time.
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