Between the working from home revolution and the shift to more digital-based work, a lot of people are genuinely considering freelancing as a way forward for their professional careers. And it makes sense.
Working your own hours? Handling business your way? Being your own boss? The whole concept of being a digital nomad that can work from anywhere is very appealing. So, what do you need to do before you get to that point?
In this article, we’ll cover some basic tips that will go a long way in helping you set up your own freelancing business.
Stay On Top Of Taxes And Finances
A big part of freelancing that deters a lot of people is the fact that you need to handle all your own accounting, finance, and taxes. It is a daunting aspect to wrap your head around and can land you in a tough spot if you don’t do it correctly.
If you are serious about becoming a freelancer, then you need to be serious about how you are going to handle these aspects of freelancing. Burying your head in the sand and hoping it’ll work out won’t make it work out. The tax authorities will catch up to you eventually, so it’s best to get out ahead of it from the get-go and stay there.
But one of the pitfalls of freelancing and handling taxes is the amount of time it can take. Between looking for clients, securing new books of business, and actually doing the work, accounting and taxes often get neglected. That is why it is crucial to get a tax and accountancy firm on board to deal with all of that for you.
It takes the stress away from the legal side of things as far as finances and tax are concerned, which is the right way to do it. If you’re not educated in tax, this is absolutely the best way forward. TaxKings offer a comprehensive service for handling all of this if you are in need of a suggestion.
Keep it all above board and legally compliant!
Set Your Freelance Career Work Hours
One of the biggest appeals of freelance work is being able to choose when you work and, to an extent, how much you work. But this is a dual-sided sword. Oftentimes freelancers can find themselves working insane hours for the same return as a normal salary job.
As it is your own business and you have your own clients, you often feel a responsibility to go above and beyond to give them the very best. This is great from a quality of work standpoint but not so much from a time-management standpoint.
Set your working hours and stick to them. Be very, very strict with it. The moment you let yourself break out from those defined work time parameters, you set a precedent that your client is more valuable than your time. Time is a resource you can never get back!
Create Stellar Profiles On All The Main Sites
There is an abundance of freelance work sites out there, and they will play a big part in driving revenue to you as you build up your book of business and network. Don’t underestimate the quality of clients you can get from these sites.
It is very often the case that potential clients will low-ball and ‘dip their toe in’ with smaller projects first on these kinds of sites. From their perspective, they don’t want to risk too much of their own workload on an unknown freelancer. Take the low-balls if they are doable but don’t compromise on your minimum rates.
This is a necessary part of starting out as a freelancer to build up your network, grow your contacts, and form a portfolio that can win you bigger contracts. It isn’t pleasant, but it is a necessary evil. The old ‘start from the bottom and climb’ mentality is a must for freelancers. It is very, very uncommon to land a huge contract in your first year.
It can sometimes be the case that clients will come back to you time after time for more work on bigger projects because they’ll know you are reliable. Stick to deadlines, and you’ll forge a reputation as a top-grade freelancer. This reputation will garner you new business easier than grinding away with bids on countless sites.
Don’t Forget To Ask For Referrals
Asking for referrals is a great way to get testimonials for the work you have completed – especially if you are a ghost worker that doesn’t get credited.
Create a template using photoshop and Word that your client can digitally sign. This keeps it easy for them and you. None of your clients will want to spend the time to write a custom referral – so create a template and do it for them. This increases the chances of you getting one!
Freelancing is not easy and isn’t for everyone. Perform ample research, have a business plan in place, and only take the plunge if you are absolutely certain it is the right career choice for you.