How To Establish Yourself As A Full-Time Freelancer
For many people, becoming a full-time freelancer isn’t as easy as it sounds. Not everyone is able to leave a comfortable job with a guaranteed paycheck, benefits, a title, and everything else that comes along with working for someone else. Yet, there are so many perks to being a full-time freelancer you should consider.
If you think you’re ready, here are a few things you should consider:
1. Make a plan to start working as a freelancer
Standing up at work one day, saying “I quit”, and walking out the door is not the right way for you to become a freelancer. If you do something like this, you won’t have a plan and won’t know where to begin when it comes to your new career. Instead, it’s better to think carefully about everything before making such a decision.
If the work policy on your full-time job isn’t so strict, you can freelance in your free time, see how it works and make extra cash.
When thinking about being a full-time freelancer, it’s important to put together at least a mini business plan. Think about what industries you’re going to focus on, how you will “sell” yourself to others/describe exactly what you will do, how you will reach your target audience and competitors, and how much you will charge for your services.
An equally important thing to consider are your finances. Make sure you have enough saved up to cover your expenses when you’re first starting out, especially if you don’t find clients before officially beginning your freelance career. Sometimes, it can take a while to establish relationships and get a couple of clients under your belt.
You can tell your family and friends about your decision to become a full-time freelancer and let them send potential clients your way.
2. Build your personal brand as a freelancer
Whether you are a freelance designer, content writer, or web developer, your personal brand is your most important marketing tool.
Try to create a great first impression by choosing the right image, voice, and tone which will reflect your working style and personality.
You can consider building your own website, blog, logo, and online portfolio.
Don’t forget social channels! Do research where your target audience hangs out, and make sure to be present and consistent there. Start sharing interesting stories and things relevant to your field. By educating others, you will position yourself as an expert.
Make your URL, bio, and social handles sweet and try to be authentic. Be yourself and don’t copy others as people will notice this and be less likely to trust you.
Follow trends in your industry and invest in yourself. Take courses, attend webinars, and always do your best to expand your knowledge and skills. After all, you want to be one step ahead of the competition.
3. Learn how to retain clients
Once you get past your first big hurdle of bringing clients onboard (yay!), you will need to learn how to retain them. This means making them happy, which isn’t always easy.
As a freelancer, you’ll probably be doing a lot of remote work, which will make it hard for your clients to understand just how much effort and work you’re putting in. That’s why it’s important to be timely when responding to their questions, reiterate what you’ve completed and what you’re working on, and set up weekly (or whatever is most convenient for all parties) meetings or calls to discuss your activities, company updates, things coming up, etc.
Each client is going to be different, so make sure you pay special attention to their preferences, so you can cater to their needs.
4. Join popular freelance websites
Don’t get complacent. It’s nice when you have several well-paying clients and everything is going well, but things can change quickly even if you’re not at fault—your clients could cut their budget, find in-house team members, etc. That’s why it’s so important to always be on the lookout for new freelancing opportunities and consider more than one freelancer website.
Use both your professional and personal network—make sure you keep people updated about your business and let them know you’re always open to discuss potential freelance jobs.
Some freelancer websites are universal, such as Upwork, Guru and Freelance.com, while others are niche-specific, like 99Designs for freelance designers or WeGrowth for freelance marketers.
Of course, if you are an expert in your field and you like to teach other people, we suggest you try the Zeqr platform. Our freelance platform connects Xperts who offer classes on subjects they have expertise in and people who want to learn and expand their knowledge and skills.
These are just a few ways to ensure you are successful—make sure you also do your own research to determine how you can become a full-time freelancer and create a future you’ll be excited about!