How to be freelance: 8 essential steps
There are some specific steps that you need to finalize if you want to be a successful freelancer. The error of many begins even, in the first steps. This happens because at that moment the expectations are very high and some initial mistakes could lead him very quickly to stop trusting himself, leading him to end up with lack of motivation at work.
Getting to do freelance is not something that happens overnight. It is a determination that must be very well thought out, since it is an extremely important step that it is going to take, because it could modify your life forever. The determination to choose to work in this branch can occur for four reasons:
The lack of employment:
Having been fired from his job, the company he worked in may have closed or maybe his line of work went bad, however, the reason may not always be due to a negative event. I know several cases of people who were fired, others that the company where they worked Cerro and many others (including myself), that their line of work got bad and they managed to establish a successful business. In Tim Ferris’s famous book, Four Hours a Week, he talks about this. The author says that in order for people not to be so afraid of starting a new personal project, they must do the accounts. This means performing an analysis of how much money they need per month to pay for them. How much will it be? Is it too much? Will it be the end of the world? If he does, he will see that he does not. Thus,
Being bored of working for others:
Working for others has many disadvantages. In reality it is not easy to get enough personal discipline to run a business of your own. But it is also a reality that there are many people working for bosses who do not know how to manage a team of workers. If you feel you are one of those people, dare and demonstrate your full capacity.
There is a project that you trust: You can take your work peacefully every day. However, there is a tempting project that could make a big difference in your life. Quite a few freelancers also start their career in this way.
Go looking to improve your income:
One of the biggest advantages of working as a freelance is the fact that you can increase your income as you work. This can be very beneficial if you are a hardworking and responsible person. If you keep working for others, with difficulty you will get to increase your salary by a percentage more than 11 per year.
The above mentioned are the four circumstances that may lead you to start your freelance work. Except the first one, the next three offer you the opportunity to meditate a lot about your dedication. Meditate very well on your decision. Do not take into account when making a decision, the fiction that having your own business involves working very few hours. Those are common falsehoods regarding freelancer work. Working in this sector sometimes means having a lot more work than if you were employed in a company. When working in this sector your day will not have hours of more. If it does not work, it does not charge, period. And forget the money guaranteed at the end of the month, at least the first months. To be a successful freelancer you will have to work hard, mainly at the beginning. And for that reason,
#1- Choose your project
As I said before, think well before you start in this sector. First, you must explicitly choose in which project you are going to start. For this, you need to know what the specific characteristics of your business will be. It should not be launched without being clear about what it will do. Make a good business plan, a SWOT analysis and see how the potential competitors are doing it. Plan very well what you want and what period of time it will take you to achieve your plans. This must be resolved before taking action.
However, although you must be very clear about all these points, the key to your project must be the passion with which you do it. Would you dare to spend long hours in it? If I had to work some weekends, would I do it without a moment? Enter a sector of work only to earn money or because it is something popular should be out of the picture. Your work as a freelance has to be the motivating factor that makes you get up in the morning. If this is not the case, it is better not to take the step.
#2- Plan your finances
This is the thing, at the beginning of working as a freelancer, your life will not be so easy when it comes to the finance side. At the beginning, you will surely have a fairly small client base. Do not worry because that is very normal, even if you register on sites like Odesk or Freelancer.com, things will not be easy. For this reason, I give two recommendations:
Reduce your expenses as much as you can: Surely, you do not need to go out to eat at the restaurants so many times in the month or make another night outings. Surely it can be without doing it the first months. When you make the decision to start your career as a freelancer, try to leave these extras aside. I recommend this because the first few months its performance will be quite irrational. It’s better to prevent.
Collect some savings: When you start your business, you must have at least six months of salary as a reserve in your savings account. This will ensure that you can spend at least this period of time without pressure of having to make sales to eat. I say this period of time because it is recommended in all books and it is also the period of time on average that people delay in getting income in a new venture.
#3- Define your work hours
The belief is that being a freelancer, as an independent professional you will have time to spare. Unfortunately, it will not be like that. To keep your business at a good pace, you must define your work hours. The only difference is that if you want to start working at half past ten in the morning instead of at ten, there will be no one who catches your attention or deducts your salary. Establish an eight-hour work day. Depending on the volume of work, you can do more or less hours. But the freelance life is like that. The important thing is to schedule your time, then adjust it as necessary.
#4- Choose a price / hours
When you start your work as a freelancer, you will have two alternatives: charge for each project or per work hour. The best alternative is the second alternative, since a project may take more hours than you may have estimated and in that case you would lose. But if you set a price per hour, in the end, you can tell how much your bill will be for that project. And in any case you can give discounts to your customers if your productivity increases and you do the work in less hours.
I also recommend that the first months of discounts to customers. It is a way to impress and if you do your job well, you will surely be able to charge more in future projects. The most important thing at the beginning is to accumulate customers and maintain contact.
#5- Get organized
One of the great problems of those who work in the sector is the lack of organization. In fact, at the beginning, not having someone who is telling you what to do is a problem. After having defined your work hours, start planning your day and how you will use your hours. If you do not, you will easily feel lost in the midst of so much. Soon you will start surfing the Internet or watching TV. Define your objectives: be clear about how many clients you can get in touch with, what steps you are going to take to develop a specific project or analyze the aspects that can improve your business. There will always be something to do, even if you are just starting your project.
#6- Create a professional website and present your work there
The purpose of having a professional website is to show your work to your potential clients. That will be the first impression that a potential client will have of you, your style and your work. You must effectively communicate the services you offer and for who they are. You need to communicate to the clients with whom you want to work, why you are the best person for this type of work.
Your professional website must comply with the following to be truly effective in selling your services:
- Publicize their specialty.
- Put your contact information and show your personality a little.
- Highlight your most relevant skills, education and achievements.
- As your statistics of satisfied customers begin to accumulate, ask for testimonials and place them on your site.
- As you acquire more clients, make regular updates that show your evolution, new clients and examples of the work you have done.
Your website should serve as a platform to present your work and eventually your experience. If you do not know how to create a professional Web page, read here how to do it step by step.
#7- Study at least one hour a day
The work of freelance forces a constant renewal of knowledge. For example, you could define, as a goal, to read at least three books per month. If these objectives are imposed, you will be forced to read at least one and a half hours a day. But who says read only, also watch videos or watch, attend conferences. Everything so that your brain does not get on autopilot and make you think that you already know everything. It is not coincidence that Google gives 20% of the monthly time to its employees. This company has created work environments that support and promote educational development and professional growth. It is a way to make people renew their knowledge.
#8- Choose a good workplace
As important as knowing your line of business, is choosing the right place to work. The options vary. You only need to choose the one that best suits you. Some people do not make the slightest impression, there are those who prefer to work at home in silence. The important thing is that it manages to maintain a high productivity. The rest depends only on you.
Are you ready to start your freelance career and succeed?
For those who want to know how to be freelance, in my opinion, these are the eight essential steps to start your freelance career and achieve it. If you have these points in mind, surely your chances of success will increase considerably. Remember: taking the first steps wrong can be a measure that will halve the chances of success with your business as a freelancer.
And what did you think of my recommendations? Did I already have any idea that it was necessary to do all this?