Choosing to become a freelancer isn’t taking the easy way out. That “work for yourself” lifestyle may look like it’s all about living in a coffee shop, and non-stop deposits into your bank account–but it’s not. If you’re looking for a career change/adjustment in the new year, remember to follow these tips before taking that leap of faith.
How To Be A Successful Freelancer
Do the research
Please know what you’re getting yourself into, before making a big deal of it. There’s no such thing as the perfect time to chase a dream, but it doesn’t hurt to be well prepared. The more you know, the more confident you’ll be in your work, and the more credible you’ll seem to your clients.
Freelancers juggle multiple projects at once. Unlike working for a business that provides you office space and work calendars, you have to create your own workspace and schedule. (You also have to buy your own Post-It notes and highlighters.) Utilize physical calendars, apps and electronics to help keep you on track.
Know the worth of your services and/or product
If you’re like me, you hate talking about money. You know what you will hate even more? Doing a job for half the amount you should be doing it for. Although freelance and contract employees are typically less expensive than hiring a corporation, that doesn’t mean the work isn’t as valuable. Kudos to those who stick to their price list, but if you’re going to adjust your payment, make sure you also adjust the workload.
With that being said…
know your own worth
As a freelancer, I’m guilty of taking on projects that leave me overworked and underpaid. Don’t be me. You can be inspired by others and try to follow their footsteps, but everyone’s journey will be different. Your version of success may not look like the success of someone else. Just because Sarah made 6 figures after a year of blogging, doesn’t mean you’ll achieve the same goal exactly the way she did.
Even if you hate it, you have to get your work out there. How else will your target audience know what you have to offer? Hang in there introverts. Social networking is great too, but you’re going to have to brave a few crowds and awkward ice breakers at some point. Try to find networking events specifically for freelancers, or for the field you’re pursuing a career in.
Continue to learn
Even as a teacher, you can be a student. When I first started my freelancer journey; I consistently joked about having to go back to school so the “young folks” wouldn’t graduate and steal my job(s). Maybe I joked too much, because that’s more real than ever. Take classes, read, ask questions, get a mentor–whatever it takes to keep you at the top of your game. There are too many tools and resources out there to fall behind. You got books, blogs, webinars, chats, Google, Snaps – you naaaaaame it!
Are you a freelancer? What advice would you add to this list?