When it comes to freelancing, most people assume it’s all fun and games. The thing that many forget to realize is that when you are setting your own hours and being your own boss, responsibilities double. If you work from home, I am sure you know what I am talking about.
Working from home is great, and setting my own hours couldn’t be better. However, there was a point when it almost felt like it wasn’t worth it. Not anymore. I made some changes to the way I do things and since then it has been all fun and games (besides occasional work stress).
I have been working from home for a couple years and I really do enjoy being there for my family when they need me. In this post I’ve listed a few tips that will help you conquer the pitfalls of freelancing and turn you into a freelancing powerhouse.
1. I Don’t Think You Can Do It
If a client said that to you, what would your reaction be? Exactly! You would get all pumped up and ready to show the client that you’ve got everything it takes to be the best out there. One of the traits or qualities that every freelancer should possess is self-confidence. If you aren’t sure of yourself, there is no way you can make someone else believe in you. Be confident, believe in yourself and everyone else will believe in you.
2. Kids, Dinner, Laundry and Work — Too Much?
Working from home is a dream to many, but there are more distractions than working from an office. You are constantly surrounded by household chores, family members, and distraction that can take over your concentration and eventually your work itself. Plan a schedule and stick to it. Unless it’s an emergency, act like you are glued to your work and filter out all the distractions. Plan your schedule and learn to follow it no matter how tempting it is to grab a drink and watch the game on TV.
3. To Achieve This, I Need To Achieve That
If you want to be a successful freelancer, one of the important things you need to learn is to set goals. Without knowing what you are reaching for, there is no way you can get anywhere. If your goal is to find two regular clients by the end of the month, set up a secondary goal that will help you achieve the primary goal of landing those two clients. Build yourself a series of manageable steps.
4. Can You Afford To Hire a Personal Accountant?
I’ve been doing pretty well as a freelancer, but there is no way I can afford an accountant. I am sure many of you still manage your own finances related to your freelancing career — but if you can’t manage finances properly, good luck managing your freelance business. Make sure to set up a structure to keep track of expenses and income so it is easier to track everything. If at all possible, do try to hire someone to help.
5. Don’t Be a Penny-Pincher
If you want to make money, you will have to spend some. I am not saying spend money on those make money online scams, but rather invest it in your business. If you are a designer who needs software that costs $600.00, find ways to get it. If a one time expense can bring you multiple clients and freelance work over time, it can’t be that bad, right?
6. Can I Count On You?
FreelanceFolder is a great blog. Would it be this way if it wasn’t for the guys who work so hard? Absolutely not. Readers can count on them to make sure the blog is updated with good content. You need to get people in your niche or industry look up to you — be someone people can count on and always, always make sure you live up to their expectations.
7. Visit The Web-Based Coffee Shops — It’s Free!
Whether or not you freelance online is not the question here. If you have an opportunity to be at two places at once, you need to make sure to capitalize on that opportunity. Your blog and/or portfolio site is your home, be there. But make sure you utilize the web-based coffee shops such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc… Interact, communicate and be a part of the community.
8. It’s Time To Take a Little Walk
I am usually on the computer from the time I wake up untill the time I head to bed. Whether I am writing an article, or creating a social media campaign for a client, I make sure I don’t sit for more than an hour. I take regular breaks. It helps me come up with fresh ideas. There is no point sitting for hours, working on the same things over and over again, be cause all it does is stale your mind. Get up, take a break. It will help you tremendously.
9. Infosnack — Organic and 0 Calories
The only thing that can make you better at your trade is learning from others. Read as many blogs, articles and magazines in your field as possible. Set aside a time each day for “infosnacking.” Digest the information and utilize that information to make yourself better at what you do. Use feed readers and other online tools to manage information and go through them. And yes, infosnacks are usually free, organic, and contain 0 calories. Go for it.
10. You Work In Your Pajamas?
Let’s be honest here, we freelancers often work in our pajamas. I know it, you know it. But our clients sure don’t need to know every little fact about our business. Make sure to portray a professional image to your clients. If you are sending a proposal, have a format that makes it look like they are working with someone who knows the finer points of business.
What do you think?
These are some of my thoughts on how you can turn yourself into a freelancing powerhouse, what are yours? Offer your tips and experience in the comments and help out some newer freelancers.