If you’re about to start as a freelancer, there’s an exciting time ahead of you. Working from home and being your own boss might sound attractive (and it is!), but you can’t forget you’re about to run your own small business and that’s a big responsibility. That means you’re the only one responsible for finding clients, delivering good work and getting paid in time. Are you ready to take this responsibility and start your career as a freelancer? Then check out our 5 tips to become a successful freelancer!
- Set clear goals and stick to them
Sure, you’re going to experience some bumps in the road with this new career. Don’t worry, it’s completely normal. But you don’t want to get too frustrated and to prevent this, it’s important to have a plan you can stick to. So, create a plan you want to follow for the next period of time. Think about your purpose as a freelancer, which projects you do and don’t like, what your pay rate will be and how many projects or clients you’ll need to earn enough money. Write all this down, so that when you experience some bumps in the road, you can look at it and see why you’re doing this and what the initial plan was. And the most important thing: stick to the plan.
- Network, network, network
Networking is of great importance if you’re a freelancer. You don’t work for an existing brand anymore, so it’s your job to get your name out there. The only way to do this is to get in touch with other people in your business. So attend networking events and conferences, but also network in more creative ways. How about the gym, the school of your kids or online platforms? There are many places to network and introduce yourself to potential clients.
- Branding is key
It’s important to work on your branding. There are probably many more freelancers out there who offer the same services, so why should a potential client pick you? What makes you unique and separates you from the others? Make sure your brand shows what you’ve got to offer and what makes you different from the rest. Your brand is your identity, so make sure you show it on your website, social media platforms and portfolio. Only with a strong brand, you can become a successful freelancer.
- Make clear agreements, everywhere you go
Once you’ve got clients, it’s important to make clear agreements with them. So write down what your work will be, what the pay rate is, which payment term you have set and when you will send the invoice. PeachPay is the best invoicing software for this. And make sure your client signs the agreement. This way, there will simply be less room for misunderstanding and if something goes wrong, you will have fixed agreements that you can rely on.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Are things not going according to plan? Then ask for help, there’s no shame in it. Especially when we’re talking about financial issues, help is necessary sometimes. Are your debts not getting paid? Then you can hire a debt collection agency (dutch: incassobureau inschakelen). DCAs have the expertise and resources to recover your debts and can take measures you simply can’t take as freelancer. Besides, a DCA (incassobureau) can recover your money a lot faster than you can because they have more resources, like bailiffs (dutch: deurwaarder).
We wish a lot of luck with your career as a freelancer. And remember: mistakes are normal on the way to success. Keep up the good work!