Freelancing is such a funny thing. I love it sometimes, then other times I’m over it and think about other things I’d rather do. Then, I come back to my senses and realize that I like the flexibility that freelancing offers me. I get to choose the work that I do, but it isn’t always consistent. I’ve been hustling on the side of my main gigs for as long as I can remember, so I’m hoping to make the switch over to full-time freelancing, I’m close – just not there yet.
In the time I’ve been freelancing, I’ve been fortunate to meet some really cool people who’ve connected me with some really fun writing projects and social media projects. When I’m not doing the fun projects, I also get to do the ‘blah’ projects since I’m the worker and the CEO of me. After I do the creative work, you can find me doing invoices, pitching new projects, and connecting with other entrepreneurs. I’m by no means an expert, but I’ve got a few tips and tricks that help make this freelancing biz worth it.
Never Stop Learning:
You never know when you’ll be asked to a type of work that you have never done before. Example: You may be asked to write a blog post about something you are totally unfamiliar with, so don’t be afraid to use that research opportunity as a chance to expand your knowledge and skill set. Learn it! The more things you can do, the more work that you can potentially receive.
Connect with other freelancers:
Seriously. Networking is key to freelancing in my opinion. The cliche is true – “It’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know.” People you know can help get you more projects. Even if they can’t hire you for something themselves, they may know someone who is looking for an editor/writer/designer/speaker/whatever and can recommend you. Also, freelancing can be a little lonely with just you and your laptop (depending on what you do), so take time to connect virtually as well. Set aside a little time each week for virtual coffee/tea dates and take a break from the work, not to mention getting a chance to connect with someone about the work that they do. They may even have some great tips for you to implement into your own work.
Create some systems:
Doesn’t matter what your freelance work is, but you should have systems, boundaries, and routines.
Here are some set-ups to consider:
How/where will you find clients?
What will your new client on boarding process be?
What hours will you commit to working?
Where do you plan to do your work?
When will you be available to talk to clients?
How will clients be able to pay you (this is a big one and one that people don’t really plan for sometimes)?
How will you keep records? I always recommend digital invoicing if it’s applicable to your work. Invoice2Go offers a free template that you can try! It’s really user friendly, plus free, so give it a try!
Build some strong foundational systems so that you can do your work with ease. If you have these things in place, you can focus more on working for your clients instead of dealing with minor “busy work” details.
These aren’t the be-all and end-all success tips for freelancing, but these are definitely good places to start. Freelancing is unique to each person – that’s why we choose to do it, right? We get to set our own rules and choose our work (mostly). I encourage you to see what kind of freelance work you can pursue – you just might like it!