A Comprehensive Guide to Starting Your Freelance Career
If you are pursuing freelancing, it is a great way to make a little cash on the side. A lot of people take this up as a hobby, but there are many entrepreneurial and passionate creative type of people who feel that they need to make the freelancing a full-time thing.
Choosing to quit your full-time day job and begin to freelance full-time is daunting. There are many who have great jobs but still quit it to give their complete time to freelancing. And it is not a wrong choice as the benefit of being able to work by your own on your own projects that you love the most would be worth the risk you take.
So, if you are planning to walk this road, it is possible to commit to a full-time freelancing career with the right amount of courage, information, and preparation. The share steps below would help you out in the process:
1. Have a vision!
The very first thing that comes in your way when you enter the business of freelancing is your mind and its thoughts. You need to make yourself get over the ideas that tell you that you would not be able to do it or won’t do it.
To overcome the thought where you are masquerading as a person who would not be able to do it or are not worthy enough for it (also called the imposter syndrome), you need to get into freelancing and show yourself what the reality is about in it.
And it is essential to make yourself understand and feel that your idea is just not a whim, it is more of a business plan. Begin with setting a company name and forming a goal for your business brand.
And the best way to find out your vision for the company is to ask yourself why you are starting this business in the first place and why should the client’s favor it? This would give you a very clear mental picture of the company and the path that you need to follow for it.
2. Decide on a structure of the business.
It depends on how you want it. You can either have your business operated as a legal entity by registering it as a corporation or a limited liability company. Or you can run it without incorporating it as a sole proprietorship. There are a lot of freelancers who prefer to establish a limited liability company as it holds many benefits for the legal entity.
Other than that, it does not hold any complexities as the corporation does. To figure out the type of business structure you need, keep in mind your business goals and find out all the advantages you would get for each kind. After that, get the wheels on and begin your journey towards the best possible plan.
And you need not worry since there are chances where you can change the business structure later on. But for the beginning, it is always good to have a tax plan and arrange the accounting as well.
3. Design marketing materials.
Make the base strong by enhancing the marketing materials. This would let you create buzz before you launch your business in the market. The first thing you can do is create the social media account and create a website and let them reach out to as many as you can. Also, order business cards to be ready for anything that comes your way.
While you begin to reach out to friends, family, and connections by letting them know about your business, you would need to have materials to let them know all about it.
And if you feel that the networks you have are less, begin to network faster, and you would be amazed by the referrals you get via the connections, friends, and family. But this is only if they thoroughly understand your business and know what the potential clients are about.
4. Make a portfolio.
It is best never to launch the freelancing career if you do not have the right experience in creating or providing the services or products you mention. Wait before you sell until you have a lot of samples that are of quality and can be used as examples as you offer the service.
If you do not have many samples to create a portfolio, then extend your arms and make sure you work it out and get examples to fill in. Since it is the portfolio that would help you in marketing the services and products you offer, so you need to see that they have quality so you can show off.
Producing examples for your portfolio is not complicated, though it does take time to create them. As mentioned above, create samples if you do not have any. You can offer your services for free at first to give your career a kick start.
5. Set up financial processes.
Before you get a lot of work as per what you asked, ensure that you are completely prepared for it. In short, create the template for the invoices, set your prices, keep in mind how much you need to keep on the side for the taxes and design a great accounting plan.
It is much better and easier to keep the accounting in check from the start than to mess everything up and then begin to keep the records. This would still cost you a lot more than you expected.
6. Secure some customers.
Even though you have your other job still there, keep some time aside for building the client base and giving work out. Along this, it is better to have some cash in the account with this process to, later on, grow greater.
Moreover, you would not need to launch the business completely just to get clients at first, you can just connect with your connections to get the first clients through the referrals. This would give you a lot of initial work.
7. Believe in yourself.
The entire process begins only when you believe in yourself and it is the overall and main consideration that has to be kept in mind. In short, if you are a person who doubts their ability to find success, you would not get it.
So instead of letting panic overcome you, or take over your thoughts, stay strong and focus on your end result. There are obvious ups and downs, and this happens in every part of life.
Avoid thinking that I cannot do what they do, and think that if can do it, why can’t I do better? You have to start from somewhere and it is alright to have doubts. But if you do not start, you would not be able to do anything.
Overall, make sure that you are mentally prepared for the idea for a freelancing career before you take a wrong step of quitting your job. And the steps that have been mentioned above can be completed while you are in your day time job.
Determine to focus and accomplish all the obstacles that come your way and you would be ready to make a great launch to your full-time freelancing career. Just keep all the necessary courage, confidence and resources at your hand.
And if you have decided to register your company, ensure that you take help from professionals to have all the legal matters taken care of properly.