Being your own boss is tough work, but the benefits outweigh the drawbacks massively! You get to take on the work you enjoy, keep every penny for yourself, and most importantly, you get to work in your dressing gown! This may sound like a dream come true, but it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you don’t approach it the right way. Here are a few tips you can’t afford to neglect.
Market, Market, Market
If there’s one mistake that newbie freelancers make more than any other, it’s marketing themselves way less than they need to. No one’s going to hire you if they don’t know anything about your skills, and you should make a considerable investment in this area to get your freelancing career off to a great start. You’re going to need to pay for a service like Wizz Hosting for your website, hire content marketers to get people onto that site, and possibly invest in auxiliary marketing initiatives like PPC. When you’re coming up with your marketing materials, make sure you’re doing something to set yourself apart from the competition. The freelance market is huge these days, and you need to convince your clients of why they should choose you over all the other options.
Give your Clients a Great Experience
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One of the biggest issues in freelancing, especially in the early stages, is finding clients. Ideally, you’ll only want a few clients who have so much faith in your abilities that they come back to you time and time again. Usually, when a business owner wants someone for a long-term project, they’ll simply run a recruit drive and hire someone as a full-time staff member. Freelance professionals really have to be something special if they want to have a lot of repeat customers. Still, you should make a point to treat every single client with respect and great customer service, even if you know they’re going to be a one-off. The work you do for them can warrant you valuable word of mouth referrals in the future. Make sure you’re setting yourself high standards in all of your work, and sticking to them religiously. By fostering great client relationships, you’ll give yourself a great foundation to build on as you move forward.
Establish a Set Payment Schedule
While it certainly has a lot of perks, freelancing is not without its risks. One of the biggest risks is pesky clients who continuously put off paying for the work you’ve delivered, or don’t plan on paying for it at all! Fortunately, there are ways of protecting yourself from this kind of disaster. Draw up a standard contract, outlining a timeline of your payment schedule, your deliverables, and a list of accepted payment methods. PayPal is usually a good method to go with. Even though they’ll take a small portion of your money off the top here and there, there’s a chance that you’ll be taking clients from all over the world, and having to accept a range of currencies.