About 57 million Americans are working freelance.
The changing nature of work has been called the "gig economy" by many.
Many workers are eager to switch from the long commutes, stale office environments and lack of autonomy. Why wouldn't you prefer the prospect of a flexible career as your own boss as a freelance worker?
Discover more about what you need to do to create your own independent business below.
1. Don't Quit Your Day Job -- Yet
Many people are so eager to turn to freelance work that they quit their day job in order to realize the dream.
However, you don't have to quit yet. You can set up your own business as a side hustle.
This requires a lot of investment of your time and effort in the early days. But, it means that you're not risking everything for a dream.
Only hand in your notice when you're confident that you've got a stable number of clients which guarantee regular projects coming in.
2. Pitch Every Day
You've got to keep pitching your work each day. You can't rest of your laurels.
You could have had an excellent week last week with lots of clients. However, today's a new day.
As a freelancer, you'll get used to people forgetting who you are from one week to the next week. You've got to keep reminding them.
You need to be pitching to clients regularly and effectively if you're going to build up your base.
You shouldn't concentrate your efforts on job ads exclusively. Send cold pitches to prospective clients as well.
3. Be Prepared to Say "No"
Saying "no" as a freelancer isn't easy.
You may not know when your next gig is coming. You don't want to let down a reliable client either.
And yet, you've got to train yourself to turn down work. This could be because you're not available. You may consider the work not suited to you.
You don't want to become overwhelmed with too much work. Nor did you get into freelancing to do work you could have done as a full-timer.
Make sure you the project is right for you. Don't agree to something you know is either beyond or beneath you.
4. Set Your Price Tag
How much is your time and work worth?
You've got to decide how much you want to charge your clients. This can be determined either by hourly payment or per project.
It's also possible to reveal how many hours you estimate a project could take to produce. However, you can continue to charge by the project.
Ensure that you don't get underpaid because you're a freelancer. You need to calculate your value and stick to it.
5. Get a Professional Website
You've got to have a slick website if you're going to be a freelancer. Remember, your website is the first impression clients are getting of your personal brand.
Investing in a professional web designer is absolutely worthwhile. There's only so far you can go with a Wordpress website.
Ensure that your website has a blog and a clear SEO strategy to boost your visibility on search engines.
6. Promote Yourself
Sure, you can get work from word of mouth. You can't depend on this alone.
Instead, you've got to be willing to promote yourself. You can market yourself at conferences and other events.
But, essentially, you need to get good at social media and content marketing if you're going to reach out to your clients.
Establish yourself on social media with accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
7. Network With Other Freelancers
Up to 48 percent of freelancers report loneliness.
This doesn't have to be part of the freelance worker lifestyle. However, spending a lot of time on your own can definitely make you feel isolated.
That's why networking with other freelancers is so important. For example, why don't you join a support group?
Check out Facebook groups in your region. You could also attend a co-working space for a new environment.
8. Organize Your Finances
Once you become a freelancer, you'll realize that your tax circumstances just got a whole load more complicated.
You may have to pay taxes quarterly now. You should always include your receipts since you can write off a bunch of expenses as a freelancer.
You could hire an accountant to sort this stuff out on your behalf.
Say goodbye to your employment pension as well. You're on your own now. You've got to start funneling a percentage of your income into a savings account for your future.
9. Get Dressed
We know you're reading this in your PJs in your bed!
When you start off as a freelancer, that's the best thing about the lifestyle. You can stay in bed after 9 o'clock and you don't have to get dressed either.
What you wear during work hours impacts your productivity. Still in your PJs? Your brain is basically asleep!
10. Start and End Times
The average freelancer works longer hours than the average employee.
Did you switch to remote working for more flexible hours? This could seriously backfire on you!
When you're a freelancer, you can end up working long hours. Nobody tells you when to start or finish.
Therefore, you can easily end up working late into the night. This damages your productivity and health significantly.
Becoming a Freelance Worker
Now you know our top tips for becoming a freelance worker. It's not without challenges.
But, there's nothing quite like being your own boss. You can discover more about our community of freelancers here.