Starting your own freelance business can be a pretty liberating experience – you essentially become your own boss and get to choose who you work with and when.
But it can also be demanding, as you have to take on all the responsibilities of running a business yourself. There are many things that go into being a successful freelancer, from having to do everything on your own, to attracting potential clients.
If you’re feeling like all of this is a bit overwhelming, don’t worry – there are 6 key tips that can help you when you’re just starting out as a freelancer.
1. Use The Right Software
When you’re starting out as a freelancer, it’s important to use the right software to help make your job easier. First thing’s first, though – managing your finances. No matter how much you love the work that you do, it’s important to ensure you’re getting as much money as possible for your efforts.
That’s why you’ll probably want to look into tax and accounting software to help you stay on top of your finances.
According to hellobonsai.com, the best software for handling self-employment taxes needs to enable you to import all of your client and financial data, as well as track mileage and other business expenses in just one platform.
But it’s not just about finances – there are plenty of other software packages that can help you as a freelancer.
In addition to tracking your finances, you’ll also want to find software that can help you manage your projects. This can be anything from project management software, to communication tools. Managing your projects effectively is key to staying on top of your deadlines and ensuring that you’re always meeting your clients’ expectations.
While these are the two software solutions all freelancers find helpful, you might also want to consider the kind of work you do, and look into the solutions designed with those specific tasks in mind. You might be surprised at how much easier your work can be when you have the right software to help you out.
2. Set Boundaries With Your Clients
When you’re a freelancer, it’s important to set boundaries with your clients.
This means that you should always be clear about what you can and can’t do for them, as well as when you’re available to work.
This is especially important if you’re working with more than one client – you don’t want to overcommit yourself and end up with a lot of work that you can’t finish on time. This can affect your reputation negatively as a freelancer, and you may find that clients are less likely to work with you in the future.
It’s also important to remember that you’re not an employee of your clients, and you should never be taken advantage of because of that fact. If a client is asking for too much, or if they’re not following the guidelines you’ve set, it’s okay to say no. Remember, you’re in charge of your own business. It’s also important to be clear about your rates.
Don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth, and remember that if a client doesn’t want to pay your rates, you can always find another client who will.
3. Build A Portfolio
When you’re starting out as a freelancer, it’s important to have a portfolio that showcases your work.
This can be anything from your previous work, to case studies and project results. If you haven’t simply switched from a traditional job to freelancing, and you don’t have any previous work to show, you can always create self-made example projects that will give potential clients a feel of what you’re capable of.
Your portfolio is your chance to show off your skills and highlight what makes you the best freelancer for the job. Make sure that it’s easy to navigate, and that the information is easy to find.
4. Have A Professional Email Address
When you’re starting out as a freelancer, it’s important to have a professional email address. This can be something like firstname.lastname@example.org, or something similar. It’s also important to keep your personal and your business email addresses separate, as you don’t want your personal email inbox to be cluttered with business emails. This can make it difficult to keep track of what’s important, and can also lead to you missing out on important messages from clients.
On the other side of the spectrum, as a freelancer, you’re more than likely to be working from home. That already makes it hard to differentiate between your personal and professional life. Having a separate email address can help with that, and will also make you look more professional to potential clients.
5. Get Testimonials And Reviews
It’s important to let people know you’re reliable and deliver on the promises you make. Of course, when you’re just starting out, you don’t have a lot of testimonials or reviews to show your potential clients – if any. You might want to consider lowering your rates for the first few jobs so that you can get some good reviews under your belt.
Once you have a few good reviews, you can start to increase your rates – but make sure that you still deliver on the quality of work you promised. Once you get the ball rolling, don’t be afraid to ask clients to leave reviews or testimonials on your behalf. It can be a great way to show off your skills and let potential clients know that you’re the real deal.
6. Stay Up-To-Date With Trends
As a freelancer, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in your industry. This means that you should be reading up on new developments, attending webinars and networking events, and generally keeping yourself informed. By doing this, you’ll not only be able to offer better services to your clients, but you’ll also be able to expand your knowledge and skillset.
This can only benefit you in the long run and will make you a more well-rounded freelancer. You can also subscribe to industry-related newsletters, which can be a great way to stay up-to-date. Of course, reaching out to other freelancers in your field can also be a great way to learn new things and stay ahead of the curve.
So, those are 6 important tips for freelancing beginners. Just remember that while it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to making it as a freelancer – it can definitely be worth it in the end.