Freelance used to mean work that a business had done for cheap that may or may not be high quality. This has changed immensely as the freelance market has boomed with quite a few people making far more than they would at a traditional job. The freedom that freelancing offers has also attracted some top talent regardless of industry as people would love to work from locations across the world. An aspect that plenty of people entering the freelance world struggle with is that of staying productive.
Added freedom means added distractions with a day of poor productivity directly impacting your income. At a traditional job a few bad days of productivity will not impact your pay and if a manager does not notice it really does not matter in the long run.
Growing a business is the other part of freelancing that people can struggle with. Retaining clients is all about great communication, hitting deadlines, and pricing your services appropriately.
Create A Website/Portfolio
If you are a writer or web designer it is important to have a website where you can showcase your previous projects. A company is not going to hire a freelance designer to help with their website if there are no samples of already completed websites that the freelancer has done in the past. This will also help productivity as you can just send a link to this instead of searching through all kinds of past projects looking for one that you are proud of. This website can also allow you to drum up leads so you will have to do some digital marketing for it. Creating business social media profiles can also be a good way to allow clients to see your expertise or views on certain topics of writing/design.
Keep Prices Low While You Build Your Reputation
During the infancy of your freelance business it is wise to build a reputation on the platform you are utilizing before raising prices. Asking for 50 dollars an hour with no experience on the platform can be a tough sell for even the best salespeople. Upwork is a great example of a platform that allows clients to comment on freelancer’s work as well as working style. Building up a reputation will take hard work as some clients are far easier to work with than others. Adjusting prices once you have a base group of clients will not be difficult as finding an affordable freelancer can be extremely tough and time consuming.
Avoid Working in Common Areas of The Home
The kitchen for a freelancer with kids can be the worst place possible to work as people will constantly be walking in and out. Dedicate one room to be the at home office and decorate it with things that will motivate you as well as minimize distractions. Blackout curtains can help for a person that is easily distracted by things like heavy rain or kids playing outside. Bouclair’s Peter Goldberg says “A home office that provides a relaxed feeling can help a person stay comfortable while working hard.” Investing in a heavy door is also wise as this can help reduce noise coming from the home. Even though you ask the kids to keep it down we all know that this is not going to happen if they are of a certain age.
Work in Different Locations to Keep It Fresh
The ability to work from wherever you would like as long as there is an internet connection is a freedom that is nearly unmatched in the professional work. Taking a day or two a week where you work from a park, brewery, or beach allows you to experience a different working environment than a majority of people. With this being said make sure that you are able to get work done at this location as a brewery might be perfect for some freelancers while it would be a production killer for others. Make a list of locations you would like to work from and start going down the list week after week when you feel you need a change of scenery.
Reach Out to Former Colleagues on LinkedIn
Building a client base can be easy if you reach out to your former colleagues on LinkedIn. If you are a writer or designer reaching out to those managing marketing departments would be wise. You encounter people all the time that could be of help to your freelance business if you only ask. The worst thing a person can say is “No, I can’t help.” Cash in professional favors that you have banked over the years as you might have more than you expect.
Freelancing is going to continue to thrive with more people finding out this can be a profitable venture. Take time to look at your freelance business to see where you can continue to grow and optimize other processes.