Over one-third of US workers are currently freelancing, either full-time or to supplement their income. So, if you dream of running your own business and working for yourself, you’re not alone!
Freelancing is a versatile word that describes any job you can do from your computer on a per-project basis, such as writing, editing, web design, or marketing.
However, before you jump into the deep end as a freelancer, it helps to know what to expect. To find out more, keep reading to find six freelance tips that every freelancer needs to know.
1. Impress Clients With Your Professionalism
If you’re looking for freelance work, you need to make a great first impression by being punctual, professional, and capable. To convince clients to hire you in the first place, showcase your best work in an online portfolio or on your own website.
It’s also a good idea to make the most out of Linkedin, ensuring your page is updated with your skills and experience. You can also use Linkedin to advertise that you’re currently available for work, which can help clients find you.
Depending on the type of freelancing you do, creating an impressive digital proposal can help you attract new clients too—view more here to learn how you can improve your proposals.
Of course, attracting clients isn’t enough—you want them to give you more work regularly! To do this, always meet your deadlines, deliver only your best work, and accept criticism in a respectful way.
2. Stay Organized
One of our biggest tips for freelancing is to stay organized! You’re likely to be juggling multiple clients and projects at the same time, all with various deadlines, meetings, and due dates.
How do you keep track of it all? We recommend coming up with an organizational system that works for you, ensuring you can track all of your work and due dates.
Whether you prefer a weekly paper diary or like to set digital reminders, come up with a system that you can use each day. As you finish your work each day, quickly review what you need to do the next day so that you’re prepared.
3. Put Some Money Aside for a Rainy Day
Freelancing is liberating, exciting, and flexible—but it can also be uncertain. If freelancing is your main source of income, prepare for the fact that some months will be amazing, but others will be much slower.
Freelancing income is often unpredictable since you’ll no longer have the comfort of a weekly paycheck as you would in an office job.
To make life easier, it helps to build up some savings to help you through the slower months. That way, if any unexpected bills arise, you’ll be able to cover them.
4. Set Up a Filing System for Your Taxes
One bad thing about freelancing—you’ll usually need to pay taxes quarterly. In full-time roles you’ve had in the past, your employer probably withheld tax from your paycheck, but freelancers are responsible for paying their own tax.
Most freelancers pay quarterly so they can avoid a lump sum payment at the end of the year.
To make the process simpler, set up an accounting system where you can track all of your invoices, expenses, and income. You can use a simple spreadsheet, but software like Xero or QuickBooks are also good options.
Keep in mind that freelancers often qualify for all sorts of deductions, including the cost of your laptop, your home’s internet connection, and any professional development courses you take.
When you get paid, consider automatically setting aside around 25% of your pay to go toward taxes.
5. Sometimes, Motivation Can Be Hard to Find
As a freelancer, you’re doing work that you love—most days, this means you’ll jump out of bed, eager to get things done. However, on some days, it’ll be a challenge to find motivation.
This can be tough because freelancers don’t get paid if they don’t work!
If you’re having a day where you’re struggling to focus, consider getting some fresh air, working out, or making a checklist of what you have to do, so you can get the satisfaction of crossing things off as you finish them.
6. Build Up Multiple Clients
It’s smart to build up several clients, rather than solely relying on one or two. By just having one main client, you’re putting all your eggs in one basket.
This means if they decide to stop using freelancers, you’ve lost all of your income! Instead, get yourself to a point where you have several reliable clients.
That way, even if you lose one, you’ll still have income.
To do this, get into the habit of regularly looking for work. You can do this via job boards, cold outreach, or using Linkedin.
Use These Freelance Tips to Thrive in Your New Career
If you’re ready to ditch the 9-5 and work for yourself, these freelance tips should help you learn more about what to expect. While it’s not always easy, it is rewarding, fun, and it gives you the freedom to work anytime, anywhere.
To get started, come up with a business plan and put systems in place that will work for your new freelancing business. It may take some time, but with some talent and hard work, you’ll soon start attracting your first few clients!
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