So You Think You Can Freelance?

  • Career
    So You Think You Can Freelance?


Whether you want to kickstart a side hustle or have big dreams of being your own boss, it’s a safe bet that you’ll try your hand at freelancing at least once in your lifetime. Ahead, our checklist of things you should definitely tick off before you dive in.

Life Admin
It’s essential that before you start freelancing, you understand and complete all necessary paperwork, permits and legalities to ensure all bases are covered. This usually means registering yourself (or your business) with the correct governing body, getting familiar with financial responsibilities and obtaining relevant insurance if your particular area requires it. Having all the boring (AKA important) administrative tasks under your belt will make #freelancelife as smooth as possible, especially when tax time rolls around.

Do Your Research
Market research, that is. Define the exact type of service you are providing, and then start researching the field. Look for individuals or agencies who are in the game, and take notes - examine how they advertise, what they’re offering and how much they’re charging. Some of this information won’t be spelled out, but you can get a pretty good idea by perusing their website or enquiring as a potential client. 
Once you’re clued up on the competition, it’s time to look inwards - what can you do to set yourself apart? Do you have a unique perspective? Are you particularly speedy at your job? Will you offer a competitive price? Hone in on what makes your service special, and own it.

Get Yourself Out There
It can be tricky to know where to start, and the answer depends on how much you much you want to get back in return. The magic of the Internet means it’s pretty easy to create a professional-looking online portfolio or website for free - this should be your first port of call, as it’s a place to showcase examples of your work and provide potential clients with a good idea of who you are and what you’re about. Start new social media accounts specifically for your freelance work, and treat these as an extension of your website. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram make it easy to connect with likeminded creatives and clients, and is easy to maintain if you stick to these tenets: keep your content relevant, on-brand and professional. Always professional.
Getting yourself listed on freelance directories is another great way to connect with clients, especially when you’re just getting started. Sites like Upwork and The Loop allow you to create profiles, browse job listings and promote your skills in a direct, dedicated space.

Stay Disciplined
To be a successful freelancer, it’s imperative to manage your time and workload effectively. Be clear with yourself and your clients about deadlines for submission of work and payment, and stick to them. Find a system that works for you - whether it’s a wall-sized calendar above your workspace or a timetabling app you use on your phone - and log every aspect of every project. Staying on task is essential for the efficient completion of work, especially when juggling multiple projects or a day job. Once you find your rhythm, managing yourself will become second nature. 


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