Everyone has those moments where you just want to get up from your desk at work, walk out, and never look back. It’s the kind of enjoyable fantasy that people tend to have during those boring periods in the middle of the day when you’d rather be doing anything else. Of course, most of us are aware that simply walking out on our jobs would be pretty risky move. However, plenty of people have found themselves walking away from the typical nine-to-five style of employment in favor of something that offers just a little more freedom and choice. Over the last several years more and more people have discovered the benefits of freelancing. Freelancing is certainly not something that’s particularly new, however, in the internet age, it’s become easier than ever for people to start taking their careers into their own hands. However, just because something is easier than it once was, doesn’t mean that it’s actually going to be easy. In fact, many people find that the freelance life offers a lot more challenges than they were expecting. For every person who finds a new lease of life working as a freelancer, there are just as many who find themselves going back to traditional employment because the challenges were simply too great. Of course, if you are dead set on giving the freelance life a try, here are just a few things that you’re going to need to do.
Get yourself a decent website
If you want to work as a freelancer, then you’re going to need clients. There have always been plenty of different ways in which clients make contact with people that they want to work with but in the modern age, few are more significant than the internet. Google searches comprise by far the largest portion of how people connect with freelancers in the twenty-first century. Because of this, if you don’t have a halfway decent website, you’re never going to be able to attract any clients. It’s not enough just to have a website; you have to think of it as the first exposure that many people will have to your business. What impression do you want them to take away from it? You may well want to work with web design companies like CandidSky in order to really get the most out of your website. Otherwise, you could well end up in a situation where no matter how skilled you are, customers are going to take one look at your website and assume that you’re little more than an amateur. It may sound shallow, but it’s something that you’re going to have to come to terms with in order to succeed in the freelance marketplace.
Learn to be disciplined with your time
When you’re working for someone else, you’ve often got an employer or manager breathing down your neck, making sure that you get in on time, that you’re always on deadline, and that you don’t spend any of your time procrastinating. When you’re a freelancer, you have none of that. A lot of the time the only person that you have to rely on to motivate you is yourself. This means that you’re going to have to learn to be incredibly disciplined with both your time and your energy. It might seem as though part of the fun of freelancing is that you can work anytime, anywhere. While this is certainly true, it’s also important to be aware that the novelty of getting up at noon and working from your bed is going to wear off pretty quickly. Not only that but clients will have time frames that they want you to work within, and if you don’t meet those deadlines, then there could be serious consequences. If you mess up at work, your employer may have to speak to you and might get in trouble, if you mess up as a freelancer then you’re just going to lose that client, as well as any client that they might send your way.
Get used to networking
That last point is especially important because far too many aspiring freelancers assume that they can sit around and wait for the work to come to them. However, this simply isn’t the case. If you want to get work as a freelancer, it’s up to you to go out and find it. This means that you’re going to have to start doing the one thing that many people dread more than anything else: networking. It can often be incredibly difficult to put yourself out there in a way that feels both natural and effective. After all, no one wants to talk to you if they feel as though you’re just trying to sell them something. But by the same token, if you’re not careful you could end up missing your chance to connect with a potential client altogether. There’s plenty of advice online about how to network effectively, but it’s important that you understand that you’re only going to get work if you actually take the time to go out and find it in the first place. Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself sat at home, very quickly running out of both work and money.
Be careful with your money
Speaking of money, one thing that many freelancers come to learn very quickly is that they have to say goodbye to the notion of a fixed income. When you work for an employer, you have a set wage or salary that you can rely on to be paid no matter what. However, as a freelancer, you only get paid when you work, and you can’t always guarantee that you’re going to have work at any given time. Because of this, you’re going to have to learn to ration your money more carefully. Not only will you have to set money aside for paying your own taxes, but it’s also a good idea to have something set aside so that you can pick up the slack if you spend a month or so without as much work as you would have liked. The last thing you want is to end up struggling one month because the work dried up faster than you were expecting.